Sunday, February 9, 2014

And the Sample Reveals ....

Well horse blanket I have not. The 2/26's wool would make a great shirt or scarf but nowhere close for a horse blanket. The fulled sample is on the right, the "grey goods" are on the left
These Civil War horse blankets aren't like the Southwest designs made of a very heavy wool  weft on a thinner warp. The CW horse blanket is more like a good Pendleton blanket in weight and loft.  It was folded and placed under the saddle. Looking at CW saddles it seems to me to be horribly uncomfortable for both the horse and rider. At night the horse blanket became THE blanket to sleep under or on. With my handloom and how I can finish and full the cloth I make there is no way that I can full up, basically shrink the cloth enough, to get close to original specification. A handloom just can't pack the weft in high enough, more picks per inch. A power loom is smacking and quickly advancing the woven cloth. So the warp, even though it is under considerable tension, is not being damaged.  So what to do? After many calculations the ideal yarn for this project would be a 2/16s. I cannot find that yarn. So maybe something thicker that I can order repeatable quantities of. It all comes down to doing more sampling before attempting a prototype.

I found a photo of a Canadian vintage horse blanket on Ebay that was made on a handloom. It is made in two panels and crudely seamed but I think it would be what a soldier would have to do if he could not get army issue,

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