Posted tagged ‘weaving drafts’

Amalgamation – Woven Designs

September 8, 2022

I was intrigued by a new feature on called “Amalgamation Drafting” which was developed by Alice Schlein.  To learn more about it I ordered from Alice her wonderfully detailed monograph, “Amalgamation: Double Your Dobby,” illustrated with many interesting drafts and woven samples.  Alice explains that amalgamation in weaving is a way of spreading out heddles when the sett is very close so they don’t interfere with each other by using a satin order, but it can also be used to design interesting patterns using fewer shafts.  Inspired, I was ready to experiment.

My weaving software, Fiberworks PCW in windows, does not support automatic amalgamation drafting so I manually entered parts of the threading and was still able to design my own drafts easily enough.  I designed and wove a wall hanging and a few sample pieces using networked drafting amalgamated with a satin base for all these pieces.

Shown below is a close-up and full view of the 16-shaft wall hanging which was the most challenging piece to design.  To weave it I used 10/2 Tencel for the warp at 36 e.p.i., 5/2 pearl cotton for the weft at about 24 p.p.i., and the longest float is 5.  The woven piece was hand washed and steam ironed before sewing the top and bottom hems.

Amalgamation – Wall Hanging woven on 16 shafts, Tencel & pearl cotton, 2022 (close-up with full view)
Partial draft for Amalgamation – Wall Hanging

Next is a 16-shaft sample.  I wove this sample on the same warp and used the same tie-up as the wall hanging, except that I made it less wide by removing warp ends from the two sides, changed the treadling, and used 10/2 pearl cotton instead of 5/2 for the weft at about 32 p.p.i.  This sample was also hand washed and steam ironed.

Amalgamation – Sample woven on 16 shafts, Tencel & pearl cotton, 2022

The last piece shown below is an 8-shaft sample followed by its complete draft.  If you click on the second view of the draft which shows one repeat, it will be enlarged and easily read.  For this sample I used 20/2 cotton for the warp at 40 e.p.i. and 20/2 cotton for the weft at about 40 p.p.i.  The longest float is 4.

Amalgamation – Sample woven on 8 shafts, cotton, 2022
Draft for Amalgamation – 8-shaft Sample (2 repeats)
Draft for Amalgamation – 8-shaft Sample (1 repeat, click to enlarge)

I’ve been a member of Complex Weavers for many years, and I’m thrilled about their new 40th anniversary book published this year (2022):  Eight Shafts: Beyond the Beginning (Personal Approaches to Design), edited by Laurie Knapp Autio.  This book is dedicated in loving memory to weaver, author and teacher, Wanda J. Shelp.  I’m happy to say that I’m one of 72 weavers featured in this beautiful book who have written about an original piece they wove.  My contribution is in the section about curved lines entitled:  “String of Ovals – Yardage in 4-Color Integrated Double Weave.”

40th Anniversary Book published by Complex Weavers, 2022

Wishing you well, see you next time!

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Interleaved Waves

February 16, 2022

It’s magical to watch the amazing color blendings of a four-colored warp and one-colored weft as the weaving progresses on the loom.  Inspired by the various images in both Marian Stubenitsky‘s book, Weaving With Echo and Iris, and Bobbie Irwin‘s book, Weaving Iridescence, I designed a few drafts using four colors and interleaving in the threading.  The color blendings looked pretty good in one of the drafts so I wove it as a sample that I plan to cut up and share with my fellow members of the Fine Threads Study Group at Complex Weavers.  Here are photos of the finished piece and also how it looked on the loom:

Interleaved Waves, woven on 16 shafts, cotton, 2022
Interleaved Waves, woven on 16 shafts, cotton, 2022 (close-up)
Interleaved Waves, woven on 16 shafts, cotton, 2022 (on the loom)

For the warp I used 20/2 non-mercerized cotton in four colors: blue, yellow, green, and black. For the weft I used the same cotton in a dark pink. The sett is 42 e.p.i. and about 40 p.p.i. As you can see below, these yarns do not look very impressive at first glance, they are not even shiny, but once woven, wet-finished, and seen in proper lighting, the transformation is magical. The colors become iridescent – they appear to be changing as the angle of view changes. The colors are most playful and bright from close-up and not so much when viewed from a distance.

