Saturday, September 30, 2017

Make Lace Not War - Part III
ArtCloth Exhibition

Marie-Therese Wisniowski

The first part of this series was designed as a taster of the exhibition. The second part concentrated on lace jewellery. The third part of the series concentrates on laced objects. For your convenience I have listed the other parts of the series below.

Make Lace Not War - Part I
Make Lace Not War - Part II

Make Lace Not War - Part III

Lizz Aston
Artist's Statement: I find a great sense of poeticism in knot-work, being one of our oldest, most basic, yet sophisticated technologies. There is an endless wealth of ideas, associations and symbolism to knots and knotting. I am interested in the knot as a universal language, one that carries residual histories and memory, connecting the past to the present as a living tradition.

Antiquated Notions is a series of burn studies exploring the relationships and residual connections we feel to domestic objects of the past. The patterns and forms take reference from the knotted and interlaced structure of lace doilies. The process of free-motion embroidery and burning are used to intricately render a fabric of negative spaces, as the images are laboriously burnt-out and excavated from within the fiber. Each piece examined themes of attachment, transience and mourning, while celebrating a reverence for the preciousness of materials and handmade objects.

Antiquated Notions.
Description [1]: Doilies (4): Free-motion embroidery and burning using paper fibers and polyester thread.
Size: 350 x 335 x 7 mm (largest).

Peter Battaglene and Fiona Tabart
Artists' Statement: An organic object belonging to a larger whole, the leaf is symbolic of the relationship we share as part of a larger society. We have therefore titled the work Arbor Vitae from Latin "Tree of Life".

Our interpretation of lace is a study of the fractal and lace-like pattern of the veins contained within a leaf's simple form. beautifully reflecting the myriad connections and pathways expressed in micro and macro views of the natural, urban and industrial environments around us.

The graphic expression of this pattern has been enlarged and projected on three glass panels to create a triptych screen. Precisely registered and finely etched onto both sides of the panel, the thread-like network of interconnected lines and voids, positive and negative spaces appear expressed in three dimensions to diffuse the screens transparency.

Amor Vitae.
Description[1]: Screen: Sandblasted toughened glass.
Size: 2000 x 2140 mm.

Sandra Black
Artist's Statement: As a child I grew up with lace tablecloths and doilies on the surfaces of fine polished wooden furniture. Each week my dressing table was dusted and doilies replaced with freshly washed and starched ones. They were kept in a finely carved camphor wood chest to protect them from silverfish. My paternal grandmother and aunts were great embroiderers and crotchet makers, so these objects were highly valued for their craftsmanship and beauty. I have been a ceramic artist for over 35 years. One of my most consistent areas of exploration has been in the carving or piercing of vessel forms to enable the passage of light and the making of patterns, shapes and shadows are an inherent part of both lace fabric and pierced vessels I make.

Etched Leaf Vessel (2010).
Description[1]: Hand polished repeatedly. Bowls (3): Ice porcelain that has been thrown, pierced, etched and polished repeatedly.
Size: 80 x 220 mm (diameter of the largest piece).

Adam Cornish
Artist's Statement: Just as lace creates beautiful and intricate patterns from simple cotton thread, Trinity was designed to create an intricate spiralled pattern from simple construction techniques that utilize negative space.

Trinity was designed as a series of fruit bowls, each self-standing and beautiful enough to be a sculpture. The pattern is cut from five mm stainless steel plates. The twisting geometric pattern creates the woven structure. The bowl was also designed to achieve maximal volume and size from minimal use of material, similar to traditional lace techniques that utilize negative and positive space.

Description[1]: Vessel: CNC-laser cut 5mm mirror polished stainless steel, hand-woven self-tensioning structure with spot-welded joins.
Size: 140 x 400 x 450 mm.

