Complementary Warp Or Weft

(Glossary Term)

In a woven fabric usually two sets of threads, the warp or vertical threads and the weft or horizontal threads, are interlaced. During weaving a further group of threads may be introduced in either direction: these extra threads are known as a supplementary warp or weft. They provide a decorative element on the textile surface and often appear as groups of long strands or floats creating blocks of colour, patterns and motifs. The technique of supplementary weaving is used throughout Indonesia, most spectacularly on the silk textiles made for the region’s courts. Intricate brocades are created with supplementary weft patterns in gold and silver metallic thread, and is widely known as songket. Some important hand-spun cotton textiles are also decorated with supplementary threads. Among the best known are the tampan and palepai shipcloths of Lampung, where ship and animal motifs are created with floating supplementary cotton wefts. A group of warps or wefts that belong to a set; they are part of the interlacing for the ground weave (thus they are not supplementary) and also used to create patterns. Weave structures with complementary elements can be warp-faced or weft-faced. See samit, taqueté, and jin.

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