First Steps in Weaving Iridescence

20200410_113627_resizedI was innocently flipping through the new “Little Looms 2020” magazine (again) when the article titled “Iridescence in Weaving “ caught my attention.You need to know that fellow pin loom weaver Suzanne and I have been trying to find good iridescent yarns for some projects for several months now, even at the length of trying to convince a supplier in Australia to consider shipping to another continent. So, reading that weaving can achieve an iridescent effect opened up new possibilities (or … a new rabbit hole).

Author and expert Bobbie Irwin first shares some basic facts about iridescence that are good to know for everybody, for example what iridescence actually means, and samples from nature and fabric. Then, she provides hands-on examples and inspiration in her article “Iridescence on simple looms? Yes, you can!”

While the article is targeted towards rigid heddle loom weavers, the basic principles certainly apply to pin loom weavers, too! Needless to say, a stash dive was in order, and a few quiet hours to give iridescent weaving on pin looms a try.

The first yarn that fit the “shine and colors” requirements was Yarnspirations Caron Simply Soft,  the yarn I’m currently using for our Mystery Weave-Along.

On the Original TURTLE Loom™, I wove the first, bias part in Harvest Red, then filled the center section of the hexagon with a teal Pagoda.

Using the same yarn on the Schacht Zoom loom, I wound the first and third layer in Harvest Red, and the second and fourth layer are worked with the teal Pagoda.

The iridescent effect worked, even on a small piece like just one weavie.

20200410_121002_resized (2)I also had some shiny (100% bamboo) Auxanomether bamboo from Theodora’ Pearls to weave on the Original TURTLE Loom™ with fine-sett pin spacing. I used Lady Cab Driver for the background, and Raspberry Beret as weft in the center. The fabric was light, so I wove up another sample with extra weft and warps. However, the original, loft fabric showed the iridescent effect the best!

In summary:

  • Following Bobbie’s advice, iridescent weaving works (even on pin looms!)
  • It will take more experimentation to optimize the effect.
  • Sampling different yarn and color choices and density of weaving will be important (and fun!)

Will iridescent weaving replace the yarns that Suzanne and I have been looking for? No, probably not. But it opens up a whole new spectrum of possibilities to let the colors play on our little looms.

Needless to say, I ordered Bobbie Irwin’s book “Color Play for the Handweaver”. I want to know more.

And … another satisfying big sigh for the new “Little Looms 2020” magazineBEST EVER!

20200410_130715_resized (2)
Happy Easter!

Leave a Reply