Weaving Better Selvedges

Weaving Better Selvedges

Dear Tabby,

I’m not a new weaver, but it seems that no matter how hard I try, I still get wonky edges on my handwoven fabric. My selvedges are not consistent, and I am getting frustrated, HELP!

-Sad Selvedges in Seattle


Dear Sad,

You’re right, this is a frustrating problem, but luckily there are a few ways to mitigate this issue.

First, using floating selvedges (especially on non plain-weave fabrics) helps keep the edges from looking inconsistent and wavy. A floating selvedge is an extra one or two threads on each edge of the warp that doesn’t pass through any heddles. It stays in a slightly raised position the entire time. While weaving, the weaver must take care to go around that thread to capture it. This however still relies on the weaver to be extraordinarily vigilant about the tension they’re using while weaving.

One of my favorite tools which I have found to improve my selvedges is the end delivery shuttle. It uses an internal tension device and stationary pirns to always give you exactly the amount of thread you need. When set up properly, the weft yarn hugs the selvedge thread just perfectly.

Using these techniques together will get your sad selvedges looking superb!


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