Saturday, March 17, 2007

I have discovered a potential flaw in my himation plan. Aside from my carding woes, there's the matter of the garment itself. I was raiding my fabric stash today to see if I had any suitable fabrics that would work as a himation for this year's Ostara gathering. I found a mustard colored fabric that was nice and heavy, a blue cotton print with a pretty border (the Greeks were all about the border decorations), and a pale green with tiny little eyelets in horizontal stripes. I figured that in spite of the differences in fiber content between the mustard colored fabric and well, wool, that the weight of the fabric would be about the same. So, I wrapped it around myself as one does with a himation and I came to the realization that not only was it too long, it was also too heavy to be walking around in and it wouldn't drape right. Nevermind that it's mustard. This does not bode well for a handwoven woolen garment. I tried on the blue cotton print and it worked just beautifully. The borders really set off the garment, it draped perfectly, and I had exactly the right length. The green cotton worked about as well, but I'm not as fond of the color.

So, what does this mean for my wool weaving project? The classy ladies of ancient Greece probably wore linen. From what I know of linen, it can be woven quite finely and drapes about like cotton. It's also a pain to spin and expensive to come by. Most folks wore wool. It's easier to spin, cheaper, and can be woven into a very heavy and warm fabric if need be. There are also very fine woolens that are softer and thinner, but still quite warm. The stuff I'm spinning is about laceweight, so it's going to weave up nicely, but how is it going to drape? Is it going to be too heavy to wear? Should I wash the lanoline out to reduce the weight?
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