Linda Galbraith
Artist's Statement: I want to encourage the viewer of this piece to delve into their own memories, perhaps to create a nostalgic vision of an afternoon tea filled with reminiscences. I love the way old handmade doilies that I used for this piece felt like they were drenched in memories - the tea stains somehow represent discussions and arguments, the laughter and secrets shared over a cup of tea.

Steeped Memory.
Description[1]: Lace tea set: cotton lace doilies, moulded with glue, digitally printed rice paper and string.
Size: 430 x 510 x 320 mm overall.

Mavis Ganambarr & Koskela
Artists' Statement: Koskela came to us with the idea of doing our weaving on lampshades. I thought it would be interesting to take our traditional Yolngu materials (handmade fiber derived from the Kurrajong tree) and used them on bland (non-indigeneous) objects. The lampshade project was an opportunity to try something new and show our artwork in a new light. I used things I can find at the beach or in the bush around me - like seeds and shells and shark bone and feathers - because they are beautiful and I could do many different things with them. I also like to show other people how they can use things from nature. This is part of keeping my knowledge and culture strong.

Yuta Badayala (In New Light).
Description[1]: Light shade: Hand-woven from pandanus and bush string made with fiber derived from the Kurrajong tree, dyed using local plants.
Size: 700 x 1500 (diameter) mm.

Griselda Gonzales
Artist's Statement: I joined Tekojoja Kuna Rembiapope (a women's co-operative) after my husband lost his job. I get a fair payment for my work and am now able to pay for food, electricity and water for my family. I learnt to make nanduti (traditional Paraguayan lace) from my mother. The story of nanduti (spider's web) is special. According to legend, two young Guarani indigenous boys competed for the heart of a beautiful girl. The poor boy wandered through the woods looking for a gift for her. He raised his head to the heavens to implore the help of Tupac, the Guarani God, and saw a beautiful lace in the branches of a tree. When he touched the lace he found nothing but a torn spider's web. His mother dedicated herself to making the identical web lace. She studied the spider's movements and began to copy it using her needle and strains of her white hair.

Nanudti Lace.
Description[1]: Circular mat: Linen needle lace.
Size: 870 mm (diameter).

Alvena Hall
Artist's Statement: The Ediacaran fossils are the remains of delicate and very beautiful soft-bodied creatures, the first known multicellular animals on this planet. They were discovered on the underside of wave-rippled rocks high in the Flinders Ranges (South Australia) and are about 540 million years old. Researching them I arrived art the notion of "time" as a filter that only selects certain things (under very special circumstances) to become fossils. It is extraordinarily rare for anything as soft and squishy as a 540 million-year-old jellyfish to have its impression preserved. And it is just as astonishing that such imprints are ever discovered. I fell upon the notion of apparently fragile, transparent lace-like objects to express my wonder at these natural phenomenon. Vessels with a sieve-like character, rounded like domestic colanders, cast elusive shadows about their bases. Time determines what now exists, and hence what is knowable and what yet might be found.

Ediacara Laces.
Description[1]: Five vessels: cotton gauze bandaging, rice paper, cotton thread, whipper-snipper cord, bone. rust-stained textile from Ediacaran Hills site, coated wire and computer-designed gulper lace motifs.
Size: 220 x 220 x 130 mm (largest); 75 x 135 x 110 mm (smallest).

Waltruad Janzen
Artist's Statement: I am fascinated by the long history of shoes all over the world; their political and social meaning.

I decided to create shoes in handmade lace. For this pair of boots I used a thin brass wire in free crochet work. Unwearable as these lace shoes are, they are meant to be a homage to the history of shoes.

Description[1]: Pair of boots: Crochet using brass wire.
Size: 240 x 110 x 270 mm.

Brownyn Kelly
Artist's Statement: The pandanus bags I have created vary greatly from the shape of coil baskets and dilly bags traditionally created by Maningride artists. I use the traditional pandanus spirals dyed with natural pigment in a new shape and with a new technique.

