A Wonder Year of Weaving

Marcy Petrini

May, 2021

I am leading a group of adventuresome weavers in a year long quest to learn as many structures as we can. Based loosely on my monograph by that name, which was prepared for a one-day workshop I taught at Convergence in Reno, this iteration takes a whole year; we meet monthly on zoom, I provide some basic information, participants do research and weave, sometimes samples, sometimes pieces, and sometimes life gets in the way, so they skip the month weaving.

During the meeting we go over the material from the past month, we have a show and tell with pictures of the work done and then we prepare for the following month. We record it all and then it is posted on my website by month, along with the all the supplementary material (click here for the link).

We are following the weave structures as described by Irene Emery, The Primary Structures of Fabrics, and during the last four months, we have been studying what Emory calls “simple weaves” – simple not by complexity, but because they have one set of warps and one set of wefts. The weaves are: plain weave, twills, satins and float weaves derived from plain weave, sometimes called rectangular float weaves, which include the lacey weaves (lacey to me because they do not form true lace, the lace makers tell me).

Since we are done with the simple weaves, it seemed like a good time to stop and assess what we learned. In a group this varied, which include people who could be leading it to beginners, it’s good to make sure that we haven’t missed anything from the big picture.

Here are the 8 questions, 2 per month, that I posed to the group. The instructions are to try to answer as many as possible from knowledge, but then to look up what they don’t know, have forgotten or need to check.

How well can you answer these questions?
(Click here for the 9-slide PDF version.)


What is the difference between tabby and plain weave?


How would you adjust the warp sett to weave a weft-faced fabric?


What is the best option for nice selvages on a straight twill woven as a straight draw?


What is the most efficient way to tie-up a 6-treadle, 4 shaft loom for a pointed twill to be woven tromp as writ?


What is the most important difference between twills and satins?


How would you weave plain weave across the width of a 7-shaft satin fabric?


What is the difference between Huck and Huck Lace?


Why is the unique difference between Huck and Bronson? (same as Bronson-Atwater)



Happy Weaving!