Mach Bands and Weavers’ Knots

I’ve been testing text in satin damask, hoping to find a weight suitable for tea towels. Harder than I thought! This a white 2/12 mercerised cotton warp set a 45 epi, woven with an 8 end satin and a 2/12 cotton weft. It is an example of a  Mach band, an optical illusion named after the physicist Ernst Mach. Our visual perception is trained to spot differences – think of looking for bears hiding among the trees. An exaggerated contrast appears to make the edges vibrate and look as though they are ridged bands, rather than flat.

I’ve uploaded a short video showing my favourite knot for tying a new warp onto an old. I previously used the overhand knot, but changes in my hands mean I prefer the weavers’ knot. I learnt it from this video of Barry Connor of the fabulous Oriole Mill in North Carolina, who does it at breakneck invisible speed.

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