Networked Twill Table Runners

I wanted to design a networked twill pattern, which is decorative and symmetrical, that would be nice to use for weaving a table runner.  For inspiration and guidance, I browsed through Alice Schlein’s wonderful book, Network Drafting: An Introduction, and came across a few ideas that I wanted to use.  One idea was to use reversing points in the threading and treadling and another was to try different tie-ups.  Using Fiberworks, I designed many pattern lines and generated 8-shaft networked drafts using initial 4, the most used initial because it works well with many twills and other weaves.  Narrowing it down to one pattern and two tie-ups, I was ready to weave a couple of table runners.

The two finished table runners look almost the same when viewed from a distance, but the close-ups look very different.  As a weaver I find it very interesting to look at details, even more so than at the overall design from a distance.  Here is the finished Networked Twill Table Runner with tie-up 1:

Networked Twill Table Runner woven on 8 shafts (tie-up 1), cotton, 2016

Networked Twill Table Runner woven on 8 shafts (tie-up 1), cotton, 2016

Networked Twill Table Runner woven on 8 shafts (tie-up 1), cotton, 2016 (close-up)

Networked Twill Table Runner woven on 8 shafts (tie-up 1), cotton, 2016 (close-up)

You may notice that the twill lines appear to be on a plain weave background, and they are reversing or mirroring in the pattern.  In the drafts below, you can see this more clearly in the partial draft:

Draft for Networked Twill Table Runner (tie-up 1)

Draft for Networked Twill Table Runner (tie-up 1)

Partial Draft for Networked Twill Table Runner (tie-up 1)

Partial Draft for Networked Twill Table Runner (tie-up 1)

Here is the finished Networked Twill Table Runner with tie-up 2:

Networked Twill Table Runner woven on 8 shafts (tie-up 2), cotton, 2016

Networked Twill Table Runner woven on 8 shafts (tie-up 2), cotton, 2016

Networked Twill Table Runner woven on 8 shafts (tie-up 2), cotton, 2016 (close-up)

Networked Twill Table Runner woven on 8 shafts (tie-up 2), cotton, 2016 (close-up)

In the drafts below, the partial draft for tie-up 2 shows a pattern with less discernible twill lines, no plain weave areas, and there’s more contrast between the light and dark areas:

Draft for Networked Twill Table Runner (tie-up 2)

Draft for Networked Twill Table Runner (tie-up 2)

Partial Draft for Networked Twill Table Runner (tie-up 2)

Partial Draft for Networked Twill Table Runner (tie-up 2)

It’s interesting to look at a comparison of the same part of the draft with the two different tie-ups:

Networked Twill - two tie-ups (interlacement view)

Networked Twill – two tie-ups (interlacement view)

I’m happy to share the WIF files for the complete drafts, let me know if you would like them.

Weaving Notes:  I wove both table runners on the same natural colored 20/2 cotton warp at 40 epi (ends per inch).  The weft is also 20/2 cotton for both except for the color – one beige and the other green.  The ppi (picks per inch) are about 34 for the beige runner and about 40 for the green one.  The smaller number of picks produced a more elongated pattern in the beige runner, and the finished cloth feels a little lighter and more delicate.  The longest float in both is 5.  I used a floating selvedge to help keep the selvedges neat.  I washed them by hand, let hang to dry and steam ironed while they were still a little damp, and then hand stitched the hems.  I would like to mention that I always read my treadling drafts from bottom to top and the threading as if I’m facing the front of my Macomber rising shed loom.  This way, as I’m weaving the pattern on the loom, it looks exactly the same as in the draft.

Network drafting can be challenging at first, but as you progress it will keep you captivated with so many possibilities.  On that note, here is a scarf I recently designed and wove using network drafting.  I used a variegated colored Tencel warp and a solid colored weft.  It looks as though the warp may have been painted, but it’s not:

Networked Twill Scarf woven on 16 shafts, Tencel & cotton, 2016

Networked Twill Scarf woven on 16 shafts, Tencel & cotton, 2016

That’s all for now, see you next time!

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10 Comments on “Networked Twill Table Runners”

  1. jeanweaves Says:

    Lovely runners and scarf. I am intrigued by the difference in picks per inch. The interlacements really do make a big difference in a fabric’s drape; a good thing to keep in mind when I’m designing my next runner!

    • evasweaving Says:

      Thank you! The interlacements do make a difference – with the same beat of the weft in both runners, the beige one with the plain weave interlacements resulted in less picks per inch than the green one with the twills with the longer floats. That’s why the pattern in the beige runner is a bit elongated. And you’re right, the drape is affected too. If I were to weave a scarf with this pattern, I would choose the green one with tie-up 2 for a nicer drape.

  2. Ellen Turner Says:

    What lovely drafts for the runners! I think my favourite may be the second one, it seems to stand out clearer, – or maybe it is just the colour that cheats the eye, :)
    Gosh, that scarf is gorgeous! I am always intrigued when I come across good ways to use variegated yarns.

    I would dearly love to have your wif’s! How generous of you.

    • evasweaving Says:

      Thank you! Yes, the second one does stand out clearer not only because there’s more contrast because of the green color but also because of the interlacements that produce more contrasting areas of light and dark. When you look at the comparison of the 2 tie-ups, look at the actual tie-up and you can see black and white areas in one tie-up while in the other one it looks more like grey and white areas so it doesn’t stand out as much. I will gladly send you the wifs!


  3. Glorious as always Eva. You are such an inspiration!

    • evasweaving Says:

      Belinda, thank you! You are an inspiration – your beautiful work and your sense of humor when you write about it keeps me smiling!

  4. Kathy Says:

    Eva, I have enjoyed your Blog with each additional posting, thank you. You have offered your WIF files for the complete drafts connected to your Networked Twill Table Runners by evasweaving in your blog. Thank you, I would love to have them and look forward to working with and weaving these Networked Twill Table Runners. Kathy

  5. Alice Says:

    Eva, these are lovely. So glad you are enjoying the Network Drafting book.

    • evasweaving Says:

      Alice, thank you so much, you don’t know how much it means to me for you to comment on my work! I’m so grateful for all that you’ve done for weavers over the years, from your many incredible articles in Weaver’s magazine, your books, and I even have a woven sample of yours from the Complex Weavers study group from 1991 – your amazing networked double weave “Pizza Cloth” variation. Your contributions to the weaving community are timeless and will always be treasured.


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