Rep on AVL PDL

I am doing a second project from Kelly Marshall's Book, Custom Woven Interiors.  The first project was to make upholstery fabric; 10/2 pearl cotton at 60 epi.  This worked out very well.  She used 5/2 cotton at 48 epi, but I thought this would be too stiff and bulky for fabric to be sewn, and I am very happy with my 10/2 fabric.  Marshall, in her book, says that she onlly makes lighter curtain and towel fabric on her AVL, that it's not suitable for the heavier rugs and upholstery fabrics. [Her book shows pictures of an AVL and Glimakra].  I am assuming that she feels that the AVL won't hold the tension needed to create a shed from such a dense warp.   I made my rep fabric on a Barbara IV,   I had no problems with tension, although I would not have wanted to do this before I replaced the rear friction  brake with a ratchet and pawl.  Is there anyone out there weaving rep on an AVL?  I can put this on the Barbara, but it will be a 48' warp, and I would prefer to use a loom with a fly shuttle.  The finished fabric I have is so pretty that it has drawn comments from the electrician and plumber that came in to run water to the new bakery!


Posted on Tue, 12/16/2014 - 22:25

I love Kelly Marshall's book and plan to do some rugs next year. However, I will do them on my Macomber, not my AVL PDL. I did another type of rug on the AVL many years ago and just could not get the tension tight enough to beat properly. I also prefer the large shed of the Macomber for any bulky wefts though rep weave should not be a problem. 

Posted on Tue, 12/16/2014 - 22:36

I have decided to do my new rep project on Barbara.  I have a lot of time and money invested in this warp, and I have never used a dobby loom before.  I think I'll stick with a loom I know for the rep and try a less expensive and ambitious first project for the AVL.  Marshall's patterns in pearl cotton are knock-down-dead gorgeous.

Posted on Wed, 12/17/2014 - 20:28

Sounds like that should work, since it is rep. And you do need dense cloth for upholstery. What reed did you use? 48 epi of 20/2 cotton in a 16 dent reed at 3 ends per dent makes for some dense cloth and close denting, but that is a balanced epi/ppi to that I'm thinking of, not rep.

Rep is definitely a great upholstery fabric. Are you refacing some old furniture?

Posted on Fri, 12/19/2014 - 01:28

Yes, I am reupolstering some Morris chairs.  The 10/2 cotton is warped two threads (two related colors) per heddle, treated as one end.  I sleyed three ends (actually six threads of 10/2) per dent in a 10 dent reed.  This has produced a very good heavy, but flexible material that should wear well, but will be fairly easy to sew.  I used 20/2 linen for the thin weft and 5 strands of 8/4 rug warp for thick weft.  It took some experimentation to get to these wefts.  I'm really happy with the fabric.  The patterns in Marshall's book tend to be a little confusing because some tables show the number of pairs of threads, and some show the actual number of threads.  All of her patterns use pairs of threads treated as one end.  More colors!!

Posted on Fri, 12/19/2014 - 09:17

Thanks for the explanation. Sounds like a fun project. :) I will be weaving some upholstery as well and am using linen and wool and will be using 44/2 for the thin weft in with the wool, 20/2 warp. It will be a block twill @ 48 epi. The wool is a medium weight, and not too bulky in a sapphire blue. Will also weave some linen dust panels for underneath and the back, where there isn't any contouring to the shape. Using horse hair and cotton for stuffing, so I don't want to be sweeping horse hairs. :D

Happy weaving. :)

Posted on Fri, 12/19/2014 - 13:49

I wondered how rep would look in wool.   I'll be interested in seeing how your material works out.  Saphire blue sounds lovely.  So you are doing a block twill with rep warp and weft; for the thin warp, do you do tabby?  This would be like the tabby used in Swedish twill rag rugs for stability!  What an interesting idea! I would like to make rugs for the rooms that will be seeing this upholstery material, and the drapes to come, maybe with a cotton warp and wool thick weft .  One thing I discovered that I haven't seen mentioned in any book or DVD on rep.  I found that with the shed open, placing the nose of my shuttle against the fell and zinging it across the piece (strumming the warp at the fell) separated the shed nicely.  I have seen people do this between the beater and heddles, but this is easier for me and seems to work well.

Posted on Fri, 12/19/2014 - 22:35

Sometimes traditions develop over time/borders - BWSD writes "This would be like the tabby used in Swedish twill rag rugs for stability!" Please elaborate?

