The Exploring More Group is studying "crackle". This is an older weave structure that is highly versatile. It can be used very effectively with just 4 harnesses or with a higher number of harnesses. It is adaptable to almost any fibre and colour combination and so it can be used to create a variety of items. There are numerous references to crackle in weaving books and magazines.
|crackle with glitz|
|crackle wool rug sample|
The weave structure is based on a 4 thread unit that at first glance resembles a lopsided point twill threading with one arm longer than the other. There are rules for creating a crackle threading that can appear quite complex at first. When paired with a 2/2 twill tie up this threading produces 3 thread skips. On a 4 harness loom there are 4 possible threading combinations which gives 4 pattern "blocks" for designing.
Another interesting feature of crackle is how warp and weft threads combine to produce tones and half tones as illustrated in the green crackle table mat.
|crackle table mat|
Traditional crackle designs often involve either diamond shapes or blocks of different colours. The photo to the right shows the detail from a scarf that uses alternating blocks in a thick pattern weft to create an all over design of chevrons. By contrast the table mat is a large graphic design.
There are many different ways to weave crackle. It can be woven with a tabby weft and a pattern weft as in Summer and Winter or Overshot. It can also be woven as a twill or twill blocks, as drawn in without a tabby weft or in a poly-chrome fashion. The possibilities are endless.
|crackle treadled as twill in fine threads|
|as drawn in blocks with tabby|
Non-traditional crackle designs may involve long pattern repeats, oval motifs and delicate lace like patterns. They are less "blocky" and more flowing in nature in part because they are woven as drawn in without a tabby weft. The cloth also tends to drape well and has a good mix of plain weave areas and twill like areas. It is a good structure for rayon yarns or other slippery threads.
|based on a random number threading and treadling|
|non-traditional crackle on painted warp|