How Well Did You Know Your Twills? 

Marcy Petrini

September, 2020

Did you take the take the twill test in the August blog? If so, here are the answers. How well did you do? If not, you are still in time to take it, and then check your answers.

Here are the best answers.


Twill Test with Answers, Explained  


  1. The minimum number of shafts needed for a twill is:
    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4

Answer: c. A 2/1 or 1/2 twill is an unbalanced twill on 3 shafts, one side is warp-dominant, the other weft-dominant; the twill is also called jean’s twill and it is, in fact, the fabric used to make blue jeans. You can also weave twills on 4 shafts, of course, but 3 is all you need; 2 shafts make plain weave and 1shaft? I am not sure what that is!


  1. Floats in a twill fabric are:
    1. Weft floats
    2. Warp floats
    3. Both warp and weft floats
    4. Depends on the twill

Answer c. By definition a twill has floats, and a weft float means also a warp float; where the floats are depends on the twill, but both are present.

  1. A standard tie-up is:
    1. 1&2; 2&3; 3&4; 4&1; 1&3; 2&4
    2. 4&1; 3&4; 2&3;1&2; 2&4; 1&3
    3. 1&3; 1&2; 2&3; 3&4; 4&1; 2&4
    4. All of the above

Answer: d. A standard tie-up on 4 shafts is the 6 combinations of all the shafts taken 2 at the time; but how we arrange those combinations on our treadles changes and should be maximized to weave as efficiently and comfortably as possible. Thus all the tie-ups listed here are possible. 

  1. In an unbalanced twill:
    1. The fabric is warp-dominant
    2. The fabric is weft-dominant
    3. The fabric depends on the specific twill
    4. The fabric is warp-dominant on one side, weft-dominant on the other 

Answer d: When a fabric is unbalanced, it means the two sides are different, regardless of twill, one side is warp-dominant and the other weft-dominant; for example, a 1/3 twill. There are fabrics that are either warp-dominant on both sides of the fabric or weft-dominant on both sides of the fabric, but they are not unbalanced since both sides are the same.

  1. Which cannot be woven on 4 shafts:
    1. Satin
    2. False-satin
    3. Broken twill
    4. Extended pointed twill

Answer: a. A satin requires a minimum of 5 shafts. False satin, broken twill and extended pointed twill can all be woven on 4 shafts. Usually a false satin is a 3/1 broken twill which resembles a satin.

  1. Which are possible weaving combinations?
    1. Straight twill threading, pointed twill treadling
    2. Pointed twill threading, straight twill treadling
    3. Undulating threading, broken twill treadling
    4. All of the above

Answer: d. The wonderful thing about twills is that, in general, any threading can be woven with any treadling. All of those are all possible combinations.

  1. A fancy twill is:
    1. An unbalanced twill
    2. An irregular twill
    3. A treadling method
    4. A twill with plain weave

Answer: b. A fancy twill is another name for an irregular twill, which is one that cannot be described by a ratio of warp and weft floats; regular twills can be described by ratios, for example, 2/2, 3/1, 1/2, on 4, 4 and 3 shafts respectively, meaning that the entire cloth is made up of floats with its specific ratio; an irregular twill can have a mixture of float lengths, and could include plain weave and could be unbalanced. A twill is a weave, whether it is regular or irregular, meaning that it has a threading and a treadling associated with it; a treadling method is a series of weaving steps without its own threading, but it can be applied to any number of threadings.

  1. Waffle weave is
    1. A treadling method
    2. Pointed twill
    3. Bird’s eye twill
    4. Popcorn weave

Answer: a. Waffle weave is not a weave, it’s a treadling method. It’s a series of treadling steps applied usually to a pointed twill, since it doesn’t have a threading of its own. Both pointed twill and bird’s eye twill are twills and popcorn weave is not a weave, but another treadling method.

  1. If the treadling step is 1&3, which is the “on opposite” treadling step?
    1. 1&2
    2. 2&4
    3. 2&3
    4. 3&4

Answer: b. “On opposite” treadling on 4 shafts is using those not in the original step. Thus, the shafts not used in the 1&3 treadling are 2&4. The other combinations listed all contain either shaft 1 or 3, thus they cannot be opposite.

  1. Floating selvages:
    1. Should be used on the side where the weft doesn’t catch
    2. Should be used on both sides of the fabric
    3. Are not needed for twills
    4. Are needed for irregular twills

Answer: b. If a twill – or any structure for that matter – needs a floating selvage, both sides of the fabric should have them, even if it is only one side where the weft doesn’t catch the outer warp thread. Otherwise, the two edges will be different and even if the selvages will be hidden, for example in a garment or pillow, the take-up could be different so it’s best to use floating selvages on both sides. Some twills don’t require floating selvages and some irregular twill need them, but not all.

  1. For a balanced fabric, the sett for a twill should be:
    1. About the same as for plain weave
    2. Slightly more open than a plain weave
    3. Slightly denser than for plain weave
    4. Depends on the twill

Answer c: The sett for any balanced twill is generally about 20% closer than the plain weave sett. A sett the same as plain weave or slightly more open would result in a fabric that is more weft-faced and thus not balanced. That may be desirable, but the question is about a balanced fabric.

  1. For a weft faced twill, which of the following are true:
    1. The weft covers the warp
    2. The color interactions provide the pattern
    3. A number of different twills can be used
    4. All of the above

Answer: d. A weft-faced twill can be produced by a number of twills by opening the sett and letting the weft cover the warp completely on both sides of the fabric, which is generally sturdy, as in a rug. The motifs of the design are from the color interactions using at least two, but often more colors.

  1. If the number of threads needed for a project (width times sett) doesn’t match the twill repeat:
    1. Arriving at the match depends on the twill
    2. The number of repeats have to be increased
    3. The number of repeats have to be decreased
    4. Balancing threads have to be added

Answer: a. Arriving at the exact match of number of threads in the project to twill repeats depends on the twill; the repeats may have to be increased (if the loom width allows), may have to be decreased and balancing threads may have to be added in either case.

  1. Which weft would show a bird’s eye twill best on a variegated warp of blue, green and purple?
    1. Blue
    2. Green
    3. Depends on the weft shade
    4. Variegated blue, green and purple

Answer: c. If we want to see the twill, we need some contrast, so it depends on the shade of the weft; either blue or green may work, depending on shade. Variegated wefts on a variegated warp tend to obscure the pattern.

  1. To weave a 1/3 and 3/1 straight twill on the same side of the fabric with 6 treadles, which combination will work?
    1. 1, 2, 3, 4, 1&3, 2&4
    2. 1&2, 2&3, 3&4, 4&1, 1&3, 2&4
    3. 1, 2, 3, 4, 1&2&3, 2&3&4
    4. None of the above

Answer: a. To weave the 1/3 twill, the 4 shafts need to be activated one at a time, so the treadles need to be tied to 1, 2, 3, and 4; to weave a 3/1 twill, 3 shafts have to be activated together: 1&2&3; 2&3&4; 3&4&1; 4&1&2; each of these combinations uses the odd vs. even pair, 1&3 and 2&4, plus another, which we already tied for the 1/3 twill; two feet are needed for the 3/1 twill portion of the fabric.


I hope you did well and that you learned something. Did you know that you can weave twill blocks on 4 shafts? It’s in the Pictionary. Here is the scarf.



Happy weaving and stay safe and healthy!

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