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:
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:
Here is the finished Networked Twill Table Runner with tie-up 2:
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:
It’s interesting to look at a comparison of the same part of the draft with the two different tie-ups:
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:
That’s all for now, see you next time!