Archive for the ‘Double Weave’ category

Networked Double Weave Wall Hanging

August 13, 2020

Weaving has been a comfort to me during these worrisome times.  To keep my mind from wandering, I decided to design and weave something intricate that would keep me focused.  It took me quite a while to come up with a design I liked for a networked double weave wall hanging.  The final design turned out to have over 1,000 warp ends, and it kept me happily occupied as I was weaving it on my 16- shaft treadle loom.

Here’s how it turned out:

Networked Double Weave Wall Hanging woven on 16 shafts, cotton, 2020

Networked Double Weave Wall Hanging woven on 16 shafts, cotton, 2020 (close-up)

These are the 20/2 cotton yarns I used and the warp that was long enough to weave two wall hangings:

Yarns and wound warp for Networked Double Weave Wall Hanging, 2020

Threading the loom at 56 e.p.i.:

Threading the loom for Networked Double Weave Wall Hanging, 2020

Weaving in progress on the loom:

Networked Double Weave Wall Hanging woven on 16 shafts, cotton, 2020 (on the loom)

The partial draft below shows the order of the colored threads and how they interlace with each other.  I have written several posts about different types of double weave, including networked double weave, that have more detailed notes and drafts if anyone is interested to learn more.

Partial Draft for Networked Double Weave Wall Hanging, 2020 (interlacement view)

Here’s another networked double weave wall hanging I designed and wove a few years ago:

Networked Double Weave Wall Hanging woven on 16 shafts, cotton, 2017

Networked Double Weave Wall Hanging woven on 16 shafts, cotton, 2017 (on the loom)

Inspiration from my flower garden:

Zinnia, Bee Balm, Mallow, 2020

I wish for all the weavers to keep on weaving, and for everyone to be safe.

See you next time!

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January 5, 2018

I learned that lampas is a type of double weave with many possible variations.  There are variations that have some areas with “pockets” between layers and variations with “tied” layers that have no pockets, and different yarn sizes can play an important role in lampas.  My experience with this weave comes from studying Alice Schlein’s enlightening e-monograph, Lampas for Shaft Looms.  This monograph is a real treasure, covering just about everything you always wanted to know about lampas including block, straight, and networked threadings, even pick-up lampas, and much more.  I was searching for a new challenge and this was it!

I started out by weaving a few basic “easy” samples of a 2:1 warp ratio of plain weave in both the primary and secondary cloth.  Then I tried something a little more challenging and came up with this:

Lampas Pillow (4 blocks, tied), cotton, 2018

Lampas Pillow (4 blocks, tied), cotton, 2018 (close-up)

My design for this pillow began with a profile draft of 4 threading and treadling blocks:

Profile Draft for Lampas Pillow (4 blocks)

After inspecting all my samples, I decided to use the following specs to weave tied lampas cloth to make the pillow:  warp ratio of 2:1 plain weave for the primary warp and 3-end straight twill for the secondary warp.  There are no pockets at all in the tied version so the cloth is more stable.  I created the draft below (front view for my rising shed treadle loom, using 11 shafts and 9 treadles) that shows two repeats of each threading block (9 units per block) and one repeat of each treadling block (12 units per block).  For this project I repeated each threading block two times and each treadling block also two times, manually substituting the corresponding blocks in the profile draft.  The tie-up shows a skeleton tie-up and 2 treadles have to be pressed at the same time for each weft shot.  I wove it this way and it was actually a lot of fun!  In Fiberworks you can use block substitution to automatically generate a thread-by-thread draft of several types of lampas from a profile draft, and you can choose a normal, skeleton, or liftplan tie-up.  But none of the types of lampas listed was what I wanted so I did the substitutions manually.

Threading and Treadling units (4 blocks, tied) used for Lampas Pillow

A few notes about how I wove the cloth for the pillow:  primary warp – 10/2 light green perle cotton, secondary warp – 40/3 orange quilting cotton, primary weft – 20/2 (2 strands together) beige unmercerized cotton, secondary weft – 5/2 coral pink, purple, and yellow perle cotton; warp ends per inch – 30 (3 per dent in 10-dent reed, 2 primary and 1 secondary per dent).  While the coral pink weft is loom-controlled, the purple and yellow wefts are inlaid by hand.  The cloth was finished by hand washing, air drying, and steam ironing.  The finished cloth is about 26 inches long and 21 inches wide.  The close-up photo of the pillow shows the pattern exactly as it appeared from the front of the loom as I was weaving while the pillow on the sofa is on its side so the pattern is turned.

