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Weaving Iridescence: Color Play for the Handweaver

by Bobbie Irwin Stackpole Books
Pub Date:
Pbk 136 pages
AU$49.99 NZ$52.17
Product Status: Available in Approx 14 days
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Bobbie Irwin has been teaching techniques for weaving iridescence for more than ten years. In this book, she delivers her most comprehensive course yet, from how to choose yarn to the ways weave structure affects iridescence to the best uses for your iridescent fabric. Seven hands-on projects have you exploring what you've learned right away.




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
Crossing Solid Colors
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. Weftn++Does it Matter?

Chapter 5: Choosing Yarns
A Matter of Twist
Comments on Certain Fibers and Yarns
Sewing Thread
Nylon Monofilament
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
Turned Taquetn++
Complex Weaves

Chapter 7: Specialty Fabrics
Sheer Fabrics
Lace Weaves
Weaving with Monofilament Nylon
Weaving with Wire
Layered Fabrics
Moirn++ Effects
Pleated Fabrics
Pile Fabrics
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

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.
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.