Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Implementing 8 shafts ...

So my new little 8-shaft loom will now be utilized to it's fullest. Sunday, I wound a warp for a set of kitchen towels. Monday, I sleyed the reed, and today I started threading the heddles. These towels will be woven in what's called a 2-block broken twill, which means the weave structure is broken twill, but since I have 8 shafts I can create 2 separate blocks of twill which will enhance the intricacy of the overall pattern.

Twill. I just love that name--as I do many weaving terms. It means that instead of having a weft thread pass under one warp thread, then over one warp thread as in "plain" weave: over, under, over, under, ... the weft thread passes under 2 or more weft threads at once, and over 1 or more. A very common twill structure is 2 over, 1 under. It creates a visual diagonal rib in the cloth because the over/under is offset at the edge of the cloth (the selvedge). If the offset is moved out of linear order prematurely, the solid diagonal rib is lost and the twill is "broken". It's still twill, but the pattern is scattered instead of on a linear diagonal.

Here is a good example of twill:

And here is an example of "broken" twill:

There are several ways of "breaking" twill. The above is just one example.

Here's my warp after I finished sleying the reed. White, magenta, blue. Because I'm having 2 blocks, the cloth will end up with squares of color combinations: white/magenta, magenta/blue, white/blue, magenta/white, in addition to the 3 solid colors. Very exciting!


  1. Will this be a hand towel? Will it be used for drying dishes? Actually, might be better as a piece of art!

    1. Thanks, crafty1! They will be dish towels. :)

  2. I think crafty 1 is right, Bernard. But I also think it is a very good thing to use beautiful handmade pieces for ordinary tasks. Just seems to brighten up the chore....... ;). Thanks for the weaving lessons. I know now, for sure, why I will stick to rug hooking and spinning! Just don't have the mind for the intricacies of weaving. I studied the old blanket bits I was sorting with fresh eyes and saw both examples of twill weaving.