Twill triangles on 8 shafts

Lemonade Weaves: 5A

When life gives you lemons… weave yourself some lemonade. To keep us all going – whether we’re locked down, self-isolating, quarantined or just keeping a safe distance – I thought I’d share a few ways to make the most of simple drafts and limited yarns.

I knew I would end up complicating a simple numbering system! Anyway, I am posting an update to the double-faced twills in Lemonade Weave 5 for two reasons.

Clarification

I want to emphasise again that this structure is not double weave. You can read a definition of double weave here, but the crucial point is that for a double weave you need two sets of warp threads and two sets of weft threads. As I explained in my previous post, this structure has only one set of warp threads. It is not a double weave.

It is, however, referred to as double-faced. This is a term which is quite tricky to pin down, and I am not going to make the attempt! The essence of this particular weave is that we are managing to make a twill fabric that is weft-faced on both sides.

8-shaft zig-zags

Several people have expressed an interest in weaving the zig-zag pattern on 8 shafts, so I thought I would use that as an opportunity to illustrate how the doubling of the weft is structured.

The main issue with taking this pattern to 8 rather than 16 shafts is the question of scale. The points here are only 15 threads wide, so bear that in mind when choosing a suitable yarn. If your sett is, say, 30 epi, then your zigs and your zags will be only half an inch wide. A yarn which you can comfortably set at about 16 epi will give you a much more dramatic effect.

I am somewhat reluctant to share this draft as I haven’t been able to weave it. I’m a practical kind of weaver and I do my best thinking at the loom rather than the computer. While I do use software to plan things out, I like to test them in practice before I commit. But my studio is still closed, so this draft comes with a very large

Caveat

This draft has not been tested at the loom. If you try it and find you want to correct or adjust it, be my guest!

Two faces, two wefts

Let’s set up an imaginary 8-shaft loom with a point threading. Using the liftplan shown below, we can easily create zig-zags.

We can see the zig-zag shape clearly because the warp and weft are different colours. A warp-dominant area alternates with a weft-dominant area. It’s a pretty nice weave just as it is, in fact.

But now let’s use a different colour of weft.

Note that as well as changing the colour of the weft I have also moved the liftplan to start at a different point in the sequence. The set of lifts is the same, but the treadling sequence is offset from the original. This can be seen clearly at the top of the drawdown. Look at the row of triangles which appear right under the threading: in the first drawdown these are pink (the weft is showing) but in the second drawdown these triangles are white (the warp is showing).

I have also made this lifting sequence shorter. The first draft includes three repeats of the pattern, the second includes only two.

Interleaving

So I have a blue-and-white pattern and a pink-and-white pattern, but what I want to achieve is a blue-and-pink pattern on my white warp. To do this, I need to interleave the two liftplans so that I alternate my two wefts.

In the new draft below I am weaving one row from the blue draft followed by one row from the pink draft. Because the warp-faced areas of one draft correspond to the weft-faced areas of the other, the warp will end up almost completely covered by the wefts. This gives me interlocking zig-zags of blue and pink.

I left that extra repeat in pink at the end of the sequence to show how you can segue from areas with one weft to areas with two wefts and vice versa. This is analogous to the 16-shaft draft I shared before.

If we wanted to create the illusion of the floating zig-zags, we would change the pink yarn to a white one for the bottom section like this:

What about a tie-up?

Another point that I mentioned previously is that these weaves are expensive in terms of lifts, and hence can be tricky on a floor loom with treadles. This particular liftplan requires 14 distinct lifts, as shown below. The tie-up can be reduced, as long as your loom is suitable for multi-pedal treadling, but at the cost of making the treadling more complex.

Getting carried away

Double-faced twill is a great way to use up small amounts of yarn, but the zig-zag pattern isn’t quite the ‘simple weave’ I had in mind when I started this series! However, I hope that for some of you this is an enjoyable new way to think about our old favourites, the 1/3 and 3/1 twills.

Happy weaving!

First posted on weavingspace.co.uk © Cally Booker

4 Responses

  • Wow! I need to try this out. I know it’s a nice problem to have, but I am still working (and being at home, I have to try and block out the sound of my looms calling to me) so can’t imagine when I’ll get to it. But thanks, Cally, I always open your emails and my head goes off to good places. I hope the lemonade stall is paying dividends. Yours was the story that brought home to me the reality of the self-employed teacher and crafter. When I next sign up for a weaving course, it will be with you. Only a textbook to write and a garden to sort …

    • Oops, I shouldn’t be distracting you from work! I’d make a habit of posting at the weekend, if I had any idea of when the weekend is these days… Thanks for the support and the vote of confidence. It is very challenging at the moment, but the lemonade stand has given me a much-needed boost. It is a tough time to be self-employed, but in many ways I am very, very fortunate – not least in having weaving to keep me going.

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