Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Shee that Wanteth..
That would be me. Only instead of a sleekstone or a pebble, I have an antique sad iron.
I wove two towels on a long staple ivory cotton blanket warp, with linen wefts. After I cut them off the loom, I washed them in warm, soapy water, rinsed them, and hung them to dry. When they were dried, I used my antique sad irons to "smooth" the linen, instead of a cold mangle, which I have none.
The towel was laid out on my wood shop table, and I used the cold iron warp wise, working across the towel, then turning it over and working the iron in long strokes across the back, as well. I did this for about 15 minutes. It looked good then. I also dragged the iron weft wise, and that seemed to work, too.
It was exciting to see the coarse weave became so lustrous, and smooth, and the Goose-eye design more prominent. The drape of the towel over my arm made me want to carry it with me everywhere, even to accost my husband enthusiastically with the towels, to feel the cool drape. I'd read about the technique a while ago in Vav (the Swedish weaving magazine) but forgot about it until now. The smoothed linen drapes, and though it folds, it doesn't crease, and the smoothing process was not too strenuous a workout. A linen smoothing board (made of a whalebone) and a glass smoother were found among an exhumed Viking woman's burial items, dating back over 1000 years.