Optimus Eleventy One Rag

Discussion in 'Stove Forum' started by Twoberth, Sep 1, 2019.

  1. Twoberth

    Twoberth United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Hi, this is the nearest I can get to the original.

    DSC08688.JPG

    I have no intention of making any more other than for my own Optimus eleventy ones, but in true CCS tradition I am happy to describe how to make one. You can either weave one yourself or the easy way is to persuade your wife/partner to weave one for you. I tried the easy way, but it didn't work!

    As mentioned previously, it is a PITA. My wife, who has been a weaver since her childhood and a textile teacher for many years, tells me there is no easy way to do this unless you have access to an industrial loom! However, this is how the one in the photo above was made. It was made on a simple loom with no heddle, so you have to weave each thread using a hand shuttle.

    There are 64 warps threads, made from 1mm cotton yarn. The first and last 4 warps are double so the weave at the edges is twice as narrow. The first 6 woven rows are made with 1mm cotton yarn, normal simple weave.

    DSC08693.JPG

    The next 8 rows are with 2/3 mm cotton, simple weave. Then the next 30/35 rows are with 2/3mm cotton using gauze (sometimes called leno) weave, where two adjacent warps threads are twisted over each other and the weft passes through and is trapped between the twists. (This is the PITA bit). The actual number of rows will depend on how the row spacing works out, bearing in mind that you want the rag to be about 8 inches square when finished.

    DSC08694.JPG

    This gauze weave stops the rag/wiper from fraying afterwards. Then the finishing rows are like the start in reverse with 8 rows normal weave with the 2/3mm cotton, and 6 rows with the thin cotton. I think these start and finish rows are just to stabilize the piece and to help to keep it flat when weaving the twisty bits in the middle.

    My next project is to weave an anorak!
     
  2. BradB

    BradB United States Subscriber

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    Too cool! I guess I will stick to the holey t shirt.
     
  3. Doc Mark

    Doc Mark Subscriber

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    @Twoberth ,
    Very well done, Good Sir!! Thank you for sharing!!

    Doc
     
  4. Simes

    Simes Subscriber

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    Can I put my name down for an anorak then. :)

    As you do when walking dogs and fighting couch grass in the allotment your mind has time to ponder.

    Could Optimus have had the interest to specify to a weaver what they required just for a the simple cleaning cloth or was it an adaption of an already available commercial cloth?

    It is possible they would have asked a wever to produce these, but for such a small quantity from an industrial loom you would have thought unlikely. Adapting an already available production run would seem more sensible.

    Also you've probably answered my question regarding weave pattern, again not unique. Which suggests an adaption of what a mill may already be producing.

    I confess an interest in it if only because of the history of our locality.

    Teasel
     
  5. IvanN

    IvanN United States Subscriber

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    Outstanding!
     
  6. Twoberth

    Twoberth United Kingdom Subscriber

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    @Simes
    I also have an allotment where my mind has time to ponder. In fact more pondering goes on than weeding, mainly during the periods when the stove is brewing coffee.

    Based solely on pondering, I think it is likely that Optimus never specified anything to the weaver other than they wanted a specific quantity of small rags that didn’t fall apart. This number may have been of the order of tens of thousands a year – small fry for an industrial weaver.

    On an industrial size loom these would almost certainly have be made in a matrix pattern as an ‘x by y’ array as shown, and then cut out into individual squares.

    DSC08696.JPG

    Most of the ‘as cut’ squares would have four open sides except the left and right edge squares (A) which would have one looped side.

    DSC08699.JPG

    There is some evidence of this in CCS such as this example by @Staffan Rönn shown here, where the rag in the first picture clearly has loops down the right hand edge.

    I suspect the weaver, left to his own choice would have selected the weave pattern so that the cut squares would not (easily) fall apart – being secured by the gauze weave at the sides and the normal weave at the top and bottom.

    'Sometimes I just sits and thinks, most times I just sits.'
     
  7. Simes

    Simes Subscriber

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  8. Twoberth

    Twoberth United Kingdom Subscriber

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    @Simes
    I usually watch it but missed this edition. Thanks for the link.
     
  9. Simes

    Simes Subscriber

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    For an interesting option for cleaning rag may I suggest searching for 'Mutton cloth' which I've sadly only just discovered.

    Not the interesting original weave but may be of interest.
     
  10. Simes

    Simes Subscriber

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    @Twoberth

    I picked up a small pack of the cloth in a local hardware store for £1, there's probably enough for 4/6 individual cloths when cut down.

    Noting your comments regarding the weave preventing fraying there will clearly be an issue when cut.

    I think there was another thread that suggested deliberate tangling of the cut edges to limit the problem. Would you or your good lady know a technique that could be used to do this or is it just a simple matter of 'fluffing' it up to tangle the weave at the edges.

    It's available quite cheaply in largish quantities.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B0...73208173&sr=8-1&pi=SL75&keywords=mutton+cloth
     
  11. Twoberth

    Twoberth United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Hi @Simes
    My woven ones were made from cotton string. On the advice of SWMBO I wash the rag and combed out the ends to separate all the strands and remove all the twist. When dried and re combed it became fluffed.

    If the frayed ends are about 3/4 to 1 inch when you comb and fluff them no further fraying seems to happen. So cut the rags into squares 2 inch bigger than needed and artificially fray 1 inch all round before washing and combing.

    The other option if the strands are thin is to artificially fray all round and then take three or four adjacent strands and tie together in an single overhand loop. Then trim any unwanted ends. 4087D83E-450A-4A06-B685-75E6B0EE03BB.jpeg
    Hope this makes sense!
     
  12. Simes

    Simes Subscriber

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    Perfect @Twoberth, :thumbup:

    The cloth is actually tubular hence stockinette, I've yet to take a pair of scissors to it. It's sold as a polishing/finishing rag for car cleaning so the cotton is pretty fine, I think I'll try one of the wire dog brushes as an experiment and see how it turns out, if it fluffs up like the dog then it's a winner. :D/