Warp and weft for Interleaved Waves, cotton, 2022

Using Fiberworks weaving software, my design started out with a simple pattern or design line that I networked using initial 4. Opting for non-parallel threadings, I then interleaved this networked pattern line with a straight twill, and then interleaved this with itself. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? It really is with the interleave tool in Fiberworks. The final result is four interleaved threadings with four repeating colors. The treadling is just one networked pattern line of one color. Here’s a partial draft of my design:

Partial draft for 16-shaft Interleaved Waves, 2022

Hope you’re inspired by this post. It’s mid-February now, and I’m enjoying the subtle beauty I see in my yard. A few days after I took this photo it snowed again, but I’m looking forward to Spring:

Waiting for Spring, February, 2022

Wishing you well, see you next time!

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Taqueté in Perle Cotton

September 15, 2021

My passion for weaving seems to never end.  Looking back, I wove a few Taqueté rugs and wrote a detailed post with drafts and notes about how to design Taqueté by using blocks.  I wanted to weave a Taqueté project again, but this time I didn’t want to weave another wool rug, instead I wanted to weave something using the beautiful perle cotton yarns in my stash.  Taqueté uses the same threading system as Summer & Winter, but the weave is weft-faced without any tabby wefts.  It’s also different than Turned Taqueté which is mostly warp-faced.  I thought the perle cotton would be nice for perhaps a placemat or a wall hanging, and that’s what I ventured out to design and weave.

I wove a few samples experimenting with different setts, and then decided to weave an armrest protector for my sofa, a placemat, and a wall hanging.  The concept of form follows function went into the wall hanging when I designed it, but the armrest protector and placemat were an afterthought, but I think they are fine for what I’m going to use them for.

All the pieces were woven on the same 10/2 cotton warp using 5/2 perle cotton weft at 10 e.p.i.  They were all wet finished by hand, air dried, and steam ironed.  The hems were woven in plain weave (tabby) with the same 10/2 cotton as the warp.  First, here are photos of the armrest protector (Woven Taqueté #1), followed by its draft along with notes:

Woven Taqueté #1, perle cotton, 2021
Woven Taqueté #1, perle cotton, 2021 (close-up)
Draft for Woven Taqueté #1 (weft-face view) (Click to ENLARGE)

I designed a profile draft using 7 threading and 7 treadling blocks that require 9 shafts and 16 treadles to create the above thread-by-thread draft. The threading blocks and tie-up are the same for all the pieces. If you look at this draft, the threading blocks are repeated just once and if you start reading from the center, right to left, they are as follows: first block – 1,3,2,3; second block – 1,4,2,4; third block – 1,5,2,5; and so on. The treadling blocks are also repeated just once, alternating yellow and blue, pressing two treadles at the same time. If you start reading from top to bottom they are: first block – treadles 1+4, 1+3, 2+4, 2+3; second block – treadles 1+6, 1+5, 2+6, 2+5; third block – treadles 1+8, 1+7, 2+8 2+7; and so on until the middle of the draft. At that point, the treadling becomes slightly different: first block – treadles 1+3, 1+4, 2+3, 2+4; second block – treadles 1+5, 1+6, 2+5, 2+6; third block – treadles 1+7, 1+8, 2+7, 2+8; and so on. This is one way of flipping the pattern and background colors. If you have extra treadles to spare or a dobby loom then you wouldn’t have to deal with pressing two treadles at the same time. To weave the plain weave hem I used the same yarn as I used for the warp and alternately pressed treadles 1+2 together and then all the rest of the shafts together tied to a 17th treadle.

