Anne visited several museums around the world, looking at ancient textiles in their storage areas, but a visit to the De Young Museum in San Francisco would later have a significant impact on the fiber arts world with Anne's replication of a Peruvian elastic crepe textile. Glory Koehler remembered Anne talking about looking at the piece in the museum. Anne related how she smoothed the piece out with her hands to get a better look at the structure and became quite worried because the cloth kept spreading out, longer and longer. She thought she had damaged the threads. She held her breath while she lifted one finger at a time, dreading what would happen; luckily the cloth sprang back together: she had done no damage. She later called it the ``Ace bandage''. Elasticity was achieved via overspinning the warp and weft several times. Anne and her cohort Macia Friedman decided to replicate it. Oh to have been there -- they must have had a marvelous time!
The ``Ace bandage''copy is here in this collection. The perpetrators spent many months figuring out the best type of fibers to use, spinning and overspinning, weaving different setts, using different combinations of S and Z warps and wefts. We have very little documentation about the project. A handwritten note attached to a small, cut piece of alpaca crepe:
Reproduction of elastic Peruvian crepe in de Young Museum, S.F. Involves use of overspun S and Z singles and ply. open like mosquito netting until after washing. Tabby. Anne Blinks - weaving Macia Friedman - Spinning 6 months hard work seven pieces woven to accomplish this! Alpaca from anonymous donor, Boston friend of craftsmen.Bill Dyer participated in the project and has sent us some notes on his experience:
There were many more experiments, unknown whereabouts at present. We don't have dates, but an educated guess puts the experiments in the early 1960's. Unfortunately, Anne did not publish anything about this project. She chose instead to give talks to guilds and to show her samples to interested visitors.Warp Order P S S P S S P S S P P = Plied, S = Single _____________________ Z s s S s s Z s s S = twist direction Weft all S spun Yarn spun 3 times and disciplined Ply in same direction of twist Spun fine, 20 to 24 epi. Reed 10-12 dents per inch Anne says it should be spun 3X and plyed 3X including original. I think it should be 2X, that is original plus once more?
Anne applied what she learned with the Ace Bandage to subsequent projects, using her handspun yarn from her own sheep. We have slides of a ``hentracks'' shawl, all in white yarn, woven in tabby and a waffle weave blanket using black and white handspun, grading the white into the black so that one side is mostly white and the other black. The texture of this weave has enormous depth. Anne used to like to tell the story of the friend who saw her hentracks shawl at a Northern California Handweavers' Conference and asked for the pattern to achieve that wonderful texture. Anne told her it was tabby, but with very overspun yarns. Her friend got very huffy and replied, ``Well, if you don't want to share your pattern...''
Two samples, Merino wool,
Detail of "hentracks" shawl
Detail of waffle weave blanket
A project of the Santa Cruz Handweavers Guild
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