This tutorial also covers double weave but combines double weave with plain weave borders. This means that you can weave a wide piece in plain weave and decorate it with strips of double woven motifs. In the photo above, the apricot colored area is plain weave and the strip of brown and white motifs is double weave.

The main difference is that in this technique you will be using two wefts.


This project is for those who already know how to make string heddles and set up the loom. If you need those instructions, look in the Beignner tutorilas or on the ''getting started''and ''heddle making'' pages-or just ask!!!!



You'll have to forgive me with the yarn recommendations here as I am in Bolivia and we are not exactly spoiled for choice. I generally DEMO with a very heavy wieght cotton as it photographs well -it wraps only 12 times to the inch.(pictured at left on the ruler)

For my own projects, I use 8/2 weight cotton which you an see on the right. Your yarns need to be firm and smooth-nothing loosely twisted or fluffy in any way.

Something BETWEEN the 2 weights would be good for a first project. The heavy weight is good for sample bands and for getting used to handling the loom but for most projects IT REALLY IS A BIT TOO CHUNKY.


bolivian warmi

All the spinners are learning so much from your experiments Aunt Janet. Thank you so much for sharing all this with us here and for posting so many pictures all over.


bibi (not verified)

yeeesss ! weldone Janet ! I love these earth colours !


francorios (not verified)

Great job Janet!

Thank you for all the good pictures and information!

Have a good day!

bolivian warmi

I am working on this two-weft double weave piece at the moment. The strip with the motif is double weave and it is bordered by black plain weave.

The motif is a part of the design on an Ethiopian cave church curtain which Rob S reproduced using over 300 tablets and posted to the projects page some time ago.

It makes a brief appearance in my blog today.....

My blog today is largely about warping and includes a video and LOTS of photos. i hope you will take a look.




Ellen (not verified)


I have decided to experiment with doing this technique, two weft double weave, on a floor loom, using just two shafts. So far I have made a warp, set it up, and after some initial fumbling doing all rigt with weaving the black background. This is a fairly lengthy process in a fine yarn, so while I go I have time to think ahead. And have got this problem I can't figure out :  I had counted the pattern for the Abba Yohanni motif to about 80 wide, so I made a warp with the single thread sides and then 80 double warp-ends. Now I am thinking: When I get to the pattern, I'll be getting half of them raised in each shed, i.e. 40 pairs. Should I have made the warp twice as wide? Or do I just use half as many picked up ends  as in the pattern chart? My head is spinning with trying to imagine this ;-)

(ps I know it is preposterous to do something as advanced as this, but I had got it into my head that this would look great as pockets on the latest jacket I have made out of some fabric I wove this winter)


bolivian warmi

Hi Ellen, I have the pattern chart with me and the motifs takes 83 warps. I will try to explain this as best I can seeing a I don't speak "weaver speak". Basically you need 83 warps to work with for each layer of the double weave. You will have 83 pairs(166 warps) comprising one white and one black in one shed and you will pick one warp from each pair to form your pattern and background so you will end up with 83 warps. Eighty three pairs of warps in each shed. So , it seems the short answer is yes, you should have made it twice as wide.

This sounds like a great project. Keep us posted!



Ellen (not verified)

Hi, Laverne, Thank you, I was afraid this was the case, when I tried to think of it once I had the warps between my fingers. You do speak "weaver-speak" ( I like the term:-) ), at least I understand what you are saying. I have got the grasp of the technique now after some fumbling, and it is just about possible to do this on a floor loom, if I choose a compromise tension, not as firm as I would do if I had to throw a shuttle through the shed, but firm enough to beat the yarn in. Don't ask me why I don't use a backstrap loom (grin), I guess I am just set in my weaver's ways.

Oh, well, back to the warping board, but I think I'll finish this bit with just the central figure in, anyway. Otherwise it will take ages before I get to make a new one, I have loads of projects lined up and will be off to my weaving retreat again soon!

I'll post it if it becomes "postworthy" :-)


bolivian warmi

I hope you have fun with it Ellen. I am weaving Andean pebble weave on a four shft floor loom here at my friend Lisa's place and we have come to a nice compromise with the tension too. Loose enough to get hands in for pick up and not have elongated motifs, yet firm enough to be able to beat the wefts in well.

It is very novel sitting up on a bench and weaving this in front of this big monster loom!


jordanj (not verified)

 I have been mulling over how one might take advantage of a 4 or 6 harness loom to make the sheds in the Andean Pebble Weave and have not yet figured it out. If you have Laverne, please share!

bolivian warmi

Hi Jennifer,

My friend Lisa and I are into this as I speak!

