In the Studio with Bree Bergen
In the Studio with Bree Bergen
This week we are featuring an elegant silk curtain by Bree Bergen woven with 20/2 Bombyx Silk and Italian Silk Noil. Bree deigned this project for her 32" wide doorframe--if you would like to adapt this project for your home, see all of the details below.
Bree writes, "This is a super simple draft that highlights the character of the fibre, both the sheen of the Bombyx Silk and the nubbly matte texture of the Silk Noil. The whole project is woven using a modified plain weave. The finished yardage is open enough to allow light to leak through, but very stable. For me it resembles vintage curtain fabric, but the silk gives it a beautiful hand-feel and drape. Beauty in simplicity."
- Tools Required: 4 shaft table or floor loom, 8 dent reed, shuttle & bobbins, fringe twister
- EPI: 22 (8 dent reed sleyed 2-3-3-3)
- PPI: 15
- Width at Reed: 17.5"
- Warp Ends: 384
- Warp Length: 4.5 yards
- Technique: Modified Plain Weave (see draft below)
- Finished Dimensions: 2 panels ~17" W (34" W total) x 50" L +10" fringe on each panel. Bree designed this project for a 32" W doorframe.
- Finishing Details: Hemstitch, twisted fringe, handmade rope
- Care Instructions: Hand wash cold with mild soap, hang to dry, cool iron as needed
Weaving & Finishing
Warp/Threading Order: Wind a warp with Yarn A for a total of 384 warp ends. Repeat the pattern block of 16 ends 24 times.
Weaving: Begin and end with hemstitch. Weave with Yarn B for the entirety of the warp length until your fabric measures approximately 108" in loom. Make sure to measure when the loom is not under tension for the most accurate measurement.
Finishing: When complete, remove from the loom, press lightly and cut yardage in half widthwise (from selvedge to selvedge) so that you have 2 panels that measure approximately 17" W x 50" L + fringe. Create a rolled hem along the raw edge of each panel and hand stitch a pocket (for hanging the curtain) sized to fit a 1/4" diameter wooden dowel. Finish the fringe on the opposite end using a fringe twister and trim to 10".
Bree writes, "This was a no-waste project. The remaining Italian Silk Noil weft fibre was divided and used to make 4 ropes of varying thicknesses and lengths - these silk ropes I used to drape across the top of the screen. The remaining Bombyx Silk weft fibre, including all the offcuts from removing the project from the loom, were used to make the tassels that decorate the ends of these ropes."
Making the Rope & Tassels:
Bree made 3 ropes with these dimensions:
- 18 strand x 8' long (make 2 of these)
- 10 strand x 6' long
- Cut 18 x 8' strands of silk noil.
- Divide the strands in two so that you are working with 2 groups of 9 threads.
- Tie one end of the grouped threads to something sturdy (back of a chair, loom beam, etc)
- Starting at the secured end, twist each group of 9 threads in the same direction (either clockwise or counterclockwise). As you move down the line the twisted strands will start to wrap around each other, thus creating the rope. You can alter the appearance of the rope, making it tighter or more relaxed, depending on how much you twist each bundle.
- Secure each end with a simple knot.
- Repeat these steps for the other 2 ropes.
Using the remaining bombyx silk and/or silk noil, create tassels to attach to the ends of the ropes. Hang the silk screen using the method of your choice (dowel or curtain rod with brackets or tension rod) and drape the tassels as shown in the photo.
- Adjust the dimensions to suit your doorway and/or window--this draft will also make beautiful curtains. TIP: Use our weaving yarn calculator to determine how much yarn you need.
- This project would also work well with Italian Cotton/Linen or Duet Cotton/Linen (for Duet adjust the sett to 16 epi or less).
About Bree Bergen
Based in Winnipeg, Canada, Bree Bergen is a textile artist, art educator, and residential architect. Her interests include a number of very different disciplines, including drawing, art education, and architecture, all of which inform her weaving practice. She enjoys the material awareness that weaving instils, and the research-based learning and hands-on design problem solving that underpins the craft. Bree holds a BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and a Masters in Architecture from the University of Manitoba. She has led art classes for various organizations, including Toronto's Harbourfront Centre, the Toronto District School Board, Canadian Mennonite University, Manitoba Children’s Museum, and the Winnipeg Art Gallery. Bree has completed artist residencies at the Banff Centre, the New York Centre for Book Arts, and the Pouch Cove Foundation in Newfoundland.