In a woven fabric, the colors of warp and weft intimately interact with each other. Some color combinations show a clear contrast when they are interwoven, other color combinations blend together. These effects are nicely visible in the different sections of the bamboo/cotton blanket I have woven previously. This week, my mother gifted one of my handwoven shawls to a friend. The palette of green and blue tints in this shawl made for a lovely lively blend of colors.

Close-up of pattern Shawl on the loom showing a shuttle
A lively blend of colors

The main ingredients: a palette of green and blue

My mother asked me to make a shawl in tints of green and blue in the cotton/bamboo mix yarn that I have used on many occasions before. The color palette of this yarn includes several shades of green and blue from which I picked four: three colors for the warp and one weft color. I alternated light blue, dark green and turquoise in the warp and chose dark blue for the weft. Looking at the balls of yarn side-by-side the warp colors look quite distinct. Yet, the colors start to blend together when they lay next to each other thread-by-thread in the warp. The result is very vivid and rich, the colors really bring each other to life. It was very pleasing to see this effect come into play while winding the warp.

Warp of the shawl
The colors blending together in the warp

The recipe: a playful advancing twill

For the pattern, I chose playful motifs in advancing twill. The three warp colors intersect with a single dark blue weft color. The dark blue weft does not blend completely in with the warp colors, yet there is more contrast between warp and weft. In this way, the motifs remain visible in a nice and subtle way.

Close-up of the shawl
Motifs in advancing twill

The result: a lively and subtle interplay of colors

The color combination in the shawl makes for a vivid woven fabric with a subtle pattern. I feel the colors of the warp form a unity while simultaneously bringing out the best in each other. I love it when warp and weft colors show a clear contrast and make for a clear pattern. Yet, this shawl showed me how lively and rich colors can become when blended together into a more muted end result. It just goes to show, there is plenty of room to explore in hand weaving.

Shawl on the loom at a straight angle Shawl on the loom at a diagonal angle
Subtle interplay of colors on the loom