The photo below is a close-up of a lampas table runner that I designed and wove showing front and back.  I like both sides equally and use it either way.  It’s also 2:1 tied plain weave and 3-end straight twill with the same threading but different tie-up and treadling than the pillow.

Lampas Runner (4 blocks, tied), cotton, 2018 (close-up of front and back)

Next are two photos, front and back of the same sample, illustrating 2:1 plain weave in both the primary and secondary cloth.  The bottom half of each photo shows tied lampas and the top half of each shows untied lampas.  I find the subtle differences very interesting.

Lampas Sample (front and back)

I was delighted when I read in Alice’s monograph that Theo Moorman’s inlay weavings can be considered to be lampas because I explored and wrote a post about the Moorman Inlay Technique some time ago.  Here’s a photo of something I found in my stash of things I wove long ago – a little bag with fabric strips used as the inlay weft:

Moorman Technique – bag woven with fabric strips for inlay pattern weft, 2003

This has been another enjoyable and exhilarating weaving experience!

Happy New Year 2018!

UPDATE November, 2018:  I developed an article from this blog post that is published in the October 2018 issue of the Complex Weavers Journal, “Lampas and Moorman Inlay Pillow.”  You can download the wif files of the profile draft and the thread-by-thread draft of the four blocks from the Complex Weavers website at this link.

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Networked Double Weave Pillow

September 4, 2017

I find the blurred edges of the patterns in networked double weave subtle and interesting.  I also like the clear, sharp edges of the patterns in traditional patterned double weave.  In this post I’m delighted to share photos, drafts, and notes of a plain weave, networked double weave pillow that I recently designed and wove as well as photos of other double weave projects I worked on this year.

The pillow project started out with pattern lines that I designed and then networked (initial 4) using Fiberworks weaving software.  I then played around with the resulting networked threading and treadling drafts, tried different twill tie-ups in case I decided to weave my yardage as a networked twill, and then tried them with double weave tie-ups in case I decided to weave it as a networked double weave.  Eventually I had to make a decision and the winner was a networked double weave draft that I used to weave this fabric from which I made the pillow:

Networked Double Weave fabric and pillow woven on 16 shafts, cotton, 2017

Networked Double Weave fabric woven on 16 shafts, cotton, 2017 (close-up)

The warp and weft are both 20/2 cotton, 2 strands used together, and the sett is 36 epi and about 37 ppi.  I wet finished the fabric by washing by hand, hanging to dry, and steam ironing while the fabric was still slightly damp.  I sewed the pillow as a one-piece envelope pillow.  I’m not great at sewing so I searched online and found a video on “How to make an envelope pillow cover” by CraftyGemini that was clear and easy to follow.

Here are images of the 16-shaft, networked double weave draft showing one side, the other side, and a close-up of one section of the draft:

Draft for Networked Double Weave showing one side

Draft for networked double weave showing other side

Partial Draft for Networked Double Weave – close-up of one section (interlacement view)

A few years ago I learned how to design double weave tie-ups using Photoshop Elements, thanks to Alice Schlein’s amazing book, The Liftplan Connection (Designing for Dobby Looms with Photoshop and Photoshop Elements).  I weave on a 16-shaft, 40 inch wide, Macomber treadle loom, and found things in Alice’s book that I can learn and apply even to my treadle loom.  It’s also so much fun!  Here’s the double weave tie-up I used for the pillow that I designed with Photoshop Elements:

Double Weave Tie-Up designed with Photoshop Elements

A more challenging networked double weave project that I designed and wove is this wall hanging that I plan to submit to my weavers guild annual exhibit next year:

Networked Double Weave Wall Hanging woven on 16 shafts, cotton, 2017

Networked Double Weave Wall Hanging woven on 16 shafts, cotton, 2017 (close-up)

Last but not least, I wove a traditional double weave runner as a gift for friends of mine and of my husband’s who are antique dealers of early American folk art.  It’s a 12-shaft, 3-block double weave.  I generated the draft with block substitution from profile draft No. 169 that I found in Mary Meigs Atwater’s classic book, The Shuttle-Craft Book of American Hand-Weaving, first published in 1928.  Below are photos of this runner, notice on the close-up the clear and sharp edges of the pattern as compared to the more subtle, unclear edges in the pillow and wall hanging:

Double Weave Runner, cotton, 2017 (woven from Atwater’s 3-block profile draft No. 169)

Hope you enjoyed reading this post, see you next time!

