From Four Shafts to Eight Shafts

Marcy Petrini

November, 2019

This month I gave a program on “From Four Shafts to Eight-Shafts” to my guild, the Chimneyville Weavers and Spinners Guild. I have presented seminars and workshops in the past, I wrote a monograph on the topic, and I wrote briefly about one aspect of it in my May 2016 blog. But whenever I am to present a topic, I like to rethink of it because difference circumstances require different presentations and, for a short program, it’s best to address the big picture with some examples to clarify.

I like to think of the transition from four shafts to eight – or more – as falling into four broad categories: 1) structures that can be simply extended – both the threading and the treadling; 2) structures that generally require some adjustment of the extension, to avoid too long floats; 3) structures that are only possible with more shafts; 4) combinations of structures, sometimes called hybrid.

 

Extending the Threading and Treadling from Four to More

Structures that fall in this category are many of the grouped weaves, which form blocks, with one warp and one weft (the “lacey weaves”), and the tied-unit weaves which form blocks with one warp, a background weft and a pattern weft; summer and winter is the only one on four shafts (discussed in the 3rd section).

 

Example: Spot Bronson

On four shafts, there are three blocks, each made up of shaft 1 plus a pattern shaft. Blocks can be as long as we wish, limited by the float length, which, in turn depends on sett. Blocks cannot be combined as the float would just be extended. On eight shafts, there are seven blocks, and they can be arranged to form motifs as long as adjacent blocks are not combined.

From the drawdowns we see that the structure has been simply extended to 8 shafts with no changes. Plain weave across the fabric is treadled 1 vs. all other shafts; each block is treadled by covering with weft the warp ends on shaft 1 and plus the pattern shaft; on a sinking shed loom, we lower shaft 1 and the pattern shaft; on a rising shed loom, we lift all the pattern shafts except the one to be covered; that is, to weave block A threaded on shaft 2, we lower shafts 1 & 2 or we raise 3 & 4 on 4 shafts or 3 & 4 & 5 & 6 & 7 & 8 on 8-shafts.

 

 

  Spot Bronson on 4 shafts 

  Click here for the full-sized draft (a PDF will open a new window)

 

 

Spot Bronson on 8 Shafts

  Click here for the full-sized draft (a PDF will open a new window)

 

This simple extending allows for more design options.

 

Extending the Structure from Four to More with Some Adjustments

Structures that fall into this category are the twills and the supplementary weft weaves derived from twills, for example overshot (see May 2016 blog).

 

Example: Straight Twill

Twills are structures with one warp and one weft that forms staggered floats. A balanced straight twill, shown below, is the simplest on four shafts, balanced meaning that with every pick, two shafts are up and two shafts down, also called a 2/2 twill. Because every pick follows the same rules, the 2/2 twill is called regular and forms the characteristic slanted motif.

 

 

Straight Twill on 4 shafts 

  Click here for the full-sized draft (a PDF will open a new window)

 

With 8 shafts, we can simply extend the threading and treadling as shown below, but this results in 6-thread floats, weft-floats on one side, warp-floats on the other. Whether a 6-thread float is acceptable depends on the sett, but there are more options that result in more visually pleasing twills.

 

Straight Twill Threading on 8 shafts 

  Click here for the full-sized draft (a PDF will open a new window)

 

There are three options to adjust this twill: 1) change the tie-up to anchor the floats, maintaining the balanced twill; 2) change the tie-up to anchor the floats, but produce an unbalanced twill (similar to the 3/1 twill on 4-shafts); 3) change the tie-up to anchor the floats, so that the picks do not follow the same rule; this is an irregular twill, sometimes called fancy.

Below is a 2/1/2/3 straight twill, which is balanced: with every pick, 4 shafts are up (2 and 2) and 4 shafts stay down (1 and 3).

  

2/1/2/3 Straight Twill

  Click here for the full-sized draft (a PDF will open a new window)

 

Below is a 3/1/2/2 straight twill which is unbalanced: 5 shafts are up (3 and 2) and 3 shafts are down (1 and 2).