Pandanus Coil Bag.
Description[1]: Dyed pandanus, coiled and twined.
Size: 945 x 290 mm.

[1] Make Lace Not War, Powerhouse Publishing, Sydney (2011).

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Costume Designs by Léon Bakst
Wearable Art

Marie-Therese Wisniowski

There are a number of posts centered on the costumes of the Ballets Russes. For your convenience I have listed them below:
Costumes of the Ballets Russes
Costume Designs by Alexandre Benois for the Ballets Russes

Introduction [1]
Léon Bakst was born in Grodno on the Russian and Lithuanian border (now Belarus) on the 10th May 1866. He died on the 27th December 1924 in Rueil-Malmaison. He attended the Academy of Fine Arts in St Petersburg from 1883 until he was expelled in 1887. Art school exposed him to the influence of the Russian Realist group - the Wanderers.

Léon Bakst.
Photography Courtesy of E.O. Hoppé.

Bakst started his career as a book illustrator and painter, achieving only moderate success as a portrait artist. In 1890 he met Alexandre Benois and joined the Nevsky Pickwickians, through whom he also met Diaghilev, founder of the Ballet Russes.

Sergei Diaghilev at the London premier of the Saisons Russes (translated "Season Russia") 1911.
Photography Courtesy of J. de Strzelecki.

From 1893-97 he lived in Paris on and off, studying at the Académie Julian under Academist painter, Jean-Léon Gérome, whose interest in Orientalism and Greek mythology were related to Bakst. He visited Spain, Germany, Tunisia, Algeria and Greece, settling permanently in Paris in 1912 after being exiled from Russia.

From 1898-1904, Bakst was Diaghilev's art assistant for Mir Iskusstva. In 1901 he designed his first theatre work for Diaghilev - Léo Delibes' ballet, Sylvia. Although this production was never realized, from the time Bakst concentrated on designing both sets and costumes for various theatres in St. Petersburg.

In 1909, Bakst was invited to design productions for the first Saison Russe in Paris. He continued working with the Ballets Russes, becoming artistic director in 1911 until 1919. Bakst designed more of Diaghilev's Ballets Russes production that any other artist associated with the company, while also working as a freelance dress and costume designer for elect clients. Bakst designed for several productions in London and Paris and returned to the Ballets Russes to design The Sleeping Princess in 1921.

Costume Designs by Léon Bakst[2]

Comments[2]: Costume design for Ida Rubinstein in the "Dance of the Seven Veils (Salomé, 1908).
Technique and Material: Watercolor, gouache, bronze and silver paint and graphite on paper.
Size: 47 x 302 cm.

Comments[2]: Costume design for Ida Rubinstein as Cleopatra (1909).
Technique and Material: Watercolor and pencil on paper.
Size: 28 x 21 cm.

Comments[2]: Costume designed for an Odalique based on the ballet Schéhérazade (1911).
Technique and Material: Opaque watercolour, pencil, ink and metallic paint on paper mounted on board.
Size: 44.9 x 30 cm.

Comments[2]: Costume design for Shahriar (Aleksei Bulgakov) (1910).
Technique and Material: Watercolor, gouche and pencil on paper.
Size: 35.5 x 22 cm.

Comments[2]: Costume designed for a Béotien (1911).
Technique and Material: Watercolor, pencil and whitening on paper.
Size: 40 x 27.5 cm.

Comments[2]: Costume designed for a Béotien (ca. 1911).
Technique and Material: Canvas and painted cotton.

Comments[2]: Costume for Amoun (1909).
Technique and Material: Silk, brocade, metal and artificial pearls.

Comments[2]: Costume designed for a male servant (1910).
Technique and Material: Silk and satin.

Comments[2]: Costume for a Brigand: tunic and belt (1912).
Technique and Material: Etamine of painted wool and cotton fabric.

Comments[2]: For a Brigand: tunic, culottes and belt (1912).
Technique and Material: Etamine of painted wool and cotton fabric.

