Once you start swatching you continues see new opportunities to swatch. Here is a short list of when I consider swatching and instances where I find it give me less information.
Instances Where I Consider Swatching
- Testing color combinations
- Exploring color theory as it relates to weaving
- Testing finishing considerations
- Testing yarn substitutions
- Testing mixed warps for sett, color, and finishing
- I’m on the fence about sett, 10 or 12? 8 or 10?
- Testing various color combinations and setts in structures other than plain weave
- I have a limited amount of a particular yarn and I want to be sure my idea will work before scaling up
- Adapting a pattern to suit my needs
Instances That Swatching Gives Me Less Information
- Pooling variegated yarns since the repeats are dependent on the warp length, but I can swatch for color interactions
- Some structures, such as doubleweave, can’t be swatched on a frame loom. You can swatch for the sett and color interaction of each layer. Sampling in the structure can be done on the rigid-heddle loom itself.
- You aren’t going to mimic the exact tension on a frame loom that you can achieve on a rigid-heddle where the braking device gives you a boost, but you can get very close.
- *Frame loom weaving is essentially threading on a straight draw. If you are picking up a pattern on a point, broken, or other such threading, you may have floats on the back that won’t be present in the fabric when you use these draws on your rigid-heddle loom.
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