 

3/1/2/2 Straight Twill

  Click here for the full-sized draft (a PDF will open a new window)

 

 Below is an irregular or fancy twill, which cannot be described by any sequence of up and down shafts, since each pick is different.

 

Irregular Straight Twill 

  Click here for the full-sized draft (a PDF will open a new window)

 

In each of these cases, the floats are never more than 3-threads long, making for a stable fabric.

 

Structures Requiring More than Four

There are three common groups of structures that generally require more than for shafts: satins, most tied-unit weaves, and most turned drafts from supplementary weft weaves. We will discuss these.

 

Example: 5-Shaft Satin

Satins require at least 5 shafts to be woven; they are unbalanced fabrics, one side predominantly weft-dominant, called sateen, the other warp-dominant, called satin. On four shafts, a 3/1 broken twill is sometimes called a false-satin because it resembles it, but in a true satin the floats are stitched or anchored intermittently with less pattern, especially with more shafts, which is why four can’t produce a true satin. (My May 2017 and June 2017 blogs are on this topic). With 8 shafts, we can have 7- and 8-shaft satins, in addition to 5.

 

Satin 

  Click here for the full-sized draft (a PDF will open a new window)

 

The first half of the drawdown above shows the sateen side, which is the way the fabric is usually woven, only one shaft at a time to lift; the bottom of this fabric will be the satin side. The second half of the drawdown shows the satin side up, facing the weaver as the fabric is woven; the bottom of this fabric will be the sateen side.

Satins can showcase special yarns, making for an almost solid surface; care must be taken, however, because they can be heavy, packing nearly twice as much yarn as plain weave for the same size fabric. Using thin threads and light weight fibers solves the problem.

 

Unit Tied-Weaves: Tied Lithuanian

We have already mentioned that summer and winter is a unit tied weave that can be woven on four shafts. But this group really profits from more shafts; in fact, there are so many options, that some don’t even have names, but they are called by their classification described below, made popular by Donna Sullivan in her book Summer and Winter A Weave for All Seasons. First we apply it summer and winter on 4 shafts.

 

Summer and Winter Example

Classification

Single

# of pattern shafts per block

Two-tie

# of shafts used for ties

Unpaired

Paired = ties next to each other
Unpaired = separated by pattern

1: 1 ratio

Ratio of
ties threads to pattern threads
in each block

 

By this nomenclature, summer and winter is called single because each block uses one pattern shaft, 3 in block A, 4 in block B, see drawdown below; two-tie since shafts 1 and 2 are the ties; unpaired because the ties alternate with the pattern shaft in each block; a 1:1 ratio since each block has two ties and two pattern shafts, even though each block uses the same pattern shaft twice.

 

Summer and Winter on 4 shafts

  Click here for the full-sized draft (a PDF will open a new window)

 

From the drawdown we see that, in treadling, each block is woven with two pattern picks; the weft covers the threads on the pattern shaft and on one of the ties, then the other. In a sinking shed loom, the pattern shaft is lowered, in a raising shed loom, all other shafts are raised. The drawdown above is for a raising shed loom; to weave block A, threaded on shaft 3, the picks raised one of the tabbies, plus shaft 4, so 3 stays lowered to be covered.

In treadling, each pattern pick is followed by a tabby pick, treadled ties vs. pattern shafts; on 4-shafts that is 1 & 2 vs. 3 & 4; the tabby picks are not shown in the drawdown above, so the pattern is more obvious. This treadling is called “singles”, but there are more treadling options. (See RFTS in Shuttle Spindle & Dyepot #198 & #199, summer and winter 2019, respectively).

When summer and winter is woven on 8 shafts, it is still a single, two-tie, unpaired structure with a 1:1 ratio as shown in the drawdown below. As with 4 shafts, the tabbies are 1 & 2 vs. all pattern shafts; each block is woven with two picks, each tie-down shaft plus the pattern shaft, as in four shafts. Adjacent blocks can be combined on 4 and 8 shafts, but there are more options on 8 shafts.