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Four-Color Double Weave Samples

September 21, 2016

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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Double Weave Revisited

January 29, 2014

Of the many ways of designing and weaving double weave, my favorite is loom-controlled, patterned double weave.  On my 16-shaft treadle loom I can weave up to 4 blocks of plain weave as well as network drafted double weave designs.  I have written several posts on this topic and thought it was time for another visit because it really is so much fun!

In this post I share photos, drafts and notes about my recent projects that include a 16-shaft, 4-block double weave table runner and a couple of 8-shaft, 2-block placemats.  I also share a photo of a double weave Tencel shawl that I plan on submitting to my guild’s annual exhibit in April.

Double Weave Table Runner – 16 shafts

The first project is a table runner I wove using 5/2 pearl cotton with a sett of 28 e.p.i. that turned out to have a fairly good but not perfectly balanced weave.  I happen to like it this way, but a wider sett of 24-26 e.p.i. would have helped make the rectangular areas be more square.  After twisting the fringes, I washed it by hand, spin dried in the washer but I could have rolled it in a towel too, laid flat to dry and steam ironed while it was still a bit damp.  Here it is:

Double Weave Table Runner, Pearl Cotton, 2014

Double Weave Table Runner, Pearl Cotton, 2014

As part of the preparation for this project I wove a small plain weave sample to see how the colors mix with each other:

Prep for Double Weave Table Runner - yarns, warp, and sample

Prep for Double Weave Table Runner – yarns, warp, and sample

The design started out with a profile draft that is a variation of the same profile draft I designed for the Turned Twill Table Runner that I wrote about in my previous post.  It’s a 4-block profile draft to be woven on 16 shafts:

PROFILE DRAFT for Double Weave Table Runner (4 blocks to be woven on 16 shafts)

PROFILE DRAFT for Double Weave Table Runner (4 blocks to be woven on 16 shafts)

With the magic of block substitution, my weaving software (Fiberworks PCW) generated the complete drawdown.  You can do this manually as well (it’s still magical!) by looking at the profile draft and substituting the following for each block:  first block is threaded and treadled 1, 2, 3, 4; second block 5, 6, 7, 8; third block 9, 10 ,11, 12; and fourth block 13, 14, 15, 16.  I then experimented with different colors and came up with a color scheme I liked, choosing colors that I had in 5/2 pearl cotton in my stash.  Below are different views of the thread-by thread draft.  The double weave view shows how each side actually appears, one side appears different than the other side.  The close-up interlacement view shows how the warp and weft interlace or cross each other and gives you a hint that there are 2 layers with areas in one layer exchanging places with areas in the other layer:

Draft for double weave table runner (double weave view, side 1)

Draft for double weave table runner (double weave view, side 1)

Draft for double weave table runner (double weave view, side 2)

Draft for double weave table runner (double weave view, side 2)

Draft for double weave table runner (close-up of one section, interlacement view, side 1)

Draft for double weave table runner (close-up of one section, interlacement view, side 1)

UPDATE 2017:  Bianca Geiselhart used my draft to weave two lovely placemats.  She sent me this beautiful photo and gave me pemission to post it here:

Bianca Geiselhart’s Double Weave Placemats, 2017

Double Weave Placemats – 8 shafts

The second project is a couple of placemats I wove using 20/2 unmercerized cotton, 2 strands used together as one, with a sett of 40 e.p.i.  I wove a few inches of basket/plain weave with the 20/2 cotton used singly in between mats to be turned and hand sewn as hems for a neat finish after the wet finishing process which was the same as that for the table runner.  Here’s how the placemats turned out:

Double Weave Placemats, Cotton, 2014

Double Weave Placemats, Cotton, 2014

The design for the placemats also started out with a profile draft, but this time with only 2 blocks to be woven on 8 shafts:

PROFILE DRAFT for Double Weave Placemats (2 blocks to be woven on 8 shafts)

PROFILE DRAFT for Double Weave Placemats (2 blocks to be woven on 8 shafts)

As before, block substitution generated the complete drawdown, the first block is threaded and treadled 1, 2, 3, 4 and the second block 5, 6, 7, 8.  Since this pattern looks so busy I decided to use only 2 colors to make it appear simpler and to highlight the balance between the dark and light areas.  Below is the thread-by-thread draft in double weave view of one side.  I didn’t show the other side because it looks the same except that the dark and light areas are interchanged.  The close-up of one section of the draft in interlacement view also shows the basket/plain weave I mentioned earlier that I used to weave for the hems on the placemats.  As you can see in the tie-up you need two extra treadles to do this.

