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Weaving Mohair

December 1, 2008

My first mohair throw was woven for a wedding gift.   I used a beautiful mixture of mohair, fancy yarns with slubs, and ribbon.  Since that first throw I have woven hundreds of throws to keep people warm.  The benefits of mohair – so light and so warm.

Most weavers ooh and ahh about mohair, but seem reluctant to weave with it.     But there are a couple of simple tricks to warping and weaving mohair that I will share with you.   I am describing weaving a tabby (plain weave) warp threaded 1,2,3,4 and I wove all my plain weave throws at 6 ends per inch.     I tied all my warps onto a previous one and rolled onto the back beam.  (because mohair is a luxury yarn a way to save is to put on a “dummy warp” to tied onto)  In order to beam this warp  without all the threads sticking to each other, treadle a basic plain weave shed and either weight the treadles or slip a dowel between them to keep them separated.   Proceed to roll on.  The warp threads are all spread apart and it will go on very easily.

Weaving on a direct tie-up is how to weave mohair easily without tearing out your hair or tearing off the warp in frustration.  In other words, one shaft is tied to one treadle.  I tied them left to right, 1,2,3,4.    First depress  1 , continue to hold it down and depress 3.  Throw your shuttle and beat (delicately – you are placing your weft to achieve a balanced weave at 6 epi/6ppi )  Second pick – treadle 2, then 4 and throw your second pick.   Repeat.   By raising only one thread in four the warp shed would separate easily and didn’t stick.

I have managed to do this on a parallel countermarche loom as well.  I tied one treadle of the pair to shaft 1, the second of the pair to both shafts 1 and 3.   The same for 2 and then 2 and 4.  By raising a single shaft  first and then both together I achieved the same process.  The warps didn’t stick.

mohair-001Some of the gorgeous mohair colours I used for weaving throws.  Evelyn

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. April 8, 2009 7:16 am

    Even though this is an old post as I read it, I want to thank you for the great info!!

    I’ve never woven a throw – but it’s on my short list of things to do soon – and I think your advice will help me!!

    Thanks!

    Sue

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  2. May 6, 2009 11:41 am

    Hello Evelyn,
    Your blog is very interesting, your work amazing! I love your stamp collection.

    I was especially interested in your mohair as I have a love affair with it as well. I have not been particularly successful beaming large widths of brushed mohair – are you beaming from front to back? Have you ever beamed sectionally and do you suppose that might be less problematic?

    I will try your treadling to ensure smooth sailing whilst weaving. What a great tip.

    Thanks for your generous comments about mohair – I will try a throw again…. someday! After your throw it in the washer, do you line dry or machine dry? Maybe the tumbling would felt the mohair?

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    • evelynoldroyd permalink
      May 6, 2009 1:36 pm

      Hi Mary – Glad the directions are useful! I had never tried to warp mohair sectionally. I tied onto the previous warp cut off in front of the reed (I had one loom just for the throws) but I did have a 1 yd. sectional beam on the loom – just used like a regular beam.

      I would make a shed by placing something between the treadles to hold it open. Then separate the warp and use body weight to pull sections taut and even across the warp before rolling on about a half yard – no more than one round – at a time (with no tension – then tighten and separate the warp again and roll again). If you have another person they can tension while you roll, but I found it simple to do alone.

      I brushed the throws right after they came out of the washer – pulled them evenly all around , straightening edges. Then brushed them damp and hung them over a clothes rack with rounded edges to finish drying. A little brush to remove any loose bits when they were totally dry and they were done.

      Good Luck! Evelyn

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  3. November 11, 2013 12:32 pm

    Hello Evelyn,

    Thank you for your helpful information. I am a new weaver and also want to weave a brushed mohair throw. My question relates to how to start and finish the blanket end. Do I need to hem stitch it or will the mohair fibers grasp onto each other, eliminating the need to hemstitch the start and ending of the blanket? I’m planning on using a 5 or 6 SETT with the warp and weft out of brushed mohair. If I don need to use a hemstitch, shall I use the weft color/yarn? What wold you suggest from your experience with mohair? Thank you so much.

    Carol

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  4. Agnet permalink
    June 3, 2015 10:30 pm

    Where is the weaving school.i love weaving

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  5. Bella permalink
    July 9, 2015 12:13 pm

    I have a commercially woven mo blanket and it has no hem stitches and no special sell edge either.

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  6. June 13, 2016 2:14 pm

    Do you tend to use the same color for warp and weft? An aesthetic question…..or have you done both?

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    • June 14, 2016 4:30 pm

      I have been weaving many plain weave brushed mohair blankets with a sett of 6 using the same color weft and warp. I have tried using different colors with similar tones and vibrancy but like the single color product better, but that is probably very subjective. I’ve been warping for 3 blankets at a time and wind the warp in two bundles and warp back to front. I hem stitch the ends and like to brush the 4″ fringe as well as the blankets so it becomes very fluffy. I treadle 1and 3 together and then 2 and 4 together, both treadles at the same time and I have very little “sticking together” of the yarns as I weave. I hope this is helpful and lots more info than you asked for!
      Carol

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