 

Summer and Winter on 8 shafts

  Click here for the full-sized draft (a PDF will open a new window)

 

With more than four shafts, each of the parameters in the classification can be changed and increased; for example, we can have more shafts per block, or more ties.

Below is the drawdown of an example: Tied-Lithuanian, which is described by this classification.

Double: two pattern shafts per block (3 & 4; 5 & 6; 7 & 8).

Two-tie: two shafts for the ties, 1 and 2.

Paired: the ties, 1 and 2, are next to each other.

1:2 ratio: each block has the two ties and four pattern shafts, two repeated for each block.

In treadling, a tabby shot follows each pattern pick, not shown in the drawdown. The tabbies are all odd shafts vs. all even shafts.

The drawdown shown below is for a raising shed loom, thus alternate shafts are raised in order to cover the block with weft. When treadling the blocks, the odd tie-down shaft, 1, is raised with the odd pattern shafts not in the block threading. That, is, to treadle block A which uses pattern shafts 3 & 4, the odd pattern pick lifts 1 & 5 & 7. The other pattern pick for block A lifts the even tie-down shaft, 2, plus the even pattern shafts, 6 & 8, not found in the threading of block A.

 

Tied-Lithuanian

  Click here for the full-sized draft (a PDF will open a new window)

 

The treadling shown forms plain weave in the blocks not being woven, but blocks can be combined because the tie-down threads limit the floats.

 

Turned Drafts: Summer and Winter

We turn drafts by literally exchanging the threading with the tie-up/treadling, usually to avoid weaving with two shuttles. The supplementary weft becomes the supplementary warp. A drawdown that requires 6 treadles is turned into a structure requiring 6 shafts. Thus, most 4-shaft structures with a supplementary weft need more than four to be turned (an exception is Monk’s Belts).

Below is the drawdown of summer and winter on 4-shafts; it’s the same structure shown in the previous section, but this time the alternating tabbies are shown in the light green. There are six treadles needed to weave it, two tabbies (1 & 2 vs. 3 &4) and two treadle each for each block.

 

Summer and Winter
on 4 Shafts with Tabby

  Click here for the full-sized draft (a PDF will open a new window)

  

Below is the drawdown of the turned draft; the block motifs are also turned. Six shafts are needed, two for the tied down threads, two each for the two blocks.

On 8 shafts, a 3-block turned summer and winter could be woven, by adding shafts 7 and 8 to form the additional block, alternating with shafts 1 and 2.

 

Summer and Winter Turned

  Click here for the full-sized draft (a PDF will open a new window)

 

Combining Structures

We can think of our 8-shaft loom as being two looms: the front four shafts are one loom, the back four shafts another. Thus we can weave two structures together; the simplest way is to thread one structure on the front loom and another in the back loom in stripes, or the threading can alternate the two looms. Then we combine the treadling sequences.

While in principle this is easy to do, there can be some complications; in some cases, combining the two treadlings results in a sequence that requires more treadles that the loom has; in some instances, a skeleton tie-up may work, in others weaving the fabric upside down may make the skeleton tie-up more manageable.

Sometimes the combined treadling sequence is so long that weaving it can be daunting. Both of these cases are made much easier with a dobby, generally computerized now.

But a third complication can occur at the joints between one structure and the other, where the resulting floats are too long. Sometimes adjusting the floats results in a hybrid structure that is unique.

I use this method a lot in my work with more than 8-shafts with a computerized dobby. Sometimes the results are really fun, other times……

   Happy Weaving!

       Please email comments and questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Myggtjäll and “Mosquito Netting”

Marcy Petrini

October, 2019

 

In a delightful essay in “End Notes” in the November/December 2018 issue of Handwoven, Lynn Tedder describes her affinity for huck and mentions a subset of huck lace, called Myggtjäll, which translates to mosquito netting in Swedish. The original description came from Mary Snider’s Lace and Lacey Weaves.

