Lacey Stripes

Marcy Petrini

December, 2018

I was thinking of possible interesting structures that I may add to the Pictionary, when I remembered a fabric I wove a long time ago, so long that I actually wove it with crochet cotton because there were no yarn shops in town and my mail order yarn was back ordered.

Unfortunately, I don’t remember where I learned this, but my notes say that it was a combination structure, combining a pointed twill with plain weave. Looking at it now, I think I would classify it as a treadling method because the resulting fabric produces lacey stripes and stripes of plain weave.

Unlike classical woven laces, where each block can generally weave either floats or plain weave, in this structure each area can only weave plain weave or the lacey stripe. Furthermore, to show case the lacey stripes better, the sleying is specific.

As shown in the drawdown below, the plain weave is threaded 2, 3, shown in brown, and repeated as long as we wish. The lacey stripes, shown in red, are made up of two units: 2, 1, 2 (A) and 3, 4, 3 (B); the two alternates for as many repeats as desired, with a balancing A unit at the end of the repeat; the following plain weave, then, starts on shaft 3. In the lacey units there are both warp and weft floats.


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


Sleying is easiest if the denting of the reed is the same as the tabby sett for the warp yarn; then the stripe threaded 2, 3 is sleyed 1 per dent. The sleying for the lacey units is:

  • 2, 1, 2 in one dent
  • Skip 2 dents
  • 3, 4, 3 in one dent
  • Skip 2 dents.

From the drawdown we see that the treadling only requires 4 treadles since there are two shots on 1 & 3 for each repeat; similarly, there are two shots for 4 & 2; using the 6 treadles usually available with a 4-shaft loom makes the treadling easier and more efficient.

After wet finishing, the lacey stripes are more obvious as can be seen by the picture of the cloth, while the drawdown shows the actual structure of the fabric.

Next time you want to weave lace, try stripes! A Pictionary entry (click here) has been added for this structure.

 Happy weaving!

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This blog has been clarified since the initial posting. Thank you to Kathy Perito to bring the inconsistencies to my attention.