OK, let’s get straight to the point! A lot of new weavers find weaving drafts very confusing. This is not at all surprising, because they come in so many different flavours depending on the resources you use. However, the good news is that the underlying principles are really quite straightforward. Generations of weavers have used drafts to pass on information to their students and colleagues, so let’s continue that historic tradition by working through the components of the weaving draft piece by piece.
To get us started, let’s observe that we can divide up all of the variety into two main ways in which contemporary weaving drafts are presented.
In this presentation the weaving draft consists of three essential elements: the threading, the tie-up and the treadling. The drawdown, which is a schematic representation of the cloth itself, is often shown as well but is not in fact essential. All the information needed to create the drawdown yourself, or to weave the structure straight away, is contained in the other three components.
This is the very same draft, but it is now shown in liftplan format. The number of essential elements has been reduced to two: the threading and the liftplan. Again, the drawdown may be included.
What’s the difference?
To a great extent, the difference is cultural. The tie-up format is essential if you are weaving on a floor loom with multiple treadles. It is commonly used in books and resources published in North America where weavers often use floor looms from the beginning of their weaving journey. In the UK, where weavers are more likely to weave on table looms or on dobby looms, the liftplan format is more common. The table and dobby loom weavers do have an advantage here, because every tie-up draft can be rewritten as a liftplan draft, but not the other way around! I will explain this in more detail in a future post.
For now, take a moment to look at your weaving books and magazines and have a go at identifying what format of draft they use. Do they all include tie-ups or are some shown as liftplans? Does every draft have a drawdown?
Over the next few weeks I will discuss the individual parts of the draft, starting with the threading. In the meantime, if you have any questions please get in touch: you can email me or leave a comment below.
First posted on weavingspace.co.uk © Cally Booker