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Weaving Iridescence


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Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS Acknowledgments Introduction Chapter 1: What is Iridescence? Natural Iridescence Iridescence in Fabric Chapter 2: Understanding Optics and Color The Nature of Light How We See Understanding Color Color Systems Chapter 3: Exploring Common Beliefs about Iridescence Choosing Colors Complementary Colors Split Complements, Triads, and Tetrads Analogous Colors Color Saturation Value Crossing Solid Colors Luster Fiber Choice Thread Size What About Plain Weave? Balanced Weaves Chapter 4: Additional Color Considerations Dealing with High-Contrast Values The Ultimate Value Contrast Color Mixing Working with Multiple Colors Other Multiple-Color Options Warp vs. Weft-Does it Matter? Chapter 5: Choosing Yarns A Matter of Twist Comments on Certain Fibers and Yarns Cotton Linen Silk Wool Rayon Chenille Sewing Thread Ribbon Nylon Monofilament Wire The New Yarns Chapter 6: The Influence of Weave Structure Choosing a Structure Twill Weaves The Influence of Twist in Twill Fabric Striped Fabrics Pile, Lace, and Supplementary Thread Weaves Balanced Weaves Unbalanced Weaves Echo Turned Taquete Complex Weaves Chapter 7: Specialty Fabrics Sheer Fabrics Lace Weaves Weaving with Monofilament Nylon Weaving with Wire Layered Fabrics Moire Effects Pleated Fabrics Pile Fabrics Satin/Sateen Capturing the Natural Spectrum Chapter 8: Focus on Fashion Choosing a Pattern Sewing with Handwoven Fabric Caring for Your Iridescent Fabrics Accessories for Your Iridescent Fashions Chapter 9: Options for Spinners, Dyers, and Knitters Spinning for Iridescence Dye Your Own Color-Play Yarns Iridescent Knitted Fabrics Chapter 10: What Isn't Iridescent? Chapter 11: Projects Spectrum Napkins Alternate Colorway Double-Weave Scarf 6-Shaft Version 4-Shaft Version Three Scarves on One Warp 3-Color Scarf in Half-Basketweave 4-Color Twill Scarf 4-Color Scarf with Clasped Weft Vest Fabric in Double Weave Huck Yardage Alternate Colorway Chapter 12: Photographing Iridescent Textiles Recommended Resources

About the Author

Bobbie Irwin has been studying and teaching how to weave iridescence for more than 10 years, and it has become her most popular workshop. She has written many articles for Handwoven magazine and is the author of three books: Twist and Twine, The Spinner's Companion, and Twined Rag Rugs. She resides in Montrose, Colorado.


Now thanks to Bobbie Irwin, I can create my own iridescent fabric with her book Weaving Iridescence: Colorplay for the Handweaver. The book starts off with explaining iridescence, optics of light and color. The photographs help to interpret the results as well as give inspiration to your fiber choice, thread size and weave structure. Blue boxes highlight the information of the chapters. Bobbie touches on getting the most out of iridescence with sewing garments, spinning, dyeing and knitting. Then, she shows you how to achieve this technique using a loom that requires from 4 to 8 shafts. The projects include color gamp napkins, a double weave scarf in a 4 and 6 shaft version, 4 shaft scarves using 3 and 4 color effects, clasping, vest fabric in double-weave and lightweight huck yardage. She closes with a note on photography and the ins and outs of getting a good photograph of iridescent fabric. The photographs are well done and as I said before, lends them to motivate your creativeness. This is a one of a kind book to take your weaving and color appreciation to the next level. -- Paula Moliver
Twice in my weaving career, I've accidentally woven iridescent cloth. Both times, I chose a weft color based on a whim and ended up with magical, shimmering cloth. Bobbie Irwin, weaver and author of the aptly titled Weaving Iridescence, stumbled upon iridescence in a similar way. Her journey began, as great weaving discoveries often do, while sampling on the loom. Irwin decided to combine magenta with chartreuse, two colors she used frequently in her weaving with other colors but never together. The result was iridescent cloth and a desire to study this phenomenon, which is ultimately how this wonderful book came to be. Although Irwin is a master of all things iridescent, even those beyond cloth, she makes few assumptions about the knowledge of the reader. The earliest chapters in her book are all about education. She explains what iridescence is and how it relates to other "-escence" words such as opalescence and luminescence. The book also explores the nature of light and color, giving the reader a good foundation of knowledge on which to stand before getting to the meat of the subject at hand. The rest of the book is devoted to the subject of iridescence and how it works in weaving. Irwin teaches her readers the "rules" of iridescence (and how most of them can be broken) and how to choose colors, yarns, and weave structures to get this effect. She also, very interestingly, explains what iridescence isn't, giving examples of fabrics that are lustrous and often beautiful but not truly iridescent. The book ends with five projects designed to help the reader learn more about the nature of iridescence on the loom. Such a book cannot truly be successful without good photography--and lots of it. As beautiful as iridescence is, it's also notoriously difficult to capture on film, but photographer Reed Irwin did this spectacularly. The book is full of gorgeous fabrics that seem to shimmer even on the printed page. As Irwin mentions in her "Note on Photography" at the end of the book, this is no accident--she actually delayed writing the book until photo technology was developed that could adequately capture this phenomenon. She also gives plenty of tips and tricks for any amateur iridescence photographers out there. This book is a stunning work on a subject that has intrigued and delighted many a weaver throughout history. It is a must-have for any weaver who wants to harness the magic of iridescence. -- Christina Garton, Handwoven

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