Draft for Double Weave Placemats (double weave view)

Draft for Double Weave Placemats (double weave view)

Draft for Double Weave Placemats (close-up of one section, interlacement view with basket weave for the hem)

Draft for Double Weave Placemats (close-up of one section, interlacement view with basket weave for the hem)

A Challenge

OK, I asked myself, what now?  How about challenging myself to weave something interesting in double weave to enter in my guild’s show in March?  After experimenting with many drafts, I came up with a 16-shaft networked draft for double weave that looks like mosaic when viewed from a distance and also looks interesting when viewed close-up.  I liked the design and wove this Tencel shawl:

Double Weave Mosaic Shawl, Tencel, 2014

Double Weave Mosaic Shawl, Tencel, 2014

UPDATE March 31, 2014:  This shawl received “The Kathryn Wellman Memorial Award” for imaginative weaving incorporating design, color and texture at the 2014 Philadelphia Guild of Handweavers “Celebration of Fibers” exhibit.

Now it’s time to start thinking about the next challenge…see you next time!

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Patterned Double Weave Scarf + Twill Version

April 17, 2011

This is my third post about patterned double weave, it’s so fascinating!  Sample 3 of my recent study inspired me to design and weave a scarf with a mixture of colors that remind me of the beauty of corals.

Weaving the scarf was easy because I simply tied the new warp to the old one that was still on the loom from my study.  I removed some warp ends to get the number of repeats of the pattern that I wanted and resleyed the reed to a wider sett.  But after finishing this scarf I decided to tie on yet another warp, change the tie-up to a twill, with the goal of weaving a single layer scarf that is finer, more subtle, and that drapes even better.

Here are images of both scarves, their weaving drafts, and a few additional notes about each:

Double Weave Coral Scarf:

Double Weave Coral Scarf, pearl & slub cotton & linen, 9″x65″, 2011

Double Weave Coral Scarf – work in progress on the loom

Weaving Draft for Double Weave Coral Scarf

Double Weave Coral Scarf – tie-up designed in Photoshop Elements

For the warp I used a light blue/yellow space-dyed 10/2 linen I had in my stash from the days I dyed some of my own yarns and a reddish, variegated, slub cotton of similar thickness, and for the weft an orange and light grey 5/2 pearl cotton, with a sett of 24 e.p.i., sleyed 2 per dent in a 12-dent reed, and about the same p.p.i.  This is looser than I would normally weave the plain weave layers using the same yarns; I was trying to avoid a finished cloth that would be too thick and stiff to wear as a scarf.

After I cut the unfinished scarf off the loom, I twisted the fringes from the 7″ of unwoven warp I left on both ends for this purpose, twisting 3 ends with 3 ends, light colors together and dark colors together rather than mixing them because I thought it looked better this way with the overall design of this scarf.

The next step was washing the scarf by hand, drying it flat but steam ironing while it was still damp.  The overall shrinkage was about 10%, fairly even among the different yarns, and the fringes ended up being about 5″ long.  The looser sett and lighter beating of the weft did help make the finished scarf drape fairly well, it has a lovely sheen and doesn’t feel too thick.  I like how the different yarns combined to create an interesting effect, but I would recommend using silk, Tencel, rayon or a loosely twisted cotton yarn for an even better drape.  How about something like this:

Twill Chocolate Scarf:

When our friend, Janie, saw this scarf while it was still on the loom, the first thing she said was “chocolate” so “chocolate” it is!

Twill Chocolate Scarf, rayon & cotton, 9″ x 65″, 2011

Twill Chocolate Scarf, rayon & cotton, 9″ x 65″, 2011 (detail)

Weaving Draft for Twill Chocolate Scarf

For the warp I used a 2-ply knitting type rayon yarn and for the weft a loosely twisted cotton, similar to embroidery thread with a nice sheen.  Both these yarns worked well at 24 e.p.i.  Wet finishing was the same as for the Coral Scarf.  I machine stitched the two ends and left about 3″ of loose warp for the fringes.