Next is the placemat (Woven Taqueté #2):

Woven Taqueté #2, perle cotton, 2021
Woven Taqueté #2, perle cotton, 2021 (close-up)
Draft for Woven Taquete #2 (weft-face view) (Click to ENLARGE)

Everything is the same for Woven Taqueté #2 as for Woven Taqueté #1 except: The weft yarns are purple and light green and to achieve these larger blocks in the actual weaving I repeated each treadling block 11 times, not just 2 times as shown in the draft. You may also notice the subtle change in treadling in the middle where the pattern and background colors are flipped.

Last are photos, front and back, of the wall hanging. As I mentioned earlier the threading and tie-up are exactly the same as for the other pieces, the difference is in the order and number of repetitions of the treadling blocks of various colors. I hope this inspires you to try to weave your own design.

Woven Taqueté Wall Hanging, perle cotton, 2021 (side 1)
Woven Taqueté Wall Hanging, perle cotton, 2021 (side 2)
Woven Taqueté Wall Hanging, perle cotton, 2021 (close-up)
Woven Taqueté Wall Hanging, perle cotton, 2021 (on the loom)

Wishing you well, here’s a little inspiration from my garden:

Monarch Butterfly on Zinnia, 2021

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Woven Pleats, Squiggles & Waves

January 23, 2021

As I continue to weave through these difficult pandemic times to help me get through it all, new weaving projects are swirling around in my mind.  Searching for inspiration I came across Erica de Ruiter’s article, “Magic Pleats on the Loom from Eight Shafts to Two” in Weaver’s magazine, issue #31 (Spring 1996).  I also found a wonderful PDF file online from the Westfield Weavers Guild by Dawn McCarthy, “Creating Texture with Pleats, Fulling and Shrinkage.”  Weaving pleats looked like fun, and so I gave it a try.  I wove a few samples, some turned out well and some didn’t.  Here’s a pleated scarf that I think turned out well:

Pleated scarf woven on 8 shafts, cotton, 2021

Pleated scarf woven on 8 shafts, cotton, 2021 (close-up)

Pleated scarf woven on 8 shafts, cotton, 2021 (on the loom the pleats are flat and emerge after wet finishing)

I used 20/2 cotton, two strands together for the warp at 30 e.p.i. and 20/2 cotton, one strand only, for the weft at about the same p.p.i.  Notice in the photos above that on the loom there are no visible pleats, they really emerge only after wet finishing:  I washed the scarf by hand, gently squeezed out the excess water, rolled it in a towel, and placed it down flat to dry, pulling on it vertically helping the pleats to magically emerge.  I used a broken twill draft but straight twill will work as well:

Draft for weaving 8-shaft broken twill pleats

Erica de Ruiter wrote another article, “Scarves in Diagonal Pleats,” in Weaver’s magazine #37 (Fall 1977).  I really like these diagonal pleats that appear wavy when woven.  However, 16 shafts and 32 treadles are required, and I don’t have so many treadles.  So I made some adjustments to the draft, reducing the number of treadles to 16.  Instead of big waves I got smaller squiggles, but I still like it.  I used the same type of yarns, sett, and finishing process as for the previous scarf, and here it is:

Squiggly pleated scarf woven on 16 shafts, cotton, 2021

Squiggly pleated scarf woven on 16 shafts, cotton, 2021 (close-up)

Here’s the draft, straight twill this time:

Draft for weaving squiggly 16-shaft straight twill pleats

At this point I wanted to play with more waves, not necessarily pleated, and came up with some wavy interleaved designs.  I wove the sample below using purple and tan 20/2 cotton for the warp at 54 e.p.i. and 20/2 red rayon for the weft at about 38 p.p.i.  This sample is not pleated, it’s flat:

Interleaved waves woven sample on 16 shafts, cotton & rayon, 2021

Below are the drafts for the above sample.  I interleaved a straight twill threading with a 5-end advancing twill threading, and the treadling is networked.  The first draft shows two repeats.  The second draft shows one repeat and will be enlarged and more readable if you click on it:

Draft for weaving 16-shaft interleaved waves (two repeats)

Draft for weaving 16-shaft interleaved waves (one repeat, click to enlarge)

Hoping 2021 will be a good year for all…see you next time!

