All Warps are Either Solid or Striped – A Glossary of Stripes

With the exception of space-dyed warps, all warps are either solid or striped, and a striped warp might have connotations and origins you didn’t think of. Recently someone asked me if there was such a thing as prison stripes. She had read an article about prison stripes on and wondered if it was a real thing. It is, and I knew that because I’ve studied stripes and in particular, woven stripes.

A few years back, my guild study group spent a year on different stripe types. We found a glossary of stripes in a couple of old issues of Handwoven (March/April 1983 and March/April 2003) and used them as our guide. According to that glossary, there are 24 different types of stripes, one of which is called “convict,” otherwise known as prison stripes. Prison stripes are 1″ black stripes on a white ground. Doesn’t that just bring up a picture in your mind?

Glossary of Stripes

Maybe these aren’t quite awning stripes since they aren’t wide, but this striped painting might be the basis for a beautiful striped warp. Photo credit: Pixabay

Just as the description of prison stripes instantly brings up an image, so do many of the others, such as awning , candy, and ombré. Others are a bit more obscure but winding the yarns on a piece of cardboard can make many of them come to life. As part of the study, the group spent a few hours winding different stripe types some of which are shown here.

glossary of stripes

A few yarn wraps showing different stripe types. Photo credit: Susan E. Horton

Your next warp might very well be a stripe. Check out the Glossary of Stripes for ideas and inspiration.

Glossary of Stripes

  • awning: very wide, colorful stripes.
  • candy: alternate white and bright-colored stripes—like peppermint candy.
  • chalk: tone-on-tone stripes (e.g., light gray on dark gray) resembling chalk lines of varying widths.
  • convict: 1″ black weft stripes on a white ground.
  • cord: vertical stripes formed by thick cords in the warp.
  • crammed: (i.e., handkerchief stripes) warpwise stripes formed by cramming a greater number of ends in certain dents.
  • dorian: cloth with a plain-weave foundation and satin weave stripes of the same color.
  • express: 2/1 left-hand twill on the face, usually 12 ends white alternating with 12 ends dark blue.
  • grenadine: stripes made by cramming some ends and leaving empty dents. Usually woven in leno.
  • hairline: narrow striped color effect.
  • ombré: gradual transition from one color to another in the warp.
  • pekin: general term given to fabrics whose design shows stripes of equal width.
  • pencil: fine white or tinted stripes in the warp against dull or dark background.
  • pin: narrowest of all stripes; spun silk or rayon yarns used to stripe a worsted or woolen warp.
  • pin rib: fine cords appearing in the warