Four and Eight Shaft Twills

Marcy Petrini


I preach that it would take more than one life time to weave all of the 4-shaft twills, let alone all the other structures possible on four shafts. Still, eight shafts offer more options, there is no disputing it. 

I am in the process of writing about 8-shaft twills for my Convergence™ monograph and two twills caught my attention: undulating twills and advancing twills. 

The blog of Dec 21, 2015 was on four shaft undulating twills. Below is another sample on four shafts. It was woven a bit differently than those previously described, as seen in the drawdown that follows. (Right-click on these drafts to get a larger version in a new window.)

The draft above shows one repeat of the pattern so that the threading and treadling can be read. The following drawdown has two repeats, showing the undulation more completely. 

The fabric that follows is an undulating twill on eight shafts. Unlike the one on four shaft, this one was threaded on a straight draw and all of the undulating occurs in the treadling. Of course it’s possible to thread an undulating twill on eight shafts, but that sometimes is the advantage of more shafts: the threading can be simple and the treadling does all the work.  

The drawdown below shows two repeats of the treadling for this eight-shaft twill; it looks complicated but it really isn’t because of its repetitive nature; the treadling on eight shafts is not any more complicated than the one on four shafts. 

Regardless of the number of shafts, floats can be long with these twills, so careful planning is necessary. 

Are more shafts worth it in this case? You be the judge, it’s a personal decision.  

Next time, a similar comparison for advancing twills. 


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