words for weaving techniques?


I think it would be helpful to have some of all the weaving techniques translated in our glossary. I have weaving books in Swedich and English but often fail to find the exact translation of  f. ex  "bronson lace" "huch lace" and "droppdräll" .

Would some of you clever and knowing people help with such terms in our Glossary?


Posted on Fri, 12/11/2009 - 14:59

 The terms you use in your post are like "folk names" for garden flowers.

There really isn't a scientific system for cataloging weaves - actually, the best thing one can do is look up a draft using one of these names and fine something comparable in the other language. If the DRAFTS - are exactly the same, then it is the same weave. By Exactly the same, the formation of pattern (block) must show the same threading/treadling/tieup scheme.

Posted on Fri, 12/11/2009 - 16:34

I think I understand what you are asking here.  It would be nice to have something that categorized the most common names for certain structures and a breakdown of what they might be called in other countries.  Sara makes a good point but this is sort of a time-consuming and frustrating way to go about it.

I remember that, having learned to knit and to crochet in French, I was at a complete loss to understand US and UK patterns.   I had to constantly refer to my picture-directory from "mon tricot" for the names of the stitches and traditional patterns in English.  (rather a lovely irony, since my mother-tongue is English!!!)

I think I mentioned earlier that there are picture dictionaries with different technologies covered.  The Oxford-Duden "Pictorial French and English Dictionary" has EXHAUSTIVE drawings of loom-parts and other processes of textile manufacture.  Granted this is sort of parenthetical to the discussion of structure names, but is a nice thing to have around.  (Pretty focused on the industrial equipment, but, hey, the warp beam is the warp beam is "l'ensouple " whether it's in the mill or your studio.)

It's a dandy book, BTW.  All sorts of off-the-wall stuff in there!

Nancy C.

Posted on Fri, 12/11/2009 - 19:23

Hi Nancy,

I'm glad you understand. When I find a draft and just weave it, it doesn't matter what it is called. But if I want to share it with somebody else, like here on Weavolution, it would be nice to know what it is commonly called by others. And when I read about people discussing some sort of pattern, I'd like to know roughly what they are talking about.

I know there are people in here who are versatile in several languages, and I also thought it would be nice to pick up the work on our glossary, which seems to be standing still recently.


Posted on Fri, 12/11/2009 - 21:12

The best way to share fabric constructionon a forum such as Weavolution woulde be to supply the draft for your weaving project - or at least a partial draft showing how the fabric is constructed. That could be understood by all weavers who can read a draft.

The "cute" little names could be mentioned in your language, but there may actually NOT be an equivalent word in someone else's language.

Posted on Fri, 12/11/2009 - 22:01

Not to try to beat a dead horse here, but I actually tried to post drafts, asking for their proper "names" some time ago. (Granted, those were fairly basic "names"/structures9.

Let's hope it will be possible,in the future, to add a wiki to this site. Then, it would be easy to see all the "names" for a certain structure - or, at least, possible.

And, Ellen, I *think* that bronson, atwater, huck, swedish laces are basically droppdräll and/or stramalj in Swedish... which, of course, will not help you, as you speak Danish...


Posted on Sat, 12/12/2009 - 10:03

Well, Sara I find it hard to add drafts to my projects, because I'm the oldfashioned type, who uses paper and pencil, I have not yet mastered weaving software and wif-files and such, though I'm now trying to learn.

And it is actually a help, Kerstin, as I mainly have weaving books in Swedish (and some in English). There is very little weaving literature in Danish, so ever since I learned weaving 10 years ago I have been using Swedish most of all. Thank you.

Posted on Sat, 12/12/2009 - 14:27


I know it is work to compare drafts, but there are ways to do them without a computer. A photo or scan of a handwritten draft can be uploaded as a photo, for instance. 200 or 300 years ago drafts were produced in various "shorthand" systems and handwritten. My first drafts were also done by hand, first on typing paper and later on Patronenpapier - which I think Traub in Germany still sells - and India ink. I still sketch out some fabrics before recording them in software for easier file storage.

Unfortunately, terms for parts of a loom are easier to standardize than the fabrics produced on them. Within any given language there may be several ways to refer to a fabric. I'm also seeing that there are some types of fabric that are produced traditionally only by one or two countries - and languages outside of whatever region that is don't have any words for them. In that case, the original word - in whatever language that is - is probably the best way to communicate that weave draft Internationally. The Swedish Opphaemta is one such example.

I'm American - but learned to weave in Germany back around 1978 - and there are still words that I struggle with to find the English equivalent. I've recently had some very interesting correspondence regarding the translation of the title of a piece by Gunta Stoelzl - and it turns out (without the gory details) to be a play on words in German that simply has no English equivalent. And yes, the play on words deals with weaving terms that are not able to be put into equivalent translated form.

