Can Celtic Knots be woven on a 4 shaft loom without any hand manipulation (using only specific threading and treadling)?  If so, are there any free drafts anywhere?  If not, what technique should be used?




Grace McIntyre (not verified)

Hi Candace, I would like to find this as well, I will be reading your answeres to see what there is if you don't mind.


Slipstream (not verified)


rev. 4 Ok, I think I can get a photo of the text page from my MS Word, lets see what happens when I press save.  The last three times the results were completely unexpected.

rev 3: Crap! I've got to go host the image on one of my online photo sites I guess I can't upload an image from my computer. 

 rev 2: Let me try this another way!

 rev 1:   OK I give up, it is just too frustrating, I'll just not post stuff like this anymore!!!


I use Celtic knots in a lot of my ceramics and metal work and have for some time.  I am very new to weaving and so I have not tried it yet but I was planning on doing some Celtic knotwork shortly with weaving.  However my favorite program for creating fancy knotwork is the celtic font system available from Clanbadge. The font installs as a regular wordprocessing font and has several variations.  The fonts consist of segments of knots which can be assembled in various configurations I recently did a tile installation where I created the tile from the font and used it as a border for a tile scene.  The Font is a truetype font and is easily scalable to any size you wish.

Celtic Font used to design a border



I have no idea where that horizontal dotted line came from! My apologies for such a badly hacked up post!

I don't know why this website splits things up the way it does but the actual font comes without the line down the middle.  When I print these patterns they come out as solid continuous lines. I then use an opaque projector to project the design directly on the material I am making.  In ceramics I print it out and use a kind of pounce wheel to transfer the design. If you'd like more information PM me. The font is available from Clanbadge at



tien (not verified)

I don't believe it is possible on just four shafts.  I did come up with a three-strand braid that can be woven on seven shafts, but it requires either a skeleton tie-up (depressing two or more treadles at once), a dobby loom, or a table loom.

The difficulty with Celtic knotwork is that it requires a lot of blocks to show clearly.  In particular, if you want an "over-under-over-under" twining look, you need more shafts.

Here's a link to my seven-shaft version:

(I know it says 8 shafts in the name, but it's really only seven shafts.)

I just simplified it some more, it turns out you can do it with 7 shafts and 10 treadles if you get rid of the arrow separators:

However, I don't think it is possible to do it on four shafts.  I'd LOVE to have someone tell me that I'm wrong, though!

tien (not verified)

I forgot to mention that Celtic knots can be done using card weaving as well.  I have an absolutely gorgeous bookmark of an eternity knot (also known as the Buddha's knot) that was made for me by a card-weaving friend.  There are many ways to get there!

I love Celtic knotwork and used it in my wedding-dress - the body of the coat was woven with eternity knots, and the dress fabric was woven in a three-strand braid, symbolizing eternity.  I also wove the three-strand braid into a rich red/black cashmere/silk fabric that I will someday sew up into a coat...

They are fun!



Thanks for the drafts.  I am a beginner and am confining myself to my 4 shaft loom for a while.  Can Celtic knots be done using "double weave pick-up"?

La Crumpet (not verified)

Your imagination, patience, and attention to detail.

DWP and complicated patterns and I are not compatible.  I hope you are.  I would love to see what you come up with!

I love that you are agreeing to push your current loom to the limit.  There is so much to be explored!

lkautio (not verified)

There are a lot of forms of pickup - it can be done on any structure, from lace to twill to summer and winter, etc.  You can also use inlay (including embroidery weaves and transparencies), tapestry techniques, Moorman technique, etc.  Many of these are easier than doubleweave pickup or at least no harder. 

As a beginner, I might choose to inlay on a simple twill or plain weave ground cloth.  You could do this by drawing (called a cartoon, pinned to the web) or graphing your design and following it. Or, I would put a 3-shaft lace bronson on the loom and try picking up the pattern on that.  The pickup on 6-thread lace bronson blocks (threaded 1,3,1,3,1,2) is only done on 2 out of every 6 picks - the rest are plain weave shots, all done with one shuttle.  Pickup is slower than loom control, but gives you complete design freedom. Have fun!

Laurie Autio

sally orgren

Yes, you can weave a Celtic knot pattern with just two shafts using pick up. I have posted a project here at Weavolution using the inkle loom.

Bonnie Inouye

This is a plaited twill which I learned from Madelyn van der Hoogt, but it is included in some older books as well. You do need to have more than 4 shafts to create a design with an isolated motif, but this one does show an image of interlacement. There are 8 threads in each repeat in the threading and 12 in each repeat in the treadling. Of course, you can weave a bunch of other patterns with the same threading, but this one is clever in the way it uses all 6 treadles.

If you have plenty of time and patience, you can create any design you like by hand in woven cloth. Some people might use double weave if they they want a thicker cloth (perhaps for warmth) and/or a very clear image (white crossing white against black crossing black, for example). Inlay would be an easier and faster method with finger-control. The draft above is an example of a loom-controlled design.

I am in Sweden now, visiting family, and admired some ancient rune stones with fascinating designs using interlacement and curves. Many cultures have used this kind of design.

Bonnie Inouye

Bonnie Inouye (not verified)

I saw the draft in the message when I was writing it, but now it is not there. I am trying again.4-shaft plaited twill

sally orgren

Wow Bonnie, that is a really pretty pattern, thanks for the link!

And isn't Sweden wonderful? I too, loved the rune stones, they seemed to be all over.

And isn't it great to have Weavolution when you are traveling, away from your looms, but yet you can get a quick weaving fix?


weave2 (not verified)

draft Bonnie!  thanks for sharing it with us.  It is one I'd like to try.

rigidheddlewea… (not verified)

It's *exactly* what I've been searching for. You're a gem!

Bonnie Inouye (not verified)

Sweden was wonderful, yes. Sorry to take so long in responding! Many of the rune stones include images of interlacement and I also found wonderful examples in Viking metal and wood work in museums in Stockholm and Oslo. When I was in college, I learned about the Book of Kells and I thought that these fancy interlacement designs were Celtic. But really they are found in many parts of the world. And weavers tend to like them. I am not the only weaver who feels drawn to these.

patchworkfibers (not verified)

Well you got me hooked :-). I've just been playing around with locker hooked rugs after tearing ligaments in my ankle last month, which has limited my weaving. I checked out the fonts at Clanbadge and purchased the grid pattern version. For weaving, the brick pattern looks like it would work well.