I had read Mary Snider’s book in 1986 when the new revision was published, but I didn’t make the connection to the 3-thread block of huck that I had woven.

Compare the drawdowns of huck lace on the left and that of Myggtjäll, the latter Lynn’s (note that there is a small error in the article: in the tie-up, treadle 2 & 3 are correct, but placed in the wrong position).

 

 

  Click here for the full-sized draft (a PDF will open a new window)

 

The block threading and treadling are the same, except for the size, and plain weave can be woven across the width of the fabric and down its length in both cases.

I was taught that each block of huck and huck lace can be as wide and as long as we wish, as long as it starts and ends with the same shaft, thus making the block on odd number of threads; this maintains the plain weave treadling.

Thus, at a sett of 15 ends per inch, a block threaded 2, 3, 2, 3, 2 will have a 5-thread float which is ⅓” long; at a sett of 60 epi, a 21-thread block will also have approximately a ⅓’ long float. They are both huck lace.

One day, when making a table runner with fatter yarn, I decided that my huck lace would be better served if I reduced the threading to 3 threads for each block. I wove Myggtjäll and I didn’t even know it!

After reading Lynn Tedder’s article, I thought that it would be nice to include it in the Pictionary, especially since it’s not well known and who wouldn’t want to weave mosquito netting?

But my some thirty-year-old runner was showing its wear and tear, so I decided to weave a sample of Myggtjäll for the Pictionary. To see how the blocks behaved, and what other color interactions there may be, I threaded the selvages and block A in red, and block B in purple. I then wove sections of the sampler with red, purple and blue. Here is the drawdown followed by the fabrics.

 

 

   Click here for the full-sized draft (a PDF will open a new window)

 

  

 

As I was weaving, I thought that it may be fun to go back and read what Mary Snider wrote; and here it is, she used a traditional pointed twill threading!

 

   Click here for the full-sized draft (a PDF will open a new window)

 

Shaft 1 in the huck threading becomes shaft 3 and shaft 3 becomes 1 and there is our pointed twill!

But think of the options! On the same threading, we can weave the twill’s own treadling, a number of other twills, Myggtjäll, and the entire bumberet series!

An entry for Myggtjäll has been added to the Pictionary.

   Happy Weaving!

       Please email comments and questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Blog Index: Structures, Inspiration, Color/Fiber, Exhibits/Conferences, & Weaving Help

Structure

A Color and Structure Gamp  (February, 2020)

Advancing Twills  (January, 2016)

Bronson and Barley Corn (September, 2019) 

Bumberet Family (April, 2019) 

Canvas and Crepe (September, 2018) 

Color and Weave  (April, 2016) 

Convergence Yarn and the Plaited Twill  (September, 2016) 

Deflected Double Weave (April, 2019) 

Double Binding Technique for Rag Rugs (January, 2016) 

Four and Eight Shaft Twills - Part 1 (June, 2016) 

Four and Eight Shaft Twills - Part 2 (June, 2016) 

From Four to More  (May, 2016)

From Four Shafts to Eight Shafts  (November, 2019) 

Honeycomb  (April, 2020) 

How Well Do You Know Your Twills? (August, 2020) 

How Well Do You Know Your Twills? Answers and Comments (September, 2020) 

Lacey Stripes (December, 2018) 

Myggtjäll and “Mosquito Netting” (October, 2019) 

Name Draft (March, 2018) 

Name Draft Symmetry (May, 2018) 

Name Draft: An Example (April, 2018) 

Piqué in the Pictionary (Ocrober, 2018) 

Plaited Twills - Part 2 (January, 2016) 

Rigid Heddle Weaving - Part 1 January, 2019 

Rigid Heddle Weaving - Part 2 (February, 2019) 

Satins and Damasks – and Convergence® 2018! (July, 2017) 

Satins and Sateens - Part 1 (May, 2017) 

Satins and Sateens - Part 2 (June, 2017) 

Shadow Weave - Part 2  (May, 2016) 

Shadow Weave  (April, 2016) 

The Finished Plaited Twill Shawl (April, 2017) 