Comments[2]: Costume for a Brigand: toga, trousers and belt (1912).
Technique and Material: Painted wool.

[1] Ballets Russes – Art Of Costume, R. Bell (with essays by C. Dixon, H. Hammond, M. Potter and D. Ward), National Gallery Of Australia, Canberra (2010).

[2] Edited by J.E. Bowlt, Z. Tregulova and N.R. Giordano, A Feast of Wonders: Sergei Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes, The Cultural Foundation, Skira Editore, Milano (2009).

Saturday, September 16, 2017

A Glimpse of Norma Starszakowna's Art
Artist's Profile

Marie-Therese Wisniowski

Norma Starszakowna was one of twenty-one artists who exhibited in my curated exhibition - ArtCloth: Engaging New Visions. Her ArtCloth - Razing/Raising Walls, Warsaw - was exceptional in terms of technique, conceptualisation and texture on the fabric.

Razing/Raising Walls, Warsaw (Norma Starszakowna) - full view.

A detail of the work was placed on the front cover of the exhibition catalogue.

Razing/Raising Walls, Warsaw (Norma Starszakowna) - detailed view.

Professor Norma Starszakowna, born in central Fife of Polish and Scottish parents, was herself the first Duncan of Jordanstone student to be accepted by the Royal College of Art. Norma Starszakowna graduated in 1966 in printed textiles and printmaking from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Dundee. She then established her own studio.

Norma Starszakowna has played an extensive role in higher education, as lecturer to textiles courses UK and abroad. She was Head of Textiles & Fashion and Chair of Design at the University of Dundee 1984-98, and subsequently Chair of the UK Research Assessment Panel for Art & Design 2001 and Director of Research at the London Institute 1999-2005; Director of Research, Art, Architecture and Design at University of Lincoln 2005-08.

Throughout this period, Norma Starszakowna has produced innovative textiles for a wide range of commercial and public bodies, including Issey Miyake Design Studio, Nuno Co., Tokyo, Shirin Guild Ltd., Scottish Tapestry Co, Aspects, Fitch & Co, Crest Hotel, Antwerp, General Accident Assurance Co, Art in Partnership, The Scottish Parliament and Scottish Arts Council.

Her work has also been exhibited extensively in the UK and abroad, including the V&A Museum; British Crafts Council; Whitworth Art Gallery; The Scottish Gallery and RSA Galleries, Edinburgh; Rosska Museum, Gottenburg; Hammond House Museum, New York; Guizhou Museum, China; The Deutsche Textil Museum, Krefeld, Germany; Kuopio Museum, Finland; GalleryGallery, Kyoto; Sembikiya Gallery, Tokyo; Museo del Tessuto, Prato/Florence; Izmir State Museum of Art; Centro de Artesania e Deseno, Lugo; National Museum of Costume, Madrid and National Textile Museum, Barcelona; The Dutch Textile Museum, Tilburg.

A Glimpse of Norma Starszakowna's Art
Norma Starszakowna has been engaged in the experimental use of new media and processes in the design and construction of both site-specific and fashion-related textiles since 1966. These include the innovative work produced for Issey Miyake 1990-02. Some of this work used a crushed silk substrate and overprinted pigment to create a textile that reflected both Eastern traditions of shibori and a western aesthetic use of screen-print, and effectively initiated print-based textiles in Japan (see ‘Norma Starszakowna: Unceasing Innovation’ by M.Schoeser, Surface Design, pub. Surface Design Association, USA, Summer 2007).

More recently, through her establishment of the Textile Futures Research Unit in 2001, she began to explore the interface of digital and screen printing processes, incorporating digital imagery with heat-reactive media, pigment, glaze and patinations to further develop the tensions between actual and virtual reality. The resultant textiles effectively created a palimpsest of translucent and opaque, three-dimensionally textured layers of imagery and eroded surfaces that may be viewed as part of a physical continuum, occupying a space between nature and culture. The imagery reflects issues of identity and socio-political change within urban environments and in particular, the nature of cultural estrangement, anomie and recuperation of the ‘other’.

