The patterns in patterned double weave are created by the exchange of areas in one layer of cloth with another layer of the same cloth. Amazing patterns can be woven even on a simple loom using a pick-up stick (weaver controlled) as well as on a multishaft loom (loom controlled). I would like to share with you images, drafts, and thoughts about two of my patterned double weave projects woven on my 16 shaft loom: one that I just finished last week, designed with the help of my weaving software, and the other one from 1986, originally designed on graph paper with colored pencils.
In my earlier weaving life I was mostly interested in weaving things that were functional, but what matter more to me now are satisfying my curiosity about weaving structures and creating interesting designs. So, as I was studying the chapter on double weave in Bonnie Inouye’s book, Exploring Multishaft Design, I was intrigued by patterns that used advancing twill/network threadings and treadlings with resulting blocks that were not clear or sharp. I also checked out articles by Paul O’Connor where he shares his amazing knowledge about double weave. All this inspired me to weave the Double Weave Fabric I describe below, not sure what I’ll use it for, maybe upholstery for the seat of a chair since it’s strong and thick enough or perhaps a pillow. On second thought, not a pillow because I can imagine my husband saying, “No, not another pillow!”
Here’s the first project:
I used 5/2 pearl cotton in several colors for the warp and the weft, the sett was 30 e.p.i. (2 per dent in a 15 dent reed), washed the woven piece in the washing machine in cool water on the gentle cycle with a little detergent, air dried and steam ironed it while still damp; overall shrinkage was about 10% with finished yardage of about 20″ wide and 2-1/2 yards long. I tried to photograph it so that parts of the front and the back are visible in the same image.
The view in Draft 1 shows the structure of the weave and the way the two layers interchange. I started out with 16 shafts but after making some changes it turned out I only needed to use 14. Note how the outer edges of the shapes become unclear in certain areas. I just love this effect.
Here’s the second project:
In loom controlled double weave, having more shafts means you can have more blocks. You can weave a 2-block pattern with 8 shafts which is what I did to weave the Double Weave Scarf.
The types of yarn I used to weave the Scarf helped make it wearable – soft, 6-ply cotton for the warp and cotton and silk for the weft. The sett was 20 e.p.i. (2 per dent in a 10 dent reed); the woven piece was washed by hand, air dried, steam ironed, and it’s about 11″ x 60″ finished.
I used a different view in Draft 2 than in Draft 1 to better show the interaction of the colors so that it’s a frontal view only. The threading, treadling and tie-up should be read the same way as in “How to Read My Weaving Drafts,” one of my earlier posts.
There is so much information available about double weave in weaving books, magazines, and at handweaving.net too. It’s harder to explain or to understand than to actually do it, so I hope you give it a try!