Deflected Double Weave

Marcy Petrini

April 2019

 In double weave, we weave two layers of cloth which can be joined on the loom to form a double cloth or a tube. In deflected double weave, the two layers are interlaced, causing the deflection; the technique can be woven for differential shrinking, by using a yarn for one layer that fulls more than the yarn in the other layer. Often more than 4 shafts are used, so the two layers are not restricted to plain weave. A few years ago, I wanted to weave a deflected double weave fabric, not to full it, but to understand how it works; to get started, I chose to adopt the pattern than Holly Brockman published in Fabrics that Go Bump (page 94). The bottom layer is plain weave on four shafts, interlacing and anchoring the floats of the top layer horizontally and vertically, forming motifs. Here is a close up of the fabric:




The ground warp and weft are 10/2 Tencel® from Just Our Yarns, from a past Convergence®; it is variegated in blues, greens, and yellows, called Great Lakes Sunrise. The overlayer is 20/2 silk from RedFish Dyeworks in blues. The draft is below; the drawdown doesn’t show the interlacing of the bottom layer, but the draft has the threading and treadling directions. The ground warp and weft are shown in green, the overlayer in blue.


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


The ratio of top and bottom layers – here 4 / 6 – determines the number of threads in the float, so the sett is important; I used an 8-dent reed and I sleyed 2 per dent for the Tencel® and 4 treads in one dent for the silk. I liked the fabric and I thought that “one of those days” I will try it for differential shrinking. More recently, as I was thinking about puckering fabrics, I wondered: why not deflected double weave on 4 shafts? The ground fabric in the 8-shaft version I wove was plain weave on four shafts, which can be simplified to two shafts; the top layer could have floats anchored by plain weave, using the other two shafts. I am sure other people have had this idea, but it was easy enough to figure this out from scratch. Below is the draft of the fabric that I wove. The bottom layer was woven, as in the 8-shaft version, with 10/2 Tencel® (from Margaret Pittman, no longer available) variegated in reds; in the draft the warp is red, the weft is pink to show the intersection; the top layer is red Jaggerspun wool; in the draft, the warp is burgundy, the weft brown.


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


I used the same ratio as for the 8-shaft version, 6 threads for the ground, 4 for the top layer and I sett the warp the same way in an 8-dent reed. Below on the left is the fabric off the loom, on the right after it was washed in hot water and hung to dry. There was about 40% shrinkage, so the two fabrics in the pictures are the same dimensions.



The back of the fabric before washing (below on the left) is pretty flat, but it becomes bumpy after washing (on the right).



A summary of the 4-shaft deflected double weave is in the Pictionary, downloadable as a pdf.


  Happy weaving!

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