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Spinning Down Under

Simple Projects: Tri-colour Yurt Band in triple weave

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Triple weave Yurt Band


Triple weave Tesma or Band from Surkhandarya, Uzbekistan. Made during the 60s or 70s of wool dyed with indigo, ruyan and walnut tree piles, this Yurt band would have decorated the interior of a
nomadic Yurt. Purchased on eBay from Uztextile on 2 Feb 2010. It measures approx. 4.5 cms x 630 cms, with tassels on each end. Left hand band is the reverse side lined up with what is on the right
side (middle bit of band) to show how the pattern is repeated.

This technique is very similar to a South American technique as described in Bolivian Highland Weaving, by Casson and Cahlander, Bands 13 and following pages.

It can be done on backstrap and inkle looms, or the mapuche-style loom described on this website.

Warp up your loom as:
4 black, (RW )x 2, (RYG) x 5, (BRW) x 5, (RYG) x 5, (WR) x 2, 4 black.

8 warps for the border, 45 warps for the central pattern, then 8 warps for the border. Instead of the usual 2 warps alternating in the same space, you will have 3 warps alternating in the same space.

1st shed: 2 x black, 2 x white, 15 red, 2 x white, 2 x black
2nd shed: 2 x black, 2 x red, 5 x green, 5 x white, 5 x green, 2 x red, 2 x black
3rd shed: 2 x black, 2 x red*, 5 x yellow, 5 x black, 5 x yellow, 2 x red, 2 x black
*same border warps as 2nd shed.

Only one weft thread is required, and to create the floats 2 sheds are lifted, some of the warp threads are dropped, and the weft thrown through the new shed thus created. All warp sets appear on the back and the front of the band; the red warp floats when the green and yellow warps form the pattern, and the green warp floats when the red and yellow form the pattern.

To form the stripes:

Lift the red heddles, throw weft,
Lift yellow heddle, throw weft, repeat as often as you want, ending on a red row.
Then lift the green heddles, and throw the weft. This catches the floats from the back and brings them to the front.
Lift the yellow heddles: this will drop the red shed to the back where the red warps will float.

Repeat the green and yellow shed until you want to change colour and bring the red back to the front.

To float the warp threads on the front of the band:

Lift the colour you want to float, ie red.
If you want a green stripe on the back, also lift the yellow heddles, and throw the weft under both sheds. 
To make a yellow stripe on the back, lift the red, then the green heddles, and throw the weft underneath both sheds.

You can alternate and vary the order of the colours to make other patterns.

You can also set up three warps in different colours and use them in this way to create and pick out various designs, rotating the colours at will.

Don't forget to alternate the sheds for the borders – you may prefer to set them on their own string heddles.

Caroline Alexander 2010

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