Almost all of our fabrics are double-cloths. This means that the fabric is made up of two distinctly separate but interlocking layres. I love using this technique because it allows for very sharp graphic patterns.
The warps we use for double-cloth are called 'end and end' - the literally means one yarn of one colour and the next of another. We use end and end warps for all our patterned upholstery fabrics. You can see in the image above the warps for our Bilsdale, Heathfield and Mendip fabrics - made up of alternating threads of white and grey. This warp has finished weaving and you can see underneath the warp for the Totley and Belmont which is 'end and end' orange and white.
Our upholstery fabrics are all made on the same threading set-up which means that one warp can follow on from the next on the loom. New warps are knotted onto the end of the old one - as you can see above at the start of the warp for the Ashkirk and Chillerton.
The blue and white warp above is the end and end warp for our Wrekin, Rowridge, Caradon and Wharncliffe fabrics. Of course the warp is only half the story as far as colour and pattern - once you add in different weft yarn colours and different lifting patterns the possibilities are infinite.
The weaver in the image above is preparing the orange and white warp for tying on - you can see the distinct groups of yarns created through sectional warping.
And the image below is of the very clever magical machine that ties each thread from the end of one warp onto the beginning of the next.
I really like the way that this stage - before any weft goes is woven in - the warps are so linear. I guess literally the threads are only going in one direction. The effects on the loom as as one set of threads emerge through the other is like that of Ikat. Beautiful
Thanks to Catherine at Bute for the wonderful photos.