Optical mixing in weaving is so important, as weavers we always have to carefully plan how our warp and weft colours are going to mingle to get the result we want. Here are a few examples of the colour mistakes and lessons I have learned in my last two and a half years of weaving.
If I want to see more of the weft or the warp I can change my designs to be weft faced or warp faced simply by spacing the warp strings out either closer together or further apart. How this was learned; I made a two scarf long warp and put it on my loom earlier this fall and the first one I made 10 inches wide was very loose and flowy but the colours in my warp didn’t show up as much as I hoped. When I finished that scarf and started the next one I took the strings out of the reed and put them closer together, this scarf came out 6 inches wide and was exactly the result I had been hoping for.
If I where to weave two compliments together in a plain weave the colours would mesh together from far away and probably look gross. But if I put a blue diamonds pattern over an orange warp, the results would be very appealing. My first attempt at a diamond pattern I had purple blue and pink in the warp and I used bright sea green for the weft. First I tried it in plain weave and it was disgusting! I hated it so much I actually unwove my 7 inches of weaving and restrung the whole scarf on the loom.
One time I wove a scarf that had three colours in it; a hot pink, a baby blue and a gray, and the whole scarf came out completely purple! Even though there was no purple in the woven product! Another experience I had like that was with Jackie (the technician for the textiles department last year) she had me make a warp that was red, light pink and purple, I didn’t understand it was a gross combination I would never wear those colours all together in an outfit so how in the world would they look good on a scarf? The scarf that emerged from the loom was gorgeous a beautifully textured hot pink. I was so surprised because I had no colour study background then and I just didn’t understand how the change happened. Being mostly self-taught I have had to make mistakes a long the way but colour study class has certainly helped my understanding. This has been a great semester, I am halfway to getting a foundation Visual Arts Diploma!