There are two books that detail some of her early work[1] and some of her later work[2]. Both books are now out of print and so I shall only present a snapshot of a few images from each of these books for your enjoyment.

Title: Silk Wall (1983) [1].
Techniques and Material: Batik; Silk.
Size: 270 x 910 cm.
Commission by General Accident Insurance Co., Perth, Scotland.

Title: Star Map [2].

Titles (From Left to Right): Voices in the Mother Tongue II; Plaster Wall; Pink Pisa Wall; Acts of Beauty III; Rust Graffiti Wall (2003 - 2004) [2].
Techniques and Materials: Digitally printed silk organza, screen printed with heat-reactive pigment, various print media and oxidation processes.
Size: 54 x 360 cm each.

Title: Voices in the Mother Tongue II, 2003 (detail - 45 cm square) [2].
Techniques and Materials: Silk organza, printed with heat reactive pigment, various print media and metal leaf, cast.

Title: Red Rune Wall (1997) [2].
Techniques and Materials: Cotton satin screen-printed with heat reactive pigment and various media.
Size: 122 x 360 cm.

Title: Red Rune Wall (detail) [2].

Titles from Left to Right: Rice Field; China Sunset; Red Stripe - 1999 [2].
Techniques and Materials: Silk organza, screen-printed with heat-reactive pigment, various print media.
Size: 25 x 360 cm each.

[1] N. Dyrenforth, The Technique of Batik, B.T. Batsford Ltd (London) 1988.
[2] M. Schoeser, Portfolio Collection - Norma Starszakowna (Telos Art Publishing Brighton) 2005.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Contemporary Aboriginal Posters (1984) - (1993)
Prints on Paper

Marie-Therese Wisniowski

Perhaps there is no better way to illustrate the plurality of experience, the plurality of innovation and the plurality of creativity of the modern day Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islanders than to view the posters highlighting the National Aboriginal Art Awards (1984) - (1993). Some of the creators of images used in the poster awards (see below) had an understanding of the modern Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander culture within a European context. Others have European sounding names but have a rich Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander heritage. Some obviously have both.

These images, because of what they are advertising - The National Aboriginal Art Award - need to be themed. However, the hands that created them are contemporary, and so highlights diversity as well as demonstrates the need not to straight-jacket the works of the indigenous peoples of Australia into a fake reality. The works are as diverse as works are in any given artistic movement.

Contemporary Aboriginal Posters (1984) - (1993)

1st National Aboriginal Art Award (1984).
Image designed by Ray Young.
Technique: Off-set print on paper.
Size: 76 x 51 cm.

2nd National Aboriginal Art Award (1985).
Image designed by unknown artist.
Technique: Off-set print on paper.
Size: 60 x 42 cm.

3rd National Aboriginal Art Award (1986).
Image designed by Chips Mackinolty.
Technique: Off-set print on paper.
Size: 76 x 51 cm.

4th National Aboriginal Art Award (1987).
Image designed by Sally Morgan.
Technique: Off-set print on paper.
Size: 64 x 45 cm.

5th National Aboriginal Art Award (1988).
Image designed by Robert Campbell Jr., Ngaku.
Technique: Off-set print on paper.
Size: 76 x 51 cm.

6th National Aboriginal Art Award (1989).
Image designed by Fiona Foley.
Technique: Off-set print on paper.
Size: 60 x 42 cm.

7th National Aboriginal Art Award (1990).
Image designed by Lynda Myers.
Technique: Off-set print on paper.
Size: 77 x 52 cm.

8th National Aboriginal Art Award (1991).
Image designed by Bill Yidumduma Harney.
Technique: Off-set print on paper.
Size: 92 x 65 cm.