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Ikat-Inspired Twills Revisited

January 30, 2020

Several years ago I explored “faux” or “false” ikat by designing network drafted twills.  I shared what I learned in a blog post and also in more detail in an article I wrote, “Ikat-Inspired Twill Studies,” published in the Complex Weavers Journal, issue #104 (February 2014).  I decided to come back to this interesting topic and experiment some more.  Here is how it turned out:

Ikat-Inspired Networked Twill Scarf, cotton, 2020

Ikat-Inspired Networked Twill Scarf, cotton, 2020 (close-up)

Below is a partial close-up of the draft I designed for this scarf.  I often start with pattern or design lines and then network them.  In this case I also interleaved the networked treadling, and the longest float is 4.  I used a white warp (20/2 cotton, 2 strands together, at 28 epi) and alternating black and blue weft (20/2 cotton, 2 strands together).  The gradual blending of these three solid colors works well, and the overall design reminds me of a waterfall.

Networked Twill – Interleaved Treadling (partial draft for scarf)

Next is another scarf I designed that I tied on to the same warp as the previous one.

Ikat-Inspired Networked Twill Scarf, Tencel and pearl cotton, 2020

Ikat-Inspired Networked Twill Scarf, Tencel and pearl cotton, 2020 (close-up)

Below is a partial close-up of the draft I designed for this scarf.  The treadling is networked with no interleaving, and the longest float is 3.  I used lustrous yarns:  8/2 Tencel for the warp, mostly blue with randomly placed green and purple at 28 epi, and 10/2 red pearl cotton weft, all are solid colors.  This scarf is iridescent – the colors appear to change as the angle from which it is viewed changes.  I often see iridescence in nature, such as when the humming birds come in the summer to drink nectar from their favorite red, tubular flowers of the Cardinal Climber vine in my garden.  At times the hummers appear to have a dull, lusterless color, but as they whiz around in the light they keep on transforming into brilliant colors.  If you are interested to learn more about iridescence especially as it relates to weaving, I recommend an informative and inspiring book by Bobbie Irwin, Weaving Iridescence – Color Play for the Handweaver.

Networked Twill (partial draft for Tencel scarf)

I designed many drafts and wove samples before weaving these scarves.  Here’s one of the samples showing both sides of the cloth:

Ikat-Inspired Networked Twill Sample showing both sides, 2020

Below is a partial close-up of the draft for this sample.

Networked Twill (partial draft for sample)

Lastly, below is a draft of an 8-shaft version that I designed, but the ikat effect is too subtle.  I think it’s a nice draft anyway.  Click on it to see it enlarged.

Networked Twill – 8 shafts (draft showing 2 repeats)

I hope you enjoyed this post and are inspired to experiment with faux/false ikat.  Perhaps you might be inspired to design and weave true ikat using dyeing techniques…maybe I should try it someday!

See you next time!

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August 1, 2019

I looked up damassé in Irene Emery’s book, The Primary Structures of Fabrics, and learned that it’s a French term referring to fabrics or weaves that are damask-like.  The main difference between damask and damassé, as I understand it, is that the patterns in damask are produced by one weave structure which in many instances is turned satin, while in damassé the patterns are produced by two different weave structures.  Alice Schlein explains how to design a combination of 8-end satin and plain weave damassé cloth in her book, Network Drafting, An Introduction, page 56.  There is also a very interesting post about damassé on Alice’s website.  I searched further and found Betty Lou Whaley’s “Snail Trail,” 8-shaft, 4-block, damassé draft, combining basket weave and halftone twill in the Complex Weavers Greatest Hits book, edited by Judie Eatough and Wanda J. Shelp.  At this point I decided to weave samples as I was really curious about all this, and after numerous sampling finally wove some yardage.  Here are a few highlights from my damassé experience:

Following Alice’s method for designing 8-end satin and plain weave damassé, I designed and wove a sample except that I combined 8-end satin and basket weave.  The design part includes networking the threading pattern line using initial 8 and cutting and pasting in the liftplan.  I weave on a 16-shaft treadle loom so I converted the liftplan to tie-up mode, and I saw that I didn’t have enough treadles and the treadling itself looked like I would have to play a complex piece on the piano with my feet.  However, I did manage to weave Sample #1 below using 20/2 cotton, two strands together, for both the tan warp and the black weft, sett at 36 epi.  I like how the satin areas are raised and stand out from the basket weave areas like in a relief.

