This is the tapestry technique where you use two different colored wefts going the same direction, but in opposite sheds, so to create vertical stripes. When I did this on my first sample I just twisted the two ends, one weft over the other, and started back across the warp. This created a multi colored edge which is not correct and doesn’t make a good selvedge. So to Carol K. Russell’s, “The Tapestry Handbook” I went and read the instructions.
If both butterflies are at one selvedge, the shed has been opened for weaving the next row, and the selvedge warp is raised, then the yarn of the next butterfly to be woven should be underneath the selvedge warp, and the other butterfly should be over the selvedge warp.
(Photo to right, example of bad twisted edges)
Ok, got it, I’m ready.
Carry the active butterfly over the yard of the resting butterfly, under the selvedge warp and into the shed. Tug slightly on the yarn of the active butterfly, causing the yarn of the resting one to slip around the selvedge warp. This maneuver also steers the yarn of the active butterfly over the second warp from the selvedge, its correct position for the row. Note that the active butterfly has completely avoided the selvedge warp. Bubble and beat this row.
Huh??? It’s a good thing there were some pictures to look at. I could see what was supposed to happen and when I followed the instructions it worked! It was really pretty slick.
(Photo to right, example of better/not perfect edges)
Change sheds, and weave the second butterfly. As this butterfly is carried into the shed, it automatically makes a second trip over the selvedge warp, compensating for this warp’s being skipped by the first butterfly. Bubble and beat this row. Observe the neat progression of vertical stripes. Each warp including the selvedge warp is neatly covered by only one weft color. (The reverse side of the tapestry will have a double-width stripe of one color along the selvedge, but the right side of the tapestry will be perfect.)
Well, that was pretty cool; one yarn doing a little snake dance and hiding underneath and the other covering the warp working perfectly. I can do this.
But wait, that’s not all…
The above instructions are for if the selvedge warp is raised. It’s completely different if the warp is lowered.
If both butterflies are at one selvedge, the shed has been opened for weaving the next row, and the selvedge warp is lowered, then the yarn of the next butterfly to be woven should be over the selvedge warp, and the yarn of the other butterfly should be under the selvedge warp. In these circumstances, the next butterfly to be woven should be the one covering the selvedge warp. First in order to avoid crossing the two yarns, place the resting butterfly out of the way on the woven surface – not the unwoven warps. Wrap the active butterfly twice around the lowered selvedge warp. After the second wrap, carry it through the shed, all the way across the row. Two wraps of the selvedge warp with the first color compensate for its being skipped by the second color. Bubble and beat this row, and change sheds for the next.
Who would have thought…
The second butterfly can be woven through the shed with no special manipulation. Notice that it completely avoids the selvedge warp. Bubble and beat this row.
This all sounds fairly simple, at least once you go through it and see that the words do make sense, but I had to continually look at the directions. I finally got a rhyme going for when the warp was lowered – “when it’s down, go around” (wrap the butterfly twice around the selvedge) -- but I never did think of a rhyme for “up” or “raised.” My selvedges are far from perfect, this will take more practice before I will know what to do instinctively just by looking at the situation.