We have a warp set up on her four shaft loom although we are only using two of the harnesses. If you are considering this because you are expecting to be able to weave faster this way, forget it! There is still the pick up to be done and we were not able to set this up without a couple of string heddles. However, if you felt that you would be more comfortable at your four harness loom rather than with a backstrap loom, then by all means this is an option.

I will be blogging all about this tomorrow-so standby and anyone who has the monograph and wants a blow by blow description of the set up can contact me.


There's Lisa at the loom and the band she is producing.

EDIT...Actually, boing! I have had the aha moment and I have figured how to get this on the four shafts and not use the string heddles. As I get more familiar with this loom and its workings it all make more sense to me but we will have to wait until after MSWF to warp up and do it. It still won't make it any faster to weave though!



It's beautiful! I think there must be a way to take advantage of multiple shafts, but I'll save that for another day. This is currently how I use my Mighty Wolf to assist my backstrap weaving!

I have attached the bar to the high castle.

But my real question is.... See those loose warp threads I need to tighten? They seem to be where there a knots - at the beginning and end of the warp and where I have joined the colors. Is this typical or do I just need to make tighter knots? Any tips on how to avoid the looseness?

Hope you are enjoying your visit!


jeanne (not verified)


Looking at what you're doing with the loom, I wondered about a couple of things for working on a floor loom. First, it might be possible to thread this up on the loom, and then instead of tying the warp to the front beam, tie it up to a backstrap instead- instant tension control!  Or, maybe controlling tension by placing a dowel between the back beam and warp beam, attaching it on both sides to a foot-control lever next to the treadles. Sorry, maybe that is too mechanic-speaky, but by pushing down on the lever with your feet, you could increase/decrease tension.

I've been thinking about that tension control thing a lot, since I'm quite spastic and need the mechanical help of a loom. I've also considered messing with a rigid-heddle loom that has a foldable hinge, and somehow using that hinge to change tension on the warp by changing the angle of the frame.

I hope this isn't too confusing! I'll go back to designing a Dial-a-Dent reed now!

What fun!



francorios (not verified)

Are those knots where you went over the bar once leaving a big loop and tied to the warp away from the bar?

Try going over the bar and tying off as close to the bar as possible, so the warp has no where to slide to.

Have a good day!

bolivian warmi

That's some serious looseness you have there! Just untie the knots and retie them before you start weaving. If you can get someone to hold the warp under tension while you retie the knots, it will be a whole lot easier. The outer warps always get a little slack. However, there usually isn't any problem where I tie on new colors

bolivian warmi

I am bloggig tomorrow about using other looms for pick up techniques so maybe something there will help. I hope so.

francorios (not verified)

Sitting and weaving on that monster must be like getting out of a sports car and climbing on a tractor.

Don't forget your seatbelt.

Have a good day!

mydogwidget (not verified)

 Hi, Laverne!

I'm working through the tutorials and I'm doing my first double-weave band.   I like the way it's turning out so far, but I'm not happy with the way the reverse side looks.   The "top" side looks good-- nice and neat, with more or less clean lines for the designs--but the reverse side looks rougher and not as refined.  Is this usual?  I thought the front and reverse sides would be mirror images in terms of the resulting quality of the weaving.  Am I doing something wrong?   I can get pictures for you later if you need them!



mydogwidget (not verified)

 Thanks!  I'll try this!   I must not be beating the lower layer enough.


Widget  :)

michelegirard (not verified)

From my beginner's point of vue right now, you're a genius Laverne :)

Marsha A. Knox (not verified)

Wooo hoooo!!!!  Double weft double weave with pick 3rd one.


missbeckyohh43 (not verified)

Marsha? What kind of "loom" are you using there?

Laverne, In post #55 of this thread: do you have the motif available to share with others? I have your book, but I don't recall that motif is in the book (although I could have just missed it). Please correct me if I am wrong. I realy like that motif and want to work in the near future.

bolivian warmi

My book is on pebble weave, a complimentary warp technique with designs formed with floats. This forum thread and that motif are double weave where designs are created by warp substitution. You will find the chart for the motif in post 55 on my blog. Leave that one for further down the track!

Have we seen any of your backstrap bands yet? Please post some pictures.

missbeckyohh43 (not verified)

I was not thinking of attacking this motif yet.
I just finished my first backstrap weaving project - the backstrap belt. And I have to say, I am not eager to post a picture of it. The first four inches don't look real good, but after that, you can tell I finally got the hang of using the stick heddle. I am not quite ready to attack double weave, just studying it right now.


I can't see any of the images so I have no idea whats going on/


The original post is from over 10 years ago and will need the photos restored. Thanks.


I have made a start at restoring the images. I hope you find this helpful!

Group Audience