Variation on a theme, that’s what it felt like to weave these two scarves, it was so much fun and a great learning experience.

My related posts about patterned double:  Patterned Double Weave:  Two Projects and Patterned Double Weave:  Samples &  Drafts

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Patterned Double Weave: Samples & Drafts

February 14, 2011

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.

Patterned Double Weave Sample 1

Patterned Double Weave Tie-Up for Sample 1 (designed with Photoshop Elements)

Patterned Double Weave Draft 1

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.

Patterned Double Weave Sample 2

Patterned Double Weave Draft 2

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.

Patterned Double Weave Sample 3

Patterned Double Weave Draft 3

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.

Patterned Double Weave Fabric (Sample 4)

Patterned Double Weave Draft 4

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.”

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Handwoven Double Weave Vest

April 18, 2010

The double weave cloth I designed, wove, and wrote about in a recent post was begging me to be made into something – a vest!  But because I’m somewhat sewing challenged, I called up my longtime friend and professional seamstress extraordinaire, Elisabet, to help me out.  She’s the one who sewed the woolen jackets I wrote about in an older post.

Elisabet grew up in Holland where her parents had a weaving business with several tapestry carpet looms, dobby looms and a jacquard loom at one time, weaving upholstery fabrics, tablecloths, and carpets.  The business is still being operated by her brother and his partner but only pile rugs are being woven now.  Elisabet came to the U.S. in 1982 and that’s when I met her.  She learned to weave at the age of 12 but when she came to the U.S. she started her own sewing business and is still making a living from it in Chester County, PA.  Her skills are excellent and her work is impeccable.  She also gives private sewing lessons.

I showed her the 20 inch by 2-1/2 yards long fabric hoping it would be enough for a vest.  After taking my measurements she assured me it would be enough but suggested that the more colorful side of the fabric would look more attractive on the outside of the vest, the opposite of how I imagined, but I liked the idea and agreed to do it this way.

The next step was choosing a style.  Elisabet showed me a few basic commercial patterns from her file.  We picked one, but she made some changes to it that I liked.  We kept the style simple so that the fabric would draw most of the attention and the style would help show it off.

After cutting out the pieces with a rotary cutter, Elisabet serged the raw edges with her overlock sewing machine before sewing them together.  She used seam binding for some of the finishing on the inside.  I did the crochet finish at the front openings.  Because the fabric was thick enough and had enough body to it, interfacing was not needed.

Here are images of the vest with details, followed by a short list of resources for handwoven wearables.

Handwoven Double Weave Vest, Pearl Cotton, 2010

1) Elisabet at work 2) inside finish detail 3) closure embellishment

For more information about making handwoven wearables, here are just a few of many recommendations thanks to the weavers from some of the online weaving groups:

  • Daryl Lancaster’s work is beautiful and she has self-published monographs on weaving and sewing topics.  Daryl’s blog has a link to her website where you can purchase the monographs.  She has also written a few articles for Weavezine.
  • Handwoven, Tailormade: a tandem guide to fabric designing, weaving, sewing, and tailoring, by Sharon D. Alderman and Kathryn Wertenberger, Interweave Press, 1982.
  • Clothing From the Hands That Weave, by Anita Luvera Mayer, 1984.
  • Fashions From the Loom, by Betty Beard, Interweave Press, 1980.
  • Weaver’s Wearables, by Virginia West, 1979.
  • Cut My Cote, by Dorothy K. Burnham, the Royal Ontario Museum, 1973.  (Simple, traditional garments of different cultures, fascinating and exquisitely presented.)
  • Articles in weaving magazines including some of Handwoven’s Design Collection booklets.

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Patterned Double Weave: Two Projects

February 14, 2010

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 (downloadable at 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:

Double Weave Fabric, Pearl Cotton, 2010 (on the loom)

Double Weave Fabric, Pearl Cotton, 2010 (after wet finishing)

Draft 1 – unclear blocks of patterned double weave

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:

Double Weave Scarf, Cotton & Silk, 1986

Draft 2 – two-block patterned double weave

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 too.  It’s harder to explain or to understand than to actually do it, so I hope you give it a try!