The Pictionary (July, 2018) 

Treadling Undulating Twills (January, 2016) 

Twill Blocks on Four Shafts (November, 2018)

Undulating Twills  (December, 2015) 

Weaving Ruffles  (March, 2019) 

What is a Block? (June, 2018) 

What's in a name?  (April, 2016) 

Inspiration

“Inspiration is for Amateurs”  (June, 2016) 

Creativity (February 2016) 

Giving and Taking from Our Fiber Communities (March, 2016 

Handmade Gift Giving  (December, 2016) 

Inspiration (May, 2016) 

Lifetime Achievement Award (May, 2016) 

Looking Forward to 2020 (December, 2019) 

Stripes and Gene Davis (February, 2018) 

Technology and Crafts (November, 2016) 

Trying Something New (March, 2017) 

What Did I Get Done This Year? (December, 2017) 

Why Do I Practice the Crafts I Do? (March, 2016 

Color/Fiber

A Color and Structure Gamp  (February, 2020)

Christmas and Complimentary Colors  (December, 2015) 

Color and Weave  (April, 2016) 

Color: History!! Chemistry!!!! (October, 2017) 

Colors in Nature (November, 2015) 

Shadow Weave - Part 2  (May, 2016) 

Shadow Weave  (April, 2016) 

Stripes and Gene Davis (February, 2018) 

Stripes! (January, 2018) 

Using Variegated Yarn for Weft (June, 2019) 

Weaving with Angora (August, 2017) 

Weaving with Knitting Yarn (August, 2018) 

Weaving with with Yarn from the Stash (September, 2017) 

Will the Pattern Show If I Weave with Variegated Yarns? (May, 2019) 

Exhibits / Conferences

Birds of a Feather Exhibit (February 2017) 

Convergence Evaluations  (October, 2016) 

Convergence Yarn and the Plaited Twill  (September, 2016) 

Countdown to Convergence® (July, 2016) 

Hurrah for Convergence® (August, 2016) 

Jurying a Convergence® Exhibit (November, 2017) 

Looking Forward to HGA’s Convergence® 2016  (December, 2015) 

Roc Day  (January, 2016) 

Satins and Damasks – and Convergence® 2018! (July, 2017) 

Sheep to Shawl (April, 2016) 

Weaving Help

Dealing with Extra Heddles  (February 2016) 

Drapeable Scarves on the Rigid Heddle  (January 2020) 

How to Adapt the Warp Sett for Your Fabric (July, 2019) 

Planning and Evaluating a Project - Part 1 (February 2016) 

Planning and Evaluating a Project - Part 2 (February 2016) 

Record Keeping  (January, 2017) 

Rules  (May, 2016) 

Scale and Float Length  (March, 2016) 

Sleying and Reeds  (December, 2015)

Treadling: A Tale of Two Meanings (July, 2020)

Turning a Draft in Order to Reduce the Number of Shafts  (May, 2020) 

Turning a Draft II: Answers to the Challenge  (June, 2020) 

Weaving Errors  (March, 2016) 

Weaving Errors: Treadling  (November, 2015) 

Bronson and Barley Corn

Marcy Petrini

September 2019

 

 

Do you recognize this fabric? On the left we have blocks with weft floats, on the right we have blocks with warp floats.

The cloth is characteristic of grouped or unit weaves, one-shuttle structures that make lacey fabrics. If we look closely, we can see that a warp thread is shared by adjacent blocks. This is a characteristic of Spot Bronson.

 

 

 

Below is the drawdown for a sinking shed loom; even though I weave on rising shed looms, I find it easier to think of a block being woven when it is covered by weft, which occurs with a sinking shed loom. On and off the loom, weft floats appear on one side of the fabric, warp floats on the other.

The drawdown shows some important characteristics of the structure: there are three blocks; what is generally called A is threaded on shaft 2, B on 3 and C on 4. I like to think of these shafts as pattern shafts; in each block, the respective pattern shaft alternates with a thread on shaft 1 for the width of the block. This is the reason why adjacent blocks share a thread, they share shaft 1.