9th Bill Yidumduma Harney (1992).
Image designed by Ginger Riley Munduwalawala's Ngak, Ngak (1990).
Technique: Off-set print on paper.
Size: 65 x 71 cm.

10th Bill Yidumduma Harney (1993).
Image designed bRay Young's Mimi Spirits (1993).
Technique: Off-set print on paper.
Size: 57 x 82 cm.

[1] Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award 1984 - 2008: Celebrating 25 Years, Charles Darwin University Press, Darwin (2011).

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Woven Pile Fabrics[1]
Art Resource

Marie-Therese Wisniowski

This is the sixty-eight post in the "Art Resource" series, specifically aimed to construct an appropriate knowledge base in order to develop an artistic voice in ArtCloth.

Other posts in this series are:
Glossary of Cultural and Architectural Terms
Units Used in Dyeing and Printing of Fabrics
Occupational, Health & Safety
A Brief History of Color
The Nature of Color
Psychology of Color
Color Schemes
The Naming of Colors
The Munsell Color Classification System
Methuen Color Index and Classification System
The CIE System
Pantone - A Modern Color Classification System
Optical Properties of Fiber Materials
General Properties of Fiber Polymers and Fibers - Part I
General Properties of Fiber Polymers and Fibers - Part II
General Properties of Fiber Polymers and Fibers - Part III
General Properties of Fiber Polymers and Fibers - Part IV
General Properties of Fiber Polymers and Fibers - Part V
Protein Fibers - Wool
Protein Fibers - Speciality Hair Fibers
Protein Fibers - Silk
Protein Fibers - Wool versus Silk
Timelines of Fabrics, Dyes and Other Stuff
Cellulosic Fibers (Natural) - Cotton
Cellulosic Fibers (Natural) - Linen
Other Natural Cellulosic Fibers
General Overview of Man-Made Fibers
Man-Made Cellulosic Fibers - Viscose
Man-Made Cellulosic Fibers - Esters
Man-Made Synthetic Fibers - Nylon
Man-Made Synthetic Fibers - Polyester
Man-Made Synthetic Fibers - Acrylic and Modacrylic
Man-Made Synthetic Fibers - Olefins
Man-Made Synthetic Fibers - Elastomers
Man-Made Synthetic Fibers - Mineral Fibers
Man Made Fibers - Other Textile Fibers
Fiber Blends
From Fiber to Yarn: Overview - Part I
From Fiber to Yarn: Overview - Part II
Melt-Spun Fibers
Characteristics of Filament Yarn
Yarn Classification
Direct Spun Yarns
Textured Filament Yarns
Fabric Construction - Felt
Fabric Construction - Nonwoven fabrics
A Fashion Data Base
Fabric Construction - Leather
Fabric Construction - Films
Glossary of Colors, Dyes, Inks, Pigments and Resins
Fabric Construction – Foams and Poromeric Material
Glossary of Fabrics, Fibers, Finishes, Garments and Yarns
Weaving and the Loom
Similarities and Differences in Woven Fabrics
The Three Basic Weaves - Plain Weave (Part I)
The Three Basic Weaves - Plain Weave (Part II)
The Three Basic Weaves - Twill Weave
The Three Basic Weaves - Satin Weave
Figured Weaves - Leno Weave
Figured Weaves – Piqué Weave
Figured Fabrics
Glossary of Art, Artists, Art Motifs and Art Movements
Crêpe Fabrics
Crêpe Effect Fabrics
Pile Fabrics - General
Woven Pile Fabrics
Chenille Yarn and Tufted Pile Fabrics
Knit-Pile Fabrics
Flocked Pile Fabrics and Other Pile Construction Processes
Glossary of Paper, Photography, Printing, Prints and Publication Terms
Napped Fabrics – Part I
Napped Fabrics – Part II
Double Cloth
Multicomponent Fabrics
Knit-Sew or Stitch Through Fabrics
Finishes - Overview
Finishes - Initial Fabric Cleaning
Mechanical Finishes - Part I
Mechanical Finishes - Part II
Additive Finishes
Chemical Finishes - Bleaching
Glossary of Scientific Terms
Chemical Finishes - Acid Finishes
Finishes: Mercerization
Finishes: Waterproof and Water-Repellent Fabrics
Finishes: Flame-Proofed Fabrics
Finishes to Prevent Attack by Insects and Micro-Organisms
Other Finishes
Shrinkage - Part I
Shrinkage - Part II

