Home for the Holidays

Marcy Petrini

December, 2022


A couple of my teaching colleagues recently taught workshops on holiday weaving. What a wonderful idea! And what a great chance to introduce or review various weaving structures.

Our family celebrates Christmas, so my holiday textiles tend to be red, green and a white. Those also happen to be the colors of my native Italian flag! Home textiles are a great way to celebrate a holiday and a weaving tradition at the same time.

Here are some of my holiday textiles, using a variety of weaving structures.

In the 1990s when chenille was very popular, I used it as weft for plain weave placemats and table runners. Here are two examples for Christmas decorating.


Twills have great drape, so they are used for wearable accessories. They work equally well for home textiles. Here is a close up of an undulating twill cupboard runner.



Besides the usual home textiles, the holidays give us a chance for additional pieces. I used a plaited twill with a variety of greens in the warp and a red weft to make a Christmas tree skirt. Here is a close up of the fabric.


And a straight twill sash has been used for years to wrap a wreath on our front door during the holidays. It is a bit faded, especially the greens, but it is well loved.



I have used huck and other lacey weaves for home textiles, but somehow not for Christmas. However, last year, as I was getting ready for my Convergence seminar on rectangular float weaves, I wanted to weave huck lace stripes. A red holiday scarf was born, ready for that Christmas partying!



With more experience over the years, a little while back I tried weaving with linen using a simple damask (two blocks of satin, 10 shafts). Here is the front and the back of the table runner I wove. It’s one of my favorites.



Supplementary weft weaves make fabrics that are perfect for pillows because they tend to be thicker from the supplementary weft which is generally three times or so thicker than the ground weft. Here is a close up of a throw pillow, Monk’s Belt, ground red, supplementary off white, reversed from the traditional way to weave it.


Tied-unit weaves also use a supplementary weft. When I was first learning about them on multi shafts, I made this Tied-Lithuanian runner, to honor the other side of my family, Mom is Lithuanian. The runner is a bit thick, and it probably would have been better as a pillow, but it is serviceable. And I like the design on 10 shafts. Here is a close up of the motif.



I have just scratched the surface here! Granted, it’s a bit too late to start weaving for the 2022 holidays, but 2023 will be here in no time. And as I always like to say: if you make the warp red, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner!

 Happy Weaving and Happy Holidays!