Damassé Woven Sample #1 (8-end satin and basket weave, networked initial 8 threading, 16 shafts)

Damassé Partial Draft #1 (8-end satin and basket weave, networked initial 8 threading, 16 shafts, interlacement view)

I used Mary Lou’s method to design and weave Sample #2, a 4-block combination of twill and basket weave on 8 shafts.  One side shows 1/3 twill and the other side 3/1 twill.  Mary Lou calls it halftone twill because the blocks overlap so the number of shafts needed is reduced.  Block A is threaded: 1,2,3,4,1,2; Block B: 3,4,5,6,3,4; Block C: 5,6,7,8,5,6; Block D: 7,8,1,2,7,8; if the same block is repeated then only the first 4 threads are repeated so, for example, you might have:  1,2,3,4,1,2,3,4,1,2.  In the sample below I used 20/2 cotton two strands together, for both the blue warp and white weft, sett at 30 epi.

Damassé Woven Sample #2 (twill and basket weave, 4 blocks, 8 shafts)

Damassé Draft #2 (twill and basket weave, 4 blocks, 8 shafts, side 1)

Damassé Draft #2 (twill and basket weave, 4 blocks, 8 shafts, side 2)

Damassé Draft #2 (twill and basket weave, 4 blocks, 8 shafts, one repeat, interlacement view)

So now I thought to myself why not try an initial 4 networked pattern line instead of using blocks when combining twill and basket weave.  Here’s one of the drafts I designed this way:

Damassé Draft #3 (twill and basket weave, networked initial 4, 16 shafts)

Damassé Partial Draft #3 (twill and basket weave, networked initial 4, 16 shafts, interlacement view)

I liked Draft #3, but I wanted something more interesting with even less clean-cut pattern edges and came up with a new design and wove some yardage using 10/2 Tencel and 10/2 pearl cotton, sett at 30 epi.  The close-up below shows the finished woven fabric and the inset shows the computer generated drawdown.  I think the finished fabric may be suitable for a nice vest or jacket.

Damassé Woven Yardage (twill and basket weave, networked initial 4, 16 shafts, Tencel warp & pearl cotton weft, 2019)

After so many years of weaving I still get a thrill from learning something new.  Hope you enjoyed this post.

See you next time!

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Tied Overshot: Stars, Diamonds, and Variations

November 16, 2018

Tied overshot, often called stars and diamonds weave, evokes images of pretty weaving patterns.  Having read several articles about it, I learned that tied overshot is well known for being a traditional Colonial coverlet weave used in Pennsylvania in the nineteenth century.  It looks like overshot, but is more closely related to summer and winter.

I read Clotilde Barrett’s article, “Coverlet Weaves Using Two Ties” (Weaver’s Journal, April 1979 issue #12, downloadable from  This excellent article has photos of various samples with drafts and notes, and I was particularly interested in the photo of the sample in Plate 6.  The article mentions Dorothy K. and Harold B. Burnham’s notable book, Keep Me Warm One Night, that refers to the weave of this sample as “stars and diamonds.”  To better understand how to design such a weave, I closely studied the chapter on tied overshot in Madelyn van der Hoogt’s book, The Complete Book of Drafting for Handweavers, one of my favorite books on drafting.  I then designed and wove a bunch of samples and three tied overshot table runners.  In this post I’ll be sharing, among other things, photos, drafts, and notes about these runners starting with this blue runner:

Tied Overshot Blue Table Runner (12 shafts), soy silk and pearl cotton, 2018

Tied Overshot Blue Table Runner (12 shafts), soy silk and pearl cotton, 2018 (close-up of both sides)

Draft for Tied Overshot Blue Table Runner (12 shafts)

Partial Draft for Tied Overshot Blue Table Runner (12 shafts) (interlacement view)

In many traditional coverlets the warp and the tabby (plain weave) weft are often thinner cotton yarns and the pattern weft is a thicker worsted wool yarn.  For my table runners I chose yarns that I had in my stash:  thin 16/2 soy silk for the warp and tabby weft and a thicker 5/2 pearl cotton for the pattern weft.  All three runners were woven on the same warp with a sett of 30 e.p.i.  They were all wet finished by hand and steam ironed.