This means that it is possible to weave plain weave across the fabric by treadling 1 vs. 2 & 3 &4, since every other thread is on shaft 1 and the alternate thread is on a pattern shaft; this is shown in the drawdown but not the fabric. The two alternating plain weave picks are sometimes called tabbies, since Spot Bronson is traditionally woven with the same size warp and weft, so that the plain weave area can be a true tabby.

This characteristic of treadling 1 vs. all pattern shafts, makes me think of a tied-unit weave (for example summer-and-winter), but Spot Bronson is not, for two main reasons.

 

  Click here for the full-sized draft (a PDF will open a new window)

 

The most important reason is that the floats are not delimited by a tie-thread, but by the pattern thread of the adjacent block. If we look at block C (1, 4, 1, 4, 1), the first block starting on the right in the drawdown, we see that the weft thread covers the block for its 5 warp threads, (including the warp thread shared on shaft 1), and it stops with shaft 3 of the following block (1, 3, 1, 3, 1). This is similar to what happens with huck.

The other reason that this is not a tied-unit weave is related to the first: the block can be as wide as we wish – for block C, for example, 1, 4, can be repeated many times, ending with 1 – being mindful that the float may be too long. This variable float length, too, is similar to huck.

In treadling a block we alternate the tabby 2 & 3 & 4 with a pick that uses shaft 1 plus the shaft of the block; the treadling for block C, for example, is 2 & 3 & 4 vs. 1 & 4.

What makes Spot Bronson intriguing is that there are 3 blocks on 4 shafts, unusual for unit weaves. This increases the design possibilities as can be seen from the drawdown and fabric.

But the extra block comes with a cost: it is not possible to weave plain weave down the length of the fabric, even though the two blocks not being woven produce plain weave. This emphasizes the design, but even with floating selvages, the floats are one thread away from the edge.

Enter Lace Bronson, also called Bronson Lace: since plain weave is formed on the blocks not being woven, we could use one of them to produce plain weave down the length of the fabric. We would gain another option: placing between blocks the pattern shaft of the block used for plain weave; this allows us to repeat a block without long floats.

Block A of Spot Bronson is traditionally used for the plain weave to turn it into Lace Bronson. Below are both sides of the fabric of Lace Bronson.

 

 

 

The drawdown that follows shows how the 1, 2, threading results in a plain weave border and how the pattern thread on shaft 2 can separate repeats of the same block. Look at the two repeats of block on 1, 3, a thread on shaft 2 prevents the long float, in effect functioning as a tie-down thread. 

 

   Click here for the full-sized draft (a PDF will open a new window)

 

Same block threading, two structures with different characteristics resulting from some block re-arrangement and changes in treadling.

But, wait, there is more!

Last year at the Chimneyville Weavers and Spinners Guild meeting, my friend Gio Chinchar was presenting a program on weaving towels when she showed one woven as Barley Corn, which is basically Bronson, she said.

I hadn’t thought about Barley Corn since the 90s and I seemed to remember that there was something unusual about the Bronson of the Barley Corn. So, down the Barley Corn rabbit hole I went.

Barley Corn is Spot Bronson and it is usually – but not always – woven with a fat weft for the pick using the pattern shaft; the warp and the tabby (2 & 3 & 4) weft are the same, the fat weft is of the same proportions that we would use for a supplementary weft, for example in overshot.

Ultimately, I decided to weave “Detail from Flowers of Caanan” from A Handweaver’s Pattern Book by Marguerite Porter Davison, “the green book” where there is an entire chapter devoted to Barley Corn.

Below is the drawdown of the Flowers of Caanan followed by the front and back of the fabric. The threading is that of the Spot Bronson drawdown shown above. The treadling uses two wefts. The tabby weft is the same as the warp as can be seen from the fabric, 10/2 mercerized cotton; in the drawdown it is shown in lighter blue to make the plain weave obvious; it is always 2 & 3 & 4. The pattern shot is woven with Brown Sheep Nature Spun, color Sunburst Gold; the fatter yarn makes the pattern more visible, gold in the drawdown.

