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Simplified Designing of Patterned Doubleweave on 16 or More Shafts

ReedGuy's picture
Project Date: 
Tue, 04/03/2018
Number of Shafts: 
Number of Treadles: 

Doubleweave, double cloth, or Welsh cloth, pick your term. How do we make it easier to design for? For starts, weaving software improves efficiency in the designing process. Fiberworks software will take any profile and draw up a doubeweave draft using the Block Substitution tool from the menu. But for those with simpler software we can also improve upon our methods that help immensely. Some of these we may call short cuts, and probably make us think a bit less about what really is taking place to get the loom to make the patterns we have designed. But we know it works. This is one of those shortcut methods that is easier on the brain, when software is lacking. Or at least mine, I hope yours as well. :)

Let's get right into it. Lets say, we have an 8 shaft draft, or maybe a profile, that looks interesting to us. In this case it will be an 8 shaft draft I designed some time ago, and here it is partially. Just enough to make sense of things.

Now notice that this draft is for a sinking shed loom, so in the tie up we have black squares that sink, white squares that rise. Keep that in mind. Now I want to make this into a doubleweave pattern. Well this takes 4 x as many shafts, so I need 32 shafts to make a doubeweave pattern out of this. So how do we make this process simple? Well, lets look at the tie-up. Lets say that each tie connection in the original draft is actually 16 ties for doubleweave in a 4 x 4 grid. If we can come up with two 16 tie grids, one will represent the lifts and the other can represent the sinking in the original design, as illustrated below

Now lets translate that to our 32 shaft tie-up. Here is the grid of tie-ups for doubleweave below.

Now we notice the threading and the treadling is in point fashion in the 8 shaft draft. We will be following this "pattern", but in a different way. The ends and the picks in the original draft will become 4 ends and 4 picks to weave doubleweave. But the ends and picks will be shown in straight draw fashion, so you have lines of ends and picks in a left leaning fashion in their groups of 4. And to weave pattern, we need to alternate color when threading and treadling, we use only 2 colors in warp and weft. Highlighted are each of the 8 blocks to thread and treadle.

I ask you, can it get any easier? Yes, a dobby. :D You can convert this to a lift plan on your own. You have fewer shafts? Get a drawloom or your pick up sticks. ;)

Here is a design on 16 shafts that I found in "Keep Me Warm One Night" by the Burnhams and the design was credited to Samuel Fry. They only provided a profile. But now that you have "the keys to the car" you can take any 4 shaft profile design and make it a 16 shaft doubleweave or Welsh cloth. You never thought it was so easy. But of course much easier in Fiberworks with the block substitution tool. :) And bye-the-way, you can use more colors, just experiment with it. There are some wonderful multicolor Welsh cloth designs out there.

A 3 color design for eye candy. :)


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