To design the 12-shaft draft shown above, I adapted the tie-up from the draft in Figure 7 in Clotilde’s article, and the threading and treadling from the chapter in Madelyn’s book on tied overshot, Figure 11b:  “Uneven 2-tie overshot: 5 thread half-unit.”  In other variations the size of these units can vary.  I also want to mention that you can design new patterns using the same threading and treadling by simply making changes in the tie-up.  For example, in the partial draft above you can make changes to the tie-up within the area marked by the yellow rectangle to design new patterns.  That’s what I did and wove the other two runners on the same warp.  There are no stars in the red one and the mauve one is mostly just diamonds:

Tied Overshot Red Table Runner (12 shafts), soy silk and pearl cotton, 2018

Tied Overshot Red Table Runner (12 shafts), soy silk and pearl cotton, 2018 (close-up of both sides)

Tied Overshot Mauve Table Runner (12 shafts), soy silk and pearl cotton, 2018

Tied Overshot Mauve Table Runner (12 shafts), soy silk and pearl cotton, 2018 (close-up of both sides)

And here’s an 8-shaft tied overshot draft that I designed but did not weave:

Draft for Tied Overshot (8 shafts)

Some of the articles I read refer to John Landes’ draft No. 76 (14 shafts) as “stars and diamonds.”  I was curious about it and found it in A Book of Patterns for Hand-Weaving; Designs from the John Landes Drawings in the Pennsylvania Museum; drafts and notes by Mary Meigs Atwater.  It’s downloadable from, and you can find it there if you search in “Documents” and then “Key Words” and enter “John Landes.”  It doesn’t seem to come up when you search by “Author.”  I plugged the info from the draft into my weaving software and it looks like this:

Draft for Tied Overshot Stars and Diamonds adapted from John Landes Draft No. 76

I also found online a PDF version of Tom Knisely’s March/April 2006 article in Handwoven magazine, “Stars and Diamonds – for a show towel on fourteen shafts.”  I think the John Landes draft was used for the towel.  This is a nice article with detailed drafts and step-by-step instructions.  For more on tied overshot and related weaves there are many excellent articles in Weaver’s magazine issue #19 (4th quarter 1992), the theme is friendship coverlets.

Hope you enjoyed this post.  Until next time, I wish everyone peace, goodness, and joy in the coming holidays and the New Year!

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Woven Moiré Samples

May 29, 2018

I read Verda Elliott’s interesting article, “Woven Moiré: a Fabric that is About a Fabric,” when it was first published in Weaver’s magazine issue #20 in 1993.  I have been curious about woven moiré ever since I read this article, and I finally decided to give it a try.  Sadly, Verda passed away in 2009 but her inspiring work lives on.

In this article, Verda describes how one of the ways commercial moiré fabrics are made is by physically pressing a moiré pattern into the face of the fabric with rollers that have a moiré pattern engraved on them using pressure and heat.  But Verda wanted to achieve a moiré effect in a woven structure so she used a divided draft, superposing two twills.  I think she used the word “superpose” rather than “superimpose” because it’s a more scientific term.  I followed Verda’s instructions and wove a few moiré samples using her drafts from the article and then designed my own drafts and wove some more samples.  In this post I’ll be sharing my moiré experience with photos, drafts and notes.

