In weaving, a float is a length of yarn that passes over one or more adjacent warp threads without being interlaced with them. Floats can be intentional, as in the case of a pattern that requires them, or unintentional, as a result of a mistake in the weaving process. Floats can be found in a variety of weaving techniques, including jacquard, damask, and brocade.
Floats are often used in weaving to create patterns and designs in the fabric. For example, a damask fabric might feature a pattern of flowers or other motifs that are created by floats. The floats can be created by raising certain warp threads and then passing the weft yarn over them without interlacing, creating a raised pattern on the surface of the fabric.
Floats can also be unintentional, and can occur as a result of an error in the weaving process. For example, if a weaver misses a warp thread or fails to properly adjust the tension of the loom, a float can result. Unintentional floats can create a weak spot in the fabric, as the yarn is not properly interlaced with the warp threads.
While floats can be a desirable element in some weaving techniques, they can also create problems if they are not properly managed. Long floats can cause snagging and pulling in the fabric, and can even lead to the unraveling of the fabric if they are not properly secured. To prevent these problems, weavers will often use a technique called "tucking" to secure the floats.
Tucking is a process where the weft yarn is woven over the warp threads, and then tucked under a few warp threads before being woven over them again. This creates a loop that secures the float in place, preventing it from snagging or unraveling. Tucking can be done by hand, or by using a shuttle or other weaving tool.
In addition to tucking, weavers can also use other techniques to manage floats. For example, they can adjust the tension of the loom to ensure that the warp threads are properly spaced and that floats are kept to a minimum. They can also use a variety of different weaving tools, such as temple frames and heddles, to help manage the floats and ensure that they are properly secured.
In conclusion, floats are an important element of weaving, and are used to create patterns and designs in the fabric. They can be intentional or unintentional, and can create problems if they are not properly managed. Tucking and other techniques can be used to secure floats and prevent them from causing damage to the fabric. By understanding the role of floats in weaving, weavers can create beautiful, high-quality fabrics that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing.
A length of yarn on the surface of a woven fabric between two consecutive intersections of the yarn with the yarns woven at right angles to it.
A float is designated by the number of threads over or under which the floating yarn passes.
Longer-than-normal satin stitches that lay on top of a design, or the stitches made when the needle is disconnecting from the design; later removed.