term usage, old or modern? (terms from Burnham)

Lately I have investigated some Swedish weaving terms - several of them seem to have "just happened" without "authorisation". Thsi means that there are individual, or perhaps group related or regional, interpretations of the same word. (A typical example is vävnota - nowadays mostly meant to be a complete draft, including materials, sett etc. All books can tell you that it "really" is just a description of your end product, *without the draft*. A vävnota is just a list: table runner, cotton 16/2 and cottolin 22/2, 4 meters, 30 cm wide, 14 ends and 10 picks per cm, 420 ends. Period.)

Today I was looking in A textile terminology (Burnham) and found some words, but not others. Now I wonder: in modern English usage, do you ever say "binding" or "binding system"? Do you consider that an exact synonym for "weave"?

And what about a "draft"? Should a draft *always* include all four components, to be called a draft? And... "profile"? In Burnham, profile "shows the longitudinal or tansverse section of the weave" (Ok, so the next sentence is "The word profile is also used th describe a shortened form of entering draft" - but "profile" does not have an entry of it's own.) Can the spelling draught still be used?

The crosses: do you use portee and porrey crosses, when talking abour it?

Do you make a difference between striped (different-coloured warp) and banded (different-coloured weft)?

Would you understand that a twill diaper (or reverse twill) is the same as what my software calls turned twill? ("A four-block twill diaper"?)



Posted on Wed, 01/18/2012 - 13:45

As a beginning weaver I have been reading several different books on weaving - some from the 1950s and 60s and some more modern -  and have found that terminology is not always consistent, even within a single volume. One book I was reading mentioned the term porrey cross when discussing crosses and lease sticks but then never used the term again in the book, only using cross. I have no answers to your questions but just thought I'd throw in my two cents worth of confusion. . .



Posted on Wed, 01/18/2012 - 15:30

found another term - the verb (to) pick. This (as you all kow?) means to make one pick. Used?

(this came from a CIETA publication from 1967: Nordisk textilteknisk terminologi; vävnader. It has Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, English, French and German. Many of the terms seem very "exact", and therefore sometimes unnecessary wordy: "weft-patterned tabby type 'munkabälte' ")

Posted on Wed, 01/18/2012 - 19:59

I have not heard "pick" used as a verb in weaving. Interesting but curious.

We say "monksbelt" in English. When I was in Stockholm it was fun to read the Swedish terms on the cases of historic textiles in the Nordic museum.


Posted on Sun, 01/29/2012 - 01:03


To put my comments into context, I have to say I only been weaving since the mid-90's. I taught myself from books to start, then active guild participation, local workshops, and attending the national biennial conference since 1998. 2010 was my first Complex Weavers Seminar experience.

Some of the terms you mentioned I have seen referenced on WeaveTech discussions over the years, but they have never come up at my guilds, workshops, or conferences. I suspect most of my intermediate to advanced guild mates wouldn't know anything but "a cross" in their warp, and many would not know what diaper is at all, unless they have been exposed to a historical lecture or weave source at some point in time. As a new weaver, I remember being sort of shocked when one of the most experienced weavers in the guild asked Sharon Alderman to define "fell". I have since found out a lot of folks don't know what this is.

I happen to be reading Deen loom manuals from the early 1900's this week, and they mention pick and picker sticks (that slap the shuttle back and forth). They also talk about the "lay," which I infer means the beater and reed. 

I also suspect the "recent generation" of American weavers I belong to has been greatly influenced by Handwoven/Interweave Press. What terms they use in their magazine and publications have become the terms I most commonly hear. We thread harness 1 (not shaft 1) for instance. We really don't talk much about using shafts working together as a harness. (But perhaps if we did, we might have more designers and less recipe weavers.)

I am not sure if this is helpful to your purposes, but I will say how much I appreciate sources like WeaveTech and Weavolution for broadening my weaving horizons. The critical point is that folks like you, Bonnie I, and many others post & teach regularly, so I can get a glimmer of what I don't know, I don't know! ;-)


Posted on Sun, 02/19/2012 - 16:11

Now I have seen it in an English (Manchester) book, too - from the '60ies. The book was geared towards industry, and I thought I had noted the title, but apparently not :-)

Posted on Thu, 02/23/2012 - 03:12

Kerstin, I have seen the word "draught" as an old term for draft beer.

And what about a "draft"? Should a draft *always* include all four components, to be called a draft?

A draft may include a threading, liftplan, and drawdown or it may have a tie-up, treadling, threading and drawdown. Not always four components.

When it is possible to express a draft with tie-up and treadling using a reasonable number of treadles, I prefer to see it that way. In Weaver's magazine there are several articles giving liftplan drafts when it was not necessary. So I could say that four components are better when possible. Would you agree?


Posted on Thu, 02/23/2012 - 08:27

I always thought "draught" to be the English spelling... or maybe just the older English spelling (my old-ish dictionaries do not have the spelling "draft").

I absolutely agree that it is best if all 4 components are presented (or three, in the case of liftplan). However, my problem was the translation: as we Swedes do not have a word for "all 4 components present" - we have "inredning" for threading, tie-up, treadling and "bindemönster" for drawdown/drawup -  I was wondering if there were "rules" for the word...