 

   Click here for the full-sized draft (a PDF will open a new window)

 

Davison says that the motifs of Barley Corn can resemble overshot.

 

Because the tabby weft is fatter, the fabric is heavier than Spot Bronson, it would make great pillows or other household textiles where overshot may be used.

Barley Corn has been added to the Pictionary. Spot Bronson and Lace Bronson have been part of the original set of Pictionary. Download the pdfs as you wish.

Use some of your favorite Spot Bronson patterns and convert them to Barley Corn! And for me, I can’t wait to see what my friend Gio is going to weave next, because she always seems to dig up interesting weaves.

  

 Happy weaving!

  Please email comments and questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Bumberet Family

Marcy Petrini

August 2019

My friend Gio Chinchar gave me one of her beautiful towels as a present and she said it was woven as a bumberet – bumberet, where did I come across that structure before?

As it turned out, there had been an article by Alice Schlein (Weavers 14: 10-13, 1991) that covered four structures that use the same pointed twill threading, but have different treadlings: bumberet, velveret, thickset, and ducape. It had been flagged in my magazine as something to try. More recently Madelyn Van der Hoogt (Handwoven Jan/Feb 2017, 14-15) described the first three of these structures, all of which originally came from Weaver John Hargrove who published 52 weaves in 1792 in The Weavers Draft Book and Clothiers Assistant (available for download from handweaving.net).

I had woven a vest in velveret a long time ago, (before Alice’s article) not really understanding much about the structure and thought that, from the name, it may be related to velvet. No, as a linguist may say, “false friends”, not related.

Since the threading is that of a pointed twill, it makes me think of the structures as treadling methods; interestingly, they are woven in blocks: 2-1-2 and 3-4-3.

Finally, I got to the weaving. Below is the drawdown showing all four possibilities. The first 6 threading repeats (starting from the right) are in four colors, to match the warp of the first three samples; the reason for this choice will become apparent soon. The next 5 threading repeats are in two colors, red and purple.

The treadling colors match the samples below (rising shed loom): the bumberet is treadled in red, thickset in green, the velveret in blue, and the ducape in purple and blue. I have shown the treadling for ducape to be single in the purple section, in parallel to the other structures, but Alice shows it double, which is in blue in the drawdown, only one repeat.

From the drawdown we can see that it is not possible to weave all four structures on a 6-treadle loom, except with a direct tie-up.

The bumberet is the only structure that is balanced, two shafts are up and two down with every pick. The others all have some unbalanced picks which tend to make the weft pack, the fabric weft-dominant on one side and warp-dominant on the other, resulting in a sturdy cloth. Bumberet, thickset and ducape alternate treadling shots of plain weave; velveret uses on opposite treadling (1 & 2; 3 & 4).

 

Click here for the full-sized draft (a PDF will open a new window)

   

Below are the photos of the fabrics, the left shows the front, the right the back, rising shed loom.

Bumberet with four color warp and red weft:

 

 

Thickset, also with the four color warp, and green weft:

 

 

Velveret with the four warp colors and blue weft:

 

 

Ducape with red and purple warp, and purple weft, single repeat

 

 

  

Ducape with red and purple warp and blue weft, double repeat:

 

 

 

 

 While I was studying these structures, I was intrigued by the little boxes that were formed in some cases, and I wondered whether I could make the boxes to be the same on both blocks at the same time. I experimented with the bumberet draft because I thought a balanced weave would be easier to change for boxes. The drawdown is below.

I thought I could use the draft to make a runner to match a bowl for a side table, so I picked the colors from the bowl, shown in the drawdown and fabric below, front on the left, back on the right; you can see that the two sides look the same.

 

 

 Click here for the full-sized draft (a PDF will open a new window)

 

 

 

 

 

Use a structure from the bumberet family for one of your future projects!

The four structures are in the Pictionary individually.

 Happy weaving!

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