Your wish is logical, the question simple - and the answer, in simple form like a spreadsheet, is not.

Posted on Sat, 12/12/2009 - 14:52

Many of the drafts from the old countries in Europe were taken with them when migrants traveled to the New World. As people forgot their original languages and embraced the new one, old traditional names became corrupted, and entered the language of the new country as "folk" names.but this only applies to the New World, not to the terminology used in  the country of origin.

I think its great that there are European weavers  still using the traditional names of their craft - this is how national heritage is preserved.  These names need to be added to the glossary, so we can better understand weaving and weavers from other countries whose language we do not speak.

Terminology evolves and changes constantly, so our glossary will always be a work in progress, and as has been noted elsewhere, many of our current terms are already becoming out of date and being  replaced by different words. All we can do is try to record this as best we can and fill in the blanks when we are able.

Posted on Sat, 12/12/2009 - 15:42

There are sometimes several names for the same technique in the one language, too. In Sweden, they are often based on a village name, often with "dräll" attached at the end. So it can be quite confusing even if we stay in one country/language...

(Incidentally, "dräll" seems to mean "patterned", or perhaps "richly patterned", regardless of what encyclopedias say: dräll as in turned satin or twill, as in overshot (daldräll, rovadräll, jämtlandsdräll...) , or several lace weaves (droppdräll, sjusprångsdräll, eskelhemsdräll...), or as in, well, richly patterned twills, such as rose garland (rosenkransen and others grouped as kypertdräll). 

Posted on Sat, 12/12/2009 - 18:48

It seems I have got myself into something much more controversial than I imagined. However, I feel a little more enlightened when I read, f.ex, Kerstin's comment about "overshot" =daldräll (or others). At least I have an idea what people on here are talking about, when they say "overshot". My ambition is not really to be scientific, just to be able to communicate with other weavers meaningfully.

Posted on Fri, 01/01/2010 - 09:12

Hi;  In recent times I have woven several rag rugs using a weave structure called - "Interlaced double-face weave".  The project instructions came from a Swedish weave book and I have since found reference to this technique in other Swedish books on weaving.  I'm wondering if there is a Swedish name for this technique;  maybe not, as I have always found it referred to in English.

Posted on Sat, 01/21/2012 - 07:04

I’m reporting back with Su and Kerstin's findings regarding the weave structure which in some Swedish weave books is called, variously,  "Interlaced double-face weave"  and  "Double-face weave".

They confirm that this structure is a form of  "Taqueté"  (in English), and is called  "Dubbelbindning"  (in Swedish).

Thanks again, Su and Kerstin.

Posted on Sat, 01/21/2012 - 11:30

That's a very interesting piece of information. I have a feeling this is what I used for the rug I have just woven and posted on here. Again I didn't know what to call it, so opted for doubleweave.

Posted on Tue, 02/05/2013 - 11:15

This discussion is just like discussions on trees. Is it basswood, lime, linden or beetree? Is it yellow poplar, magnolia, tuliptree? Is is cottonwood, poplar, popple, balm-of-gilead or aspen? :)

Posted on Tue, 02/05/2013 - 14:23

That's right. But if someone told you he was using "linden" you would know what direction your talk was taking, even though that might not be what you call it :-)

Posted on Tue, 02/05/2013 - 15:23

Yeah, but what if you used lime? Is it the citrus lime or a basswood? Trust me if someone can use a mulberry or a cactus for lumber, it begs for further questioning to be sure. :D

Posted on Tue, 02/05/2013 - 15:28

he-he, I don't know what you are talking about, my English vocabulary has long since run out... 

Ok, you win! But I still found it useful what the weavers here could tell be about that weave structure I used for my wool rug ;-)

Posted on Tue, 02/05/2013 - 15:39


Ok, so I haven't been posting here for ages. Life has kept me busy.

My latest off the loom are one silk dw shawl and a set of rep placemats. Andif it wasn't so irksome to add a phot here, I would! 



Posted on Tue, 02/05/2013 - 16:01

you say so causually one silk dw shawl - what it is is one amazingly beautiful and awesome silk dw shawl (I saw pics over on Rav!)



Posted on Tue, 02/05/2013 - 22:34

I would LOVE to be able to upload from my smart phone on the fly. And not be limited to one photo upload (or sometimes none at all) to thread posts.

Yes, it is a clunky system and I hope for improvement on the techinical side of things, but you can't beat the personalities, diverse backgrounds, and expertise found here!