My related posts about patterned double weave:  “Patterned Double Weave:  Samples & Drafts” and “Patterned Double Weave Scarf + Twill Version.”

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Double-Width Woolen Blanket in Plain Weave (with color-and-weave effects)

November 24, 2009

In my study of handweaving, one of the first things I was really excited about learning to weave was double-width cloth.  Way back then my first floor loom was a 4 shaft, 36 inch wide jack loom, and I wanted to weave a woolen blanket that was wider than the width of my loom.  In addition, I decided to weave it using color-and-weave effects.  The images below don’t show it well, but I did make a few mistakes such as the “fold” mark that shows at close inspection and the selvedges on the open sides are not very neat.  Next time I would try to weave it better by using some of the tips I learned in my recent research that is included in the Additional Notes at the end of this post.

Woolen Blanket, 1983, 60″ x 80″

Woolen Blanket (detail)

I created the weaving drafts to illustrate how I wove the Blanket.  Draft 1 shows a commonly used threading and tie-up for plain weave, double-width cloth.  It helps visualize the top and bottom layers, and the notes describe how to weave it so that one side is open and the other side is closed (the fold).  If you want to weave a tubular cloth you would simply eliminate one warp thread at one end, begin at either side and treadle 1, 2, 4, 3.  Draft 2 shows how I used dark and light colors to create the color-and-weave effects.

Draft 1 for Woolen Blanket (showing plain weave double-width structure)

Draft 2 for Woolen Blanket (showing color-and-weave effects)

Additional Notes:

For the warp I used a light weight two-ply (2/10) Vermont virgin wool (dark navy and white) that was spun with extra twist in the singles and in the plying so it was easier and stronger to weave with.  I used the same yarn for the white weft and a singles less tightly twisted wool yarn for the dark gray weft.  I sleyed the reed double than for a single layer cloth (10×2=20 e.p.i.).

The Blanket was 36″ wide on the loom (72″ if opened) and about 100″ long.  Once removed from the loom, I braided the fringes and started the finishing process:  it went into the washing machine with a little detergent, about 10 minutes in the hot water, regular cycle, then in the rinse cycle, and finally in the dryer (knits setting) for about 30 minutes until it was dry.  It shrunk to about 60″ x 80″ , about what I wanted, just a little felted and pretty soft.  You would need to sample and experiment to see what you might expect for a final result because there are variables such as the type of wool yarn, the sett – a closer sett can result in a firmer and smoother felting, different washers and dryers perform differently, timing – longer agitation in the washer usually results in more felting, it can also be hand washed and air dried, etc.  There are some links to a few online articles about the finishing process of woolens in my post, 2/2 Twill: Handwoven Woolen Wearables.

One of the problems in weaving double-width is the fold line that can show when it’s opened up.  To remedy this some weavers use a temple (stretcher) but then some don’t like the temple, some skip a dent before sleying the last two warp ends on the folded edge, and some use weights on the last few warp ends to compensate for the natural drawing in at the edges.  Because it’s hard to see what’s going on in the bottom layer, some weavers use a mirror while weaving to catch any mistakes.  I found an online article at from the Master Weaver series (January 1953, #7), “Double Weaves, Circular and Double-Width Cloth,” that discusses in detail the problems of the fold line.  There is also great info about double width weaving at All Fiber Arts as this link.

In her wonderful book, Exploring Multishaft Design (chapter 7 on double weave), Bonnie Inouye has some tips for weaving double-width cloth.  One of her tips for the fold mark problem is to use “helper” warps, a few extra strong yarns next to the real warps (threaded through the same heddle and dent) that are removed when the weaving is off the loom.  The Master Weaver article I mentioned earlier also has something about removing warp ends: to pull out some of the warp ends where they’re too close together and hoping that it will even out after washing.

I would also recommend at, Paul O’Connor’s monograph, “A Reference Guide for Double Weave.” I find to be a great online resource because not only can you find thousands of weaving drafts but you can search by topic and find lots of articles and books to download and study.

If you’re looking to weave double-width cloth in a weave structure that’s different than plain weave you will probably need at least 8 shafts.  For example, there are several excellent articles about double-width overshot in Weaver’s Magazine, issue #34 (Winter 1996).  Unfortunately, Weaver’s Magazine is out of print but you can find back issues on ebay.

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