Kerstin in Sweden, who is not a rag rug weaver - but who has not heard of using tabby for stability

Posted on Fri, 12/19/2014 - 23:08

Reed Guy, as so often you have me confused. You plan to weave a "block twill", using [wool for the] "thin weft" and "tabby with the finer linen".

I have always understood "block twill" to be something like this

or, perhaps like this

- that is, 2 (or more) blocks of different twills (often, but not necessarily, "opposite"). In my tradition, we do not use "tabby" for these kind of patterns, nor do we use "thin weft" (assuming thin weft contrasted with thick).

Could you please explain?

Kerstin in Sweden, as usual trying to understand the cultural lingo(es)

Posted on Sat, 12/20/2014 - 09:34

Kerstin, it is simply taking a twill (in my case a patterned twill) and expanding the size geomerically by doubling or tripling the threading like 1-1,2-2,3-3,4-4,3-3,2-2,1-1 if it's a point twill threading. Or 1-1,2-2,3-3,4-4  (repeat) for a straight draw.  With a denser sett I have to use blocks to expand the width of the patterning so it squares with the thicker weft.  Tabby is used to tie down longer warp floats. The tabby would be mostly concealed by the "thicker" wool in the pattern areas and blend in with the linen (both tabby and warp are white) if needed. I'll show you eventually, then it will become clear. :)

Posted on Sat, 12/20/2014 - 02:39

Tina Ingell's book, Favorite Rag Rugs (Scandinavian Weaving Magazine) features several twill rugs woven with a tabby shot between twill shots.  This gives a rosepath design on a tabby backgrownd.  I have woven many twill rag fabrics, and I find that they are too flexible to work well as rugs.  I think the tabby would remove a lot of the twill drape and make stiffer rugs.  I suspect that Reed Guy's tabby will do the same.  Sorry for labeling these as Swedish without an actual reference; several of the rugs in the book are said to be based on patterns from areas in Sweden.

Posted on Sat, 12/20/2014 - 10:10

I also have a Swedish book "Warp and Weft " (3 Swedes) with twill blocks using tabby (two weft systems). They give them fancy names sometimes. What I'm using might be termed a profile draft, with tabby thrown in? But it comes from a twill draft originally, and expanded as described. ;)

Posted on Sat, 12/20/2014 - 14:17

Well, Reedguy, it is obvious that you and I have different understandings of the word "block". (I generally try to go with Burnham or, in some cases, Emery for the English words.)

As for "Warp and weft" I have the first ed, and only in Swedish, so there may have been additions done to the second ed (which, I believe, is the one translated into English). In my ed there ia absolutely nothing that can be called twill which also has tabby, fancy names or no.

(Of course it is possible to weave anything in any way one fancies, it is just that a shared terminology makes for easier understanding. Or, as Pippi Longstocking once said: why is it called string and not bucket? The easy answer is that it can be nice to get handed the thing one needs... no, not *that* bucket, the ball of the long slim one over there)

Posted on Sat, 12/20/2014 - 18:19

Gagnefrus, Pique come to mind. One example in "Warp and Weft" for Gagnefrus is using a diamond point twill pattern for the basis, expanding it into block form and adding the plain weave tie down. I did it with a pique bath mat, but instead of plain weave as the tie down, I used a 3 end twill. You don't have to use plain weave to do it. I took a twill, expanded it into blocks and used padding weft as well. As you said, one can weave what they want, how they want. But it's not to say it isn't done, or not in a book. ;) Some of the profile drafts expanded to larger sized patterns (each shaft is a block) would be real weak cloth withot tabby tie downs. Maybe its the arrangement of the words that is confusing. I had said a "block twill", maybe "take a twill and expand into blocks" instead ?

Posted on Sun, 12/21/2014 - 16:11

Reed Guy, you might wish to study a good set of professional drafting books. Doris Goerner and Martin Kienbaum (in German) are 20th century examples that come to mind.

These are written for the industry and professional weavers. The name of the study is Bindungslehre in German or Bindningslara in Swedish. These books deal first with the diagram of interlacements that form the fabric, and then with the threading/tieup/treadling(liftplan) needed to create that set of interlacements. The organization of each three volume set is as follows:

1. Single layer cloth with single warp and weft systems (based on the three ground weaves tabby(plain), twill and satin.

2. Multiple warp and weft systems/layers - here the derivation from one of the ground weaves becomes fuzzy so they aren't used "pure". Your examples with "tie down" warp fit in this category. That "tie down" is a second warp system.

3. Jacquard, damask and pile weaves - these weaves are treated in separate volumes because the diagrams and design factors differ so greatly from the other two.

