Woven Threads
Musings on Fiber

Put the Treadle to the Metal: 4 Shaft 14 Treadle Draft

June 10th 2011 in Drafts

Sometimes we do something not because it is a good idea, but rather because we can do it.

On a four (4) shaft loom there are a total of sixteen (16) treadle combinations.  Two of these, all up and all down are not at all practical.  This leaves us with fourteen (14) combinations. What follows is a draft threaded for a simple lozenge, but which uses all 14 of the treadle combinations.   I think this design would work best on a table loom. Another option would be one where you’ve set a treadle for each shaft and then pressing down on multiple treadles (up to 3).  Of course, you could also weave it on a loom with fourteen treadles.

4 shafts and 14 treadles!

One aspect of this that I find very interesting is that as the warp threads are raised and lowered it creates “ridges” in the pattern. You can see this in the draft where a band of the warp (blue) is raised over the weft. In this section it is warp faced. In the “yellow” section, the warp is lowered and as a result the weft is more prevalent.  This can be seen in the sampler — it actually forms ridges as it changes between the facings.

Note how the pattern forms ridges based on whether the warp is raised or lowered.

I don’t know how practical this design would be — it is an interesting experiment and I could see it used for a scarf or table runner.  However, I think it’s a good way to learn about how the raising and lowering of the warp changes the facing of the cloth.


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This draft looks as though it “steps” through the shafts, rolling around when needed.  I like the way it looks like waves coming into a shore.

1,2,3,2,3,4,3,4,1,2,1,2,3,2,3,4 is the pattern for the warp threads.  In order to cut down on the size of the floats, every other weft shot is a tabby shot.


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Handweaving.net is a great source for drafts.  They have literally thousands of them; many are historical — others are contributed.  Additionally there is an archive of documents related to weaving.  All in all it is a wonderful site.

They also have a tool for creating divisional drafts and profiles.  The following draft is created with that […]

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