Four-Color Double Weave Samples

Learning to design and weave four-color double weave (4cDW) has kept me mesmerized for the past few months.  I studied Chapter 3 on 4cDW in Marian Stubenitsky’s fascinating book, Weaving with Echo and Iris, and tried to sort out which 4cDW methods and variations I can use to design drafts with Fiberworks that I can weave on my 16-shaft, 18-treadle, Macomber loom.  It turns out that my favorite method is the one Marian describes on pages 88-91:  “Eight Pattern Blocks and a Short Tie-Up” using 8 shafts and 16 treadles.  With this method you can design some amazing 4cDW patterns where the plain weave layers are integrated rather than being separate.  After some trials and errors I gained confidence and even tried some variations of my own.

I learned that in 4cDW two alternating colors throughout the warp and two other alternating colors throughout the weft produce four different areas of color whereas in traditional double weave they produce only two areas of color.  Also, in traditional double weave there are distinct layers with pockets between them, while as I mentioned before, in 4cDW it’s possible to have the layers integrated so that there are no pockets.  I experimented with these different methods and following are a few of my samples and drafts.

I designed and wove Sample #1 below on 8 shafts and 10 treadles.  Marian’s “short” tie-up is 16 treadles and her “long” tie-up on page 94 is 32 treadles with eight different color blends!  My simple Sample #1 is an integrated 4cDW.  The longest float is 3.  I used 20/2 cotton (2 strands together) at 36 epi (a little too close perhaps) but with a firm beat got about 34 ppi.  The warp colors are blue and orange/brown and the weft colors are red/pink and green, all four hues are fairly close in value, not too light and not too dark.

Four-Color Double Weave (integrated) Sample #1, 8 shafts & 10 treadles, cotton, 2016

Four-Color Double Weave (integrated) Sample #1, 8 shafts & 10 treadles, cotton, 2016

Here’s the draft for the above sample with a close-up to help you see that the layers are integrated:

Draft for Four-Color Double Weave (integrated) Sample #1

Draft for Four-Color Double Weave (integrated) Sample #1

Draft for Four-Color Double Weave (integrated) Sample #1 (close-up, interlacement view)

Draft for Four-Color Double Weave (integrated) Sample #1 (close-up, interlacement view)

Below is integrated 4cDW Sample #2 that I designed and wove on 8 shafts and 16 treadles.  The sett and yarn size are the same as for Sample #1, and the longest float is 3.  I wanted more contrast so in this sample the warp colors are dark navy blue and white and the weft colors are a light blue and light brown.

Four-Color Double Weave (integrated) Sample #2, 8 shafts & 16 treadles, cotton, 2016

Four-Color Double Weave (integrated) Sample #2, 8 shafts & 16 treadles, cotton, 2016

After experimenting some more, I came up with Sample #3 below, designed and woven on 12 shafts and 16 treadles, and the longest float is 3 here too.  This is 4cDW but it’s not integrated, there are distinct plain weave areas with pockets in between them.  I used 20/2 cotton, single strands this time at 56 epi and about 50 ppi.

Four-Color Double Weave Sample #3, 12 shafts & 16 treadles, cotton, 2016

Four-Color Double Weave Sample #3, 12 shafts & 16 treadles, cotton, 2016

I think I learned a few things about 4cDW, but I’m still curious so I searched online to see what else I can find.  I came across a very pretty and lively sample on Weaverly that Alice designed with Photoshop and wove on 24 shafts.  There are also photos of a few very interesting and also very pretty pieces on Marian’s gallery page.  More photos and downloadable wif files are available from Complex Weavers (June 2015 Journal gallery) that are great too, you will find them near the bottom of the page.  Edna, a member of the Complex Weavers Fine Threads Study Group that I’m also a member of, did her study this year on 4cDW using only 4 shafts, and I’m fortunate to have her lovely woven sample.  Edna shares photos and downloadable wif and pdf files of her sample at this link:  “Fun with Four Color Doubleweave.”

See you next time, when the weaving muse visits again!

UPDATE 2018:  Ditte Lokon sent me this photo of a bath mat and towels she wove using 8/4 unmercerized cotton at 24 epi,  it’s a lovely interpretation of my Four-Color Double Weave Sample #1:

Ditte Lokon’s Four-Color Double Weave Mat and Towels, 2018

UPDATE 2019:  Marian Stubenitsky, author of Weaving with Echo and Iris, is now sharing some of her beautiful drafts on at this link.

UPDATE 2022:  I am one of 72 weavers who have written about an original piece they wove which was published in 2022 in the 40th anniversary book by Complex Weavers and edited by Laurie Knapp Autio, Eight Shafts: Beyond the Beginning – Personal Approaches to Design.  My contribution is in the section about curved lines entitled, “String of Ovals – Yardage in 4-Color Integrated Double Weave.”

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10 Comments on “Four-Color Double Weave Samples”

  1. Lynette Simm Says:

    Hi Eva, I’m at the stage in my weaving life where I want to develop further and your lovely samples are very inspiring. I’ve been to a double weave workshop years ago but four colour DW looks very interesting, especially with multishafts. Thanks for your post, OrchilHaze.

  2. denisekovnat Says:

    Eva, thank you so much for your wonderful blog — and most recently for your studies of 4 color double weave. I too have been spending a lot of time studying Stubenitsky’s book and just finished a 4CDW sample that I published on my blog:

    Would you be able to send me a wif of your sample #3 on 12 shafts? I really love this pattern and would like to learn more about it.

    In appreciation, Denise Kovnat

    Sent from my iPad

    • evasweaving Says:

      Denise, thank you so much for your comment, it’s nice to hear from another weaver who is also studying Marian’s book. And thank you for including the link to your beautiful 4CDW work, I recommend it highly to any weaver who is interested in this fascinating weave. I’m still working on and experimenting with my own variations so I hope you understand if I don’t share the wif for sample 3 just yet, I need some time to develop it some more.

  3. Jacqueline Hitchen Says:

    Absolutely beautiful and you have inspired me. I am fortunate that Mariane Strubenitsky is coming to my local Devon Weavers Workshop, England in June 2017 to hold a three day Workshop on Iris & Echo Weave. Very excited. Jacqueline

    • evasweaving Says:

      Jacqueline, thank you so much. Wow, you are so lucky to meet and take a worshop with Marian! It’s sometimes a little difficult to learn just from books so to learn firsthand from the teacher is great.

  4. kaat dec Says:

    Hi Eva, Your work is so inspiring. I’m so glad you are willing to share it. I like the four samples, but espesially sample #1 and #3 . Can I get the WIF file ? Thank you so much. Greetings from BelgiumErika

  5. Janis Cohen Says:

    Hi Eva!
    You did it again! never cease to amaze me! I especially like the 3rd sample. I loved double weave. So much fun. I always wanted to try triple weave like the gorgeous works of Sheila O’Hara. Now you have to start working on your book! Thanks for sharing. I love it!
    – be well – Janis

    • evasweaving Says:

      Janis, thank you, I’m always so happy to hear from you! I really appreciate your comments and support over the years. Best wishes to you as well.

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