There are other authors who over time have also put forth this organized picture of weaving - mostly for the industry - and have also created proper terminology to allow intelligent discourse. This goes way beyond the usual "handweavers stuff" and if one wants to look into more complex fabrics, a study of advanced textile production and design is in order.

Posted on Sun, 12/21/2014 - 19:14

Very nice BWSD. Thanks for posting. :)

Thanks for writing all that information out Sara. But I would not be able to read German or Swedish text. But, I am grateful for the information and the time it took to type it.

Posted on Mon, 12/22/2014 - 21:35

Here is an example of a Gagnefkrus found in "Warp and Weft"

The beginnings start with this twill

Each black square in the threading and treadling will represent a block of 6 ends and wefts. The blocks are threaded and treadled on opposites to get the tabby. And in between the blocks is a thicker weft treadled tabby style to give releif to the fabric. So there you have it, begin with a twill pattern, woven block style in tabby.

What I was talking about isn't exactly the same, I'm taking a twill and making 2 maybe 3 ends per block  @ 40-48 epi, and using a thicker weft, so there is only one weft shot , not two-three, and treadle as in the draft above for example. But add a couple treadles for tabby in finer weft than the warp. It will bind areas of longer warp ends. The software can't depict this too well because the yarns are all different sizes. It will show exceedingly long weft floats, but will actually be a very tiny span of thicker yarn over smaller warp ends. And the thicker yarn being wool will cover quite a bit of the tabby weft.
I know what I'm doing, and what a twill, plain, or satin weave is. Sometimes the descriptions need more work. ;)

Posted on Mon, 12/22/2014 - 11:58

There are a few books that explain how to translate a block draft into a pattern draft.  There seems to be a standard notation for expressing the translation process:

  • Weaves, a Design Handbook by Eleanor Best, Paperback, Bestudio  isbn-10: 9992767456, isbn-13: 9789992767450 
  • The Complete Book of Drafting for Handweavers Spiral-bound  – April, 1993 by Madelyn Van Der Hoogt

There are 2 Doris Goerner books in English:

  • Woven Structure and Design: Part 1 Single Cloth Construction
    Woven Structure and Design: Part 2 Compound Structures
Posted on Fri, 02/02/2018 - 10:36

I am a new AVL owner. Just installed 16 shaft production dobby loom that has both mechanical and Compu Dobby 1. Awaiting arrival from US of USB adapter and point pins for installing the Compu Dobby. I read the earlier postings about Rep Weave from Kelly Marshall's Custom Woven Interiors and I think I have been too ambitious for my skill level. I have threaded up hand dyed carpet warp that I have did and there are a variety of twists and textures. I used a combination of sectional warping using a warping mill and have now just finished threading thousands of threads across all 60inches. Unfortunately in threading the heddles the brake was not set and I have unwound the sectional beam unevenly. The loom has had an original beam (homemade) beautifully by previous owner's husband. My problem is how do I fix the warp tension and rebeam. I have not yet set up the reed and that will be an issue as well with my varying thicknesses of rug yarn. I could take the beam off and remove the sectional warp addition but need help sorting out how I can hopefully save this threading and move forward. I hope the loom can in fact weave a dense thick carpet rug. The length of the rug is planned to be about 7 foot completed approx. (We are metric in Aust.) Can interested people with experience enlighten me what I can do to save my warp and threading? Any help would be most appreciated. Ambitious and determined but on a steep learning warping curve!  I've dreamt of all the projects I am going to do on this loom but may need to curb them until I gain more practical weaving experience with this loom.

Posted on Fri, 02/02/2018 - 16:00

When threading, you normally release only a few inches off the warp beam. In this case, I would go in front of the heddles and pull small groups of threads so taut and knot them with an easily removed loop. Then you'll see just how much unevenness has been introduced into your warp.

Then, if needed, unwind a little, pulling from the front to even up the tension. Then rewind putting even tension on the full width from the front - might need more than one person). When that is finished, sley your reed and begin weaving. You may lose a few inches out of your loom waste, but the tension under the first round of winding should still be good.

And, from a weaver with decades of experience, NEVER put a really nice project on a breand new to you loom. You need to do at least one "junk" warp to make sure it is functioning properly.

Posted on Fri, 02/02/2018 - 19:43

I had a disaster warp  where I used different tension techniques on different sections. (Duh, what was I thinking???)  I did pretty much what Sara suggested;  I pulled the warp out across the floor, tied it to a weight and rewound on the beam, watching that threads didn't catch oh the pegs.  Tedious, but it worked.