Twill boxes

12 Twills of Christmas: Twill 2

Boxing Day

Here in the UK it’s Boxing Day, so what could be more appropriate than twill boxes?

This draft is a way of weaving two blocks of 4-shaft twill, so it requires 8 shafts. The boxes are woven in three steps. First, both blocks are woven in the same direction. Then alternate blocks continue in the same direction, while the others are reversed. Finally, we return to step one and weave both blocks in the same direction again. The reversed area becomes a ‘box’ contained in a twill outline.

We can enhance the effect by varying the widths of the blocks in our threading. I have used narrower outlines and larger boxes in this example.

Online resource pack

Downloadable drafts and project planning notes for the Twelve Twills collection: six 4-shaft and six 8-shaft twills, all accessed through our beautiful online resource hub.

First posted on © Cally Booker

8 Responses

  • I am a beginning weaver and struggle with getting an even selvedge. I do mostly kitchen towels (I’ve done about 40 of them so far). My selvedges do come out fairly even, but I can’t use a flowing, rhythmic motion to accomplish it. I have to adjust each thread before beating. I’m using a boat shuttle, but recently noticed somewhere that an end-feed shuttle and pirn is somehow good for correcting this problem. Can you give me any advice about this? I’ve included my web address because it’s requested, but this site doesn’t relate to weaving – just some of my “other lives.”

    • Hi Peg, lovely to hear from you. I am not sure whether it is good news or bad news, but the truth is that just about every weaver is dissatisfied with their selvedges! It does get easier over time, and (somewhat counter-intuitively) they often improve quicker if we don’t think about them too much. An end-feed shuttle can be useful, but you don’t have to have one. Most of my shuttles are side-feed and I can get into a nice rhythm with them because the size and weight suit my hands. Make sure that your bobbin is wound evenly – keep a little bit of tension on the yarn as you wind it – so that yarn will come off smoothly and at a steady pace. And do try to get into the habit of ‘throwing’ the shuttle from hand to hand, rather than pushing it through the shed. Laura Fry made a little video of this action some years ago and it is worth looking at if you haven’t seen it before. You may also find that it helps to use a different threading at the edges of your towels, though that rather depends on what structure you are using. Happy weaving! Cally

  • HI Calli, I am weaving framed turned twill, like your draft, and used your tie-up, but I found that I didn’t get the frame but a weft faced block A and warp faced Block B,. and a no block for the 1&5, 2&6, 3&7, 4&8, I then changed my tie-up for block A to 2348, 1347, 1246, 1235. to get a weft faced leg for the frame with a warp faced block A.

    • Hi Marlene

      I wonder whether the difference between yours and mine is in the way we are labelling the blocks and shafts? If you tie up 1 & 5, 2 & 6 etc I would expect to get weft faced twill across the whole warp (unless you have a sinking shed loom, of course, when you would get warp faced twill across the whole warp). Then to get the ‘sides’ of the frames, I have tied up 4678, 3578, 2568 and 1567, counting my shafts from the bottom row to the top row of the tie-up. That is continuing the weft faced twill on shafts 1-4 but changing to warp-faced on 5-8. Does that make sense? I’m travelling at the moment and typing this on my ipad, where I can’t see the draft as I’m writing so it’s a bit of a challenge to describe!!

  • Ok Callie, sorry I only saw your answer just after Christmas, yes I do get weft face with no blocks with the 1&5, etc, tie-ups. but when I treadled 1 456, 2 56 8, I dont get a weft face block to form the vertical leg of the frame, that is why I changed my tie-up to 1235, 1246, 1347, 2348, then I get the warp faced block A I wanted with a weft faced frame all around the warp faced bloick .

    • Interesting! We must be doing something else differently as well, perhaps in the threading? But as long as you’ve got what you need that’s the main thing. Working it out is half the fun!

  • hello cally, few days ago i stumbled over this website, trying to find answers for my weaving project – which indeed is not really a project but a searching in the endlessness of weaving-ideas…
    and first of all i’ll like to give you a hugh compliment for this site. its logical built up with clear textes an good images.
    and due to that i’m sitting now in front of my labtop and readingreadingreading. a lot of inspirations – and especially i like that you’re scottish!
    i got my loom some thirty years ago and he acompanied me over the years. but i’m not weaving constantly and that costs lacks in the rememberance. a pause of some years – and i had to begin right from the beginning. doesn’t bother me and each time i found new experiences. so is it now and therefore the searching. and don’t you please wondering about my english, i’m living in switzerland – with scotland in my heart…
    kind regards dorothee

    • Hello Dorothee and thank you for taking the time to comment. I am really glad you are finding the website useful. And we have a Switzerland-Scotland connection! My Swiss grandmother moved to Scotland in the 1930s 🙂
      Happy weaving,

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