Drawing its inspiration from Swedish mid century rugs woven by the great women weavers of that period, this is my favourite piece that I have woven so far. It’s so beautiful that I have finished it such that it can be hung as a piece of textile art when not in use. I know I am saying this myself but it really is just too too beautiful to hide away.
So what is Dubbelbinding? It’s not a term one ever hears and a search online does not provide anything informative. Dubbelbinding is a double-faced (and therefore double thickness) textile which has a twill base. Its also a useful weave if you want to crate an integrated cloth with a different colour on each side.
Its different from a doubleweave cloth as the threads that form the two faces constantly interlock to form a stable and integrated cloth. By contrast in doubleweave you will find two distinct layers which are only conjoined when the design blocks exchange their layers, or faces.
I should point out that Dubbelbinding is not just Danish! But it does sound so much more romantic than double-faced twill, and is a more accurate description as the cloth is bound. But also, whilst a double-faced twill could simply be a twill fabric that is, say. blue on one side and green on the other, Dubbelbinding has always meant a patterned fabric where two colours exchange to form the pattern. And it is a form of block weave.
This fantastic old weave was also much loved for the additional warmth it provided by creating a thicker cloth.
So as part of my One Weave, Infinite Designs project I have been working on a way to combine this old Scandinavian weaving technique with my twill damask block weave to allow me to use two distinct colour blocks in my designs.
For this design I decided to alternate bands of twill stripes with bands of twill damask and dubbelbinding. As the two different colour blocks need two shuttles to hold the different colours, it is a very slow weave as one changes shuttles after each throw for the dubbelbinding sections.
The Dubbelbinding throw is woven in the softest of lambswool, like all my throws. Afterwards I cut the cloth from the loom, bind the ends, and scour and full the cloth by to get the handle of the fabric just right. The scouring and fulling is all done manually too and it can take about an hour to get the soft and luxurious handle to the cloth that I like and want my customers to experience.
Once I am satisfied I hang it out to dry, then carefully steam press it and hand sew its label in place.
For this throw I also chose to give it a hand stitched hemmed edge rather than my usual fringed or blanket stitched edging it, so that it can also be hung on a pole.
This is heirloom weaving, tactile, sumptuous, precious, warm and luxurious. It is the result of many years working with lambswool, getting to know what it is capable of, and constantly working to improve upon the feel of the cloth I produce.