One of Verda’s drafts is for a moiré evening bag that I used to weave Sample #1 below.  The photo shows the mostly weft-faced front and the mostly warp-faced back.  Verda’s draft has a straight and an undulating twill threaded alternately – one twill on odd warp ends and the other one on even warp ends, and it has alternate treadling as well.  To weave the fabric for her evening bag she used shiny rayon yarns that work really well for creating a moiré effect.  I used yarns that are not as shiny as rayon – white 10/2 pearl cotton for the warp at 28 epi and blue and tan 5/2 pearl cotton for the weft.  The finished cloth is fairly stable and somewhat thick with areas of very long floats among areas of firm plain weave.

Woven Moiré Sample #1, pearl cotton, showing front and back, 2018

Sample #2 below is my own design.  This time I used white 20/2 rayon for the warp at 40 epi and purple and orange 5/2 pearl cotton for the weft.  The floats are not as long as in Sample #1, but still long:  9 in the front and 17 in the back.  But surprisingly the finished cloth is very stable.

Woven Moiré Sample #2, pearl cotton, 2018

Below are different views of a partial draft for Sample #2.  I  like using straight and undulating twills, but Verda notes that you can also use other types of twills like point twills.  In this draft each twill uses its own threading, treadling, and tie-up with a total number of 15 shafts and 15 treadles.  Verda recommends an odd number of shafts because it produces a better moiré effect.  Most moiré drafts are very long and this draft is also too long to post a full repeat of it here.  I thought of using Fiberworks’ “interleave” feature to generate the draft, but it doesn’t seem to work with an odd number of shafts and treadles.  So I did it manually with the help of the “copy” and “paste” features.

Woven Moiré Partial Draft for Sample #2 (front)

Woven Moiré Partial Draft for Sample #2 (back)

Woven Moiré Partial Draft for Sample #2, (front, interlacement view)

Next are two samples I wove from another one of Verda’s drafts.  Samples #3A and 3B are front and back of the same sample using alternating black and white 20/2 cotton for the warp, and alternating purple and tan 20/2 cotton for the weft.  The sett is 40 epi.  In this sample, I think the mostly weft-faced front and the mostly warp-faced back are both interesting.

Woven Moiré Sample #3A, cotton, 2018

Woven Moiré Sample #3B cotton, 2018

Sample #4 below uses the same threading as Sample #3A/B but the 20/2 cotton warp is all white, the 20/2 cotton weft is all black, and the sett is closer at 54 epi.  There is something very different about this sample – both twills are woven simultaneously by using 2 treadles at the same time rather than alternate treadling.  The photo shows only one side, but both front and back are mostly warp-faced and look similar.

Woven Moiré Sample #4, cotton, 2018

I was curious about the French word moiré, so I looked it up online and found several meanings.  From the ones referring to moiré textiles I really like “watered silk” and “cloth, especially silk, with a pattern on the surface that looks similar to waves on water.”  In general, moiré is more commonly known as “a pattern seen when 2 geometrical patterns such as grids are visually superimposed.”  I have seen photos of such a moiré effect when 2 screens are superimposed and here’s one I captured with my camera:

Moiré Effect – 2 screens superimposed

That’s it for moiré!  See you next time!

UPDATE June 6, 2018:  Marilize van der Merwe sent me photos of her beautiful woven moiré work that she is kindly willing to share with everyone.  Below are a few of the photos, thank you Marilize!

In the photo below Marilize used white mercerized 20/2 cotton for the warp and beige and green Nr. 8 crochet yarn for the weft and the finished fabric is for a slightly puffed head board for her guest room:

Woven Moiré on the loom by Marilize van der Merwe, cotton warp and weft

In the next photo Marilize used white 20/2 mercerized cotton for the warp and white and gold novelty crochet acrylic yarn Nr. 8 for the weft and the finished fabric is for lined evening bags:

Woven Moiré by Marilize van der Merwe, cotton warp and novelty yarn weft

In the last photo below Marilize used white 20/2 mercerized cotton for the warp and 4-ply purple knitting yarn for the weft and the finished fabric is for decorative fashion blanket throws for the bed with a plain chenille lining on the back to cover the long floats in the warp:

Woven Moiré by Marilize van der Merwe, cotton warp and knitting yarn weft

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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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