There are currently eight data bases on this blogspot, namely, the Glossary of Cultural and Architectural Terms, Timelines of Fabrics, Dyes and Other Stuff, A Fashion Data Base, the Glossary of Colors, Dyes, Inks, Pigments and Resins, the Glossary of Fabrics, Fibers, Finishes, Garments and Yarns, Glossary of Art, Artists, Art Motifs and Art Movements, Glossary of Paper, Photography, Printing, Prints and Publication Terms and the Glossary of Scientific Terms, which has been updated to Version 3.5. All data bases will be updated from time-to-time in the future.

If you find any post on this blog site useful, you can save it or copy and paste it into your own "Word" document etc. for your future reference. For example, Safari allows you to save a post (e.g. click on "File", click on "Print" and release, click on "PDF" and then click on "Save As" and release - and a PDF should appear where you have stored it). Safari also allows you to mail a post to a friend (click on "File", and then point cursor to "Mail Contents On This Page" and release). Either way, this or other posts on this site may be a useful Art Resource for you.

The Art Resource series will be the first post in each calendar month. Remember - these Art Resource posts span information that will be useful for a home hobbyist to that required by a final year University Fine-Art student and so undoubtedly, some parts of any Art Resource post may appear far too technical for your needs (skip over those mind boggling parts) and in other parts, it may be too simplistic with respect to your level of knowledge (ditto the skip). The trade-off between these two extremes will mean that Art Resource posts will hopefully be useful in parts to most, but unfortunately may not be satisfying to all!

Woven pile fabrics are three-dimensional fabrics made by weaving into the basic structure an extra set of warp or filling yarns to make loops or cut ends on a surface. Pile fabrics are classified by the set of yarns used to form the pile, as filling pile and warp pile fabrics.

Woven pile fabrics.

Filling Pile Fabric
This fabric is made from three sets of yarns. An extra set of filling yarns float across the ground weave. In corduroy, the floats are arranged in lengthwise rows; in velveteen they are scattered over the base of the fabric. The floats are cut by a special machine consisting of guides that lift the individual floating yarns from the ground fabric and of the revolving knives that cut the floats.

Filling pile. Floats are cut.

Diagram of a machine for cutting corduroy.

The figure below shows corduroy grey goods in which some of the floats have been cut. For wide-wale corduroy, guides and knives can be set to cut all floats in one operation. For pinwale corduroy and velveteen, alternate rows are cut and the cloth must be run through the machine twice. The little cutting discs are dulled very quickly by nylon yarn and this has presented one of the technical difficulties in the development of a nylon corduroy.

Corduroy gray goods showing some floats cut.

Both velveteen and corduroy are made with long staple, combed, mercerized cotton used for the pile. In good quality fabrics, long staple cotton is used for the ground as well. The ground may be plain or a twill weave. With a twill weave, it is possible to have a higher count and therefore, a denser pile. Corduroy can be recognized by lengthwise wales, which vary from wide wale, 5-8 wales per inch, to pinwale, 16 – 21 wales per inch. Pinwale corduroy has a shallower pile and is more pliable. It is warm washable, durable, inexpensive and needs no ironing. Velveteen has more body and less drapability than velvet. The pile is not over one eighth of an inch high.

Velveteen dress.

Filling pile fabrics are finished by scouring, brushing many times, singeing and waxing. The final pressing lays the pile at a slight slant giving the fabric an up and down. The back of both velveteen and corduroy is given a slight nap.

