Sampling Weavo-Along!

Please join us in our practical sampling weave along. We will use a practical sampling technique commonly used in weaving programs and by professional weavers. I think it is a good practice and the sampling I've done thus far has really helped me understand twills, twill movement, treadling, and the role sett plays in fabric!


1) Warp at least 2 yards

2) Warp stripes, either a preplanned stripes or 2" in several colours to see how they interact with weft colours, or another design idea you've been toying with.

3) The first sample will be sett for a balance weave and participants will creatively sample a variety of wefts and treadline sequences. Did you know you there are 75 twill possibilities on a 4 shaft loom?

4) The second sample should be sett more densely, ie more warp faced, as if you were going to use it for graments, or upholstry fabric, curtains or another use which would require a denser sett.

5) The third sample should be sett less densely, not quite weft faced, but a more open and drapier sett than a balanced weave.

6) For those who wish you can continue to sample with other threadings in the same colours, change up the stripes, etc.




Posted on Mon, 11/25/2013 - 14:04

Wonderful idea! Good luck with your WAL!
I just wanted to add something that , I think, would be beneficial to your group.
This is for 3 of the samples, take the same threading, treadling, same weft, and rely only on the different setts, to see how sett really changes alone the appearance , characteristics of the cloth. My 2 cents.
Have fun!

Posted on Tue, 11/26/2013 - 20:54

I was planning some twill sampless even before this was announced, so its great for me.  I am using 14/2 cotton (too small, but am trying to use up my stash -- we will have to see how many threading errors I get), in 3 colors.  I am going to do a two-block twill on an 8-harness loom, with the color changes occurring at the places where the threading changes for half, and in the other half, the color changes will NOT correspond with the block changes.  I think this will be a lot of fun.

Posted on Fri, 11/29/2013 - 10:18

Thanks Cathie for better explaining the second concept! We can explore the effect of many things through these samples. Oneo f the things Iwant to explore is the effect of sett.

Queezle your samples sound very interesting. But why do you say the cotton is too small?

Posted on Fri, 11/29/2013 - 15:50

I tried setting up a sample with this yarn several years ago, when I was in denial that my eyes were aging (I had never been a glasses wearer).  There were too many threading errors for me to fix, and the loom sat there mocking me for months until I cut the warp off.

Two things have changed that should solve many of these problems. First, I have reading classes!  And second, I purchased a raddle for my loom, and am going to try back-to-front warping. 

It is unlikely that I will make much progress before Christmas.  I will be taking my son to Cambridge (UK) for an interview for college, which will put be behind at work.  But I'm trying to get a bit of the warp measured out each day.

Posted on Fri, 11/29/2013 - 18:18

Here's hoping the glasses and raddle help! We should get together! We live in Newmarket, about 20 mins from Cambridge! Pm me and we'll set up a time and place!

Posted on Tue, 12/10/2013 - 20:59


It was great to see you tonight! Our discussion of the sampling weave a long and twills inspired me to get back to virtually exploring the 75 twills possible on a 4 shaft loom threaded with a straight threading! I made it to 35!

I think I've made a comprehensive list of the combinations, but still need to add all the treadlings to my draft.

With 4 shafts there are 14 lift possiblities 1,2,3,4, 1-2-3, 2-3-4, 3-4-1, 4-1-2, 1-2, 2-3,3-4,4-1, 1-3, 2-4

So you have tabby, 2/2, twill, 1/3, twill, 3/1 twill. You can treadle this as drawn in, reverse as drawn in, point treadling, broken treadling, broken point treadling, advancing treadling, you can interleave tabby treadling with each of these combination, and combine each main treadling. As you can see there are a lot of permutations here!

I look forward to seeing you weave some of these up. As I said tonight I've had some fun playing with these already. I'll try to photograph my sample and post here later.

My next sample needs rethreading. Then back to weaving! I'll post pics of previous samples soon as well.

Posted on Fri, 12/13/2013 - 17:04

This is the second sample. This sett is denser and better suited for a garment.
After wet finishing the first sample I chosec3 wefts I liked best andcresleighed the reed.

Sample WAL #2

Posted on Fri, 12/13/2013 - 17:39

good Erica - I might join on this later - meaning after the Holidays. . . .


Posted on Fri, 12/13/2013 - 19:39

It seems every where I look this week I come across experienced weavers writing of the virtues of sampling.

Back issues of Weavers Craft and Handwoven alike discuss all there is to learn from samples. Color exploration will help you find just the right weft. Exporing sett helps make sure your sett is suited for the intended purpose. Finally, exploring treadling possibilities helps drafting new and exciting projects.

Posted on Fri, 12/13/2013 - 20:32

Such nice colors.  I am still in the UK (and loving the fact we were able to meet).  I will thread my loom, but probably not until closer to Christmas. 

My son did well in his interview at Cambridge, and is cautiously optimistic.  So who knows, I might be back!

Posted on Sat, 12/14/2013 - 09:00

I hope he gets in. I know he'll enjoy cAmbridge if he is accepted. We also would love seeing you again!

Enjoy the rest of your visit and getting back to the loom. That's where I'm headed, after the accounting. :)

Posted on Sun, 12/15/2013 - 17:04

I redrafted the undulating point twill on 4 shafts, and rearranged my stripes! I now need to do my final samples with the last 3 wefts. Then I think I might play around with different treadling on this one! :)

Posted on Wed, 12/18/2013 - 20:46

I've finished sampling with the original treadling. Now the fun begins, exploring other treadling options! I'll photograph the wet finished samples.

Posted on Fri, 12/27/2013 - 17:16

I put a simple all red warp - straight twill (8 shaft) and have started to weave.  I decided to go simple because I'm also trying to learn back-to-front warping, and use of my auto reed hook.  Erica - I am looking forward to seeing your samples!  Like you, I will wait for wet finished to post photos.

Posted on Fri, 12/27/2013 - 17:33

Please feel free to ask if you have problems with bavk to front! I love my suto reeed hook! I got a reed holder for Christmas/Solstice, which I'm looking forward to using on my front to bsck warps or if I dver decide to presley the reed for back to front. I haven't quite figured out the advantageous to presleying/fough sleighing so I should try it sometime!

Hopefully Oliver will photograph my samples tomorrow!

Posted on Sun, 12/29/2013 - 18:49

Oliver finally got a sec to photograph the samples for me. Trust me you want him doing this. I can tell if a photo is lit properly, I just can't figure out where to stand to actually do it! :)

I started with a balanced sett and random stripes. I sampled many wefts. These are two of the more successful weft colors.

Then I moved on to 2" stripes in the warp and weft and less colours. I should have paid more attention to the twill repeat length.

I think this is still the balanced sett.

Posted on Sun, 12/29/2013 - 18:59

I then warped for a more dense sett. I also changed to a 4 shaft undulating twill of my own design, the traight treadline was not very interesting, but the reverse is quite pleasing.

I think the final design will be purple borders, with green stripes then a blue center.

The person I am ultimately designing this for really likes purple. The design attracts th eye so much, that the focus becomes the weft, so i will also be using a purple weft. But aparently the purple weft sample was not in the pile to photograph! :)

Posted on Sat, 04/12/2014 - 14:18

OK I didn't quite follow the rules on this sample, but I though I'd post a few of my damask samples here. :)

Posted on Sat, 04/12/2014 - 14:18

OK I didn't quite follow the rules on this sample, but I though I'd post a few of my damask samples here. :)