I was thinking about the loom-controlled, patterned double weave project I did last year and realized that I wanted to explore this subject further. The way the two plain weave layers exchanged top and bottom areas with unclear edges was especially intriguing.
My plan was to start by designing different double weave tie-ups and then seeing what would happen when I tried different threadings and treadlings with each tie-up. One way to design tie-ups is by cutting and pasting areas of the top and bottom layers. I found the chapter on Double Weave in Bonnie Inouye‘s book, Exploring Multishaft Design, very helpful with this. I found some more help in Alice Schlein‘s book, The Liftplan Connection (Designing for Dobby Looms With Photoshop and Photoshop Elements). I was already familiar with Photoshop Elements, and even though the title sounded daunting at first, and I weave on a 16-shaft treadle loom, not on a dobby loom, I did find things in the book that I can use. An easy and fun thing I can do now is to design double weave tie-ups that I can paste into my weaving software.
Below are images of a few of the samples I wove and the drafts I designed. All the tie-ups were designed in Photoshop Elements, and to illustrate how a tie-up design appears in Photoshop Elements I included a screenshot of one in Sample 1. Sample 4 is the culmination of my study and it’s a wider and longer fabric than the other samples because I might actually want to make something out of part of it and share the rest by cutting it up into samples for my Fine Threads Study group at Complex Weavers.
Sample 1: To weave this sample I used 20/2 cotton doubled (2 strands together) with a sett of 40 e.p.i., sleyed 4 ends per dent in a 10 dent reed. I washed and ironed all the samples. Note that the threading and treadling is the same as in Sample 2, but the tie-ups are different. I also included the tie-up design for this sample as it appears in Photoshop Elements. The image of the woven sample shows a distant view and a close-up view of the same side.
Sample 2: I used the same yarn and sett as in Sample 1. The image of the sample shows a close-up view of one side and a distant view of the other side.
Sample 3: For this sample I used 20/2 cotton again but this time single strands (not doubled up) and, therefore, with a closer sett of 56 e.p.i., sleyed 4 ends per dent in a 14 dent reed. Note that the threading is the same as in Sample 4 but the treadling is slightly different and the tie-up is different. The image of the woven sample shows a close-up view of one side and a distant view of the other side. I really like the interesting edges around the diamond shapes, and I might weave something with this pattern using a thicker yarn to show off these pretty edges.
Sample 4: I used the same yarn and sett as in Sample 3. I chose this last pattern to weave a wider and longer fabric because it works well for playing around with all the color combinations. Also, because there’s a lot of interaction between the two layers, there is a mottled appearance to the doughnut-like shapes that I really like. The image of the fabric mostly shows parts of the front and back views of the main pattern and a close-up view as well.
I hope you enjoyed reading about my double weave adventure. My related posts about patterned double weave are: “Patterned Double Weave: Two Projects” and “Patterned Double Weave Scarf + Twill Version.”