Warp Pile Fabrics
These fabrics are made with two sets of warp and one set of filling yarns, the extra set of warp yarns making the pile. Several techniques are used.

Double-Cloth Method
Two fabrics are woven, one above the other, with the extra set of yarns interlacing both fabrics. There are two sheds, one above the other, and two shuttles are thrown with each pick. The fabrics are cut apart while still on the loom by a traveling knife that passes back and forth across the breast beam. With this method of weaving, the depth of the pile is determined by the space between the two fabrics – see below.

Warp pile–double cloth method. Top: W-interlacing. Bottom: V-interlacing.

Velvet was originally made of silk and was a compact, heavy fabric. Today, velvet is made of rayon, nylon or silk filaments with a pile one sixteenth of an inch high or shorter. Velvet is not wound on bolts as other fabrics, but it is attached to hooks at the top and bottom of a special bolt so there are no folds or creases in the fabric.

Marie-Therese Wisniowski's Silk Velvet Rayon Scarf.

Velvet and velveteen, the hard-to-tell-apart fabrics, can be distinguished by fiber content, since velvet is usually made with filaments and velveteen of staple. To tell the warp direction in these fabrics, ravel adjacent sides. In velvet, the tufts will be interlaced with the filling yarn; in velveteen, they will be interlaced with the warp yarn.

Left: Pile yarns in velvet. Right: Pile yarns in velveteen.

Another way to tell the warp direction is to bend the fabric. In velveteen, the pile breaks into lengthwise rows, since the filling tufts are around the warp threads. In velvet, the pile breaks in crosswise rows, since the warp tufts are around the ground filling yarns. This technique works best with medium to poor quality fabrics.

Velour is a cotton fabric used primarily for upholstery and draperies. It has a much deeper pile than velveteen and is heavier in weight.

Kim Kardashian's velour track suit.

Plush is a cut-pile fabric; it may be cotton, wool, silk or rayon. It has a deeper pile than velvet or velour, usually greater that one quarter of an inch. Plush is used for coats, capes, upholstery and powder puffs.

Comfy soft Plush hoodie tracksuit.

Fur-Like Fabrics may be finished by curling, shearing, sculpturing or printing to resemble different kinds of real fur.

Faux fur jacket.

Over-Wire Method
A single cloth is woven with wires placed across the width of the loom over the ground warp and under the pile warp. Each wire has a knife-edge, which cuts all the yarns looped over it as it is withdrawn. Uncut pile can be made over wires without knives or over waste picks of filling yarns. The wires are removed before the cloth is off the loom, while the waste picks are removed after the fabric is off the loom. Friezé and mohair pile plush are made in this way.

Friezé, an uncut pile fabric, is an upholstery fabric usually made of mohair with a cotton back. Durability of Friezé depends on the closeness of the weave.

Friezé is woven over wires.

Slack Tension Method
The pile is formed by a special weaving arrangement in which three picks are put through and beaten up with one motion of the reed. After the second pick is inserted, there is a let-off motion, which causes the treads on the warp-pile beam to slacken, while the threads of the ground pile beam are held at tension. The third pick is inserted and the reed moves forward all the way and all three picks are beaten up firmly into the fell of the cloth.

Warp pile, slack tension method.

These picks move along the ground warp and push the pile warp yarns into loops. The loops can be on one side only or on both sides. The height of the loops is determined by the distance the first two picks are left back from the fell of the cloth.

Terry Cloth and some Friezés are made by this method. Shag-bark Gingham, which is a combination of plain weave and scattered loops is also made in this way.

Terry cloth is a highly absorbent cotton fabric used for bath towels, beach robes and sportswear. Each loop acts as a tiny sponge. The fabric does not have an up and down.

Terry Cloth robe.

[1] N. Hollen and J. Saddler, Textiles, 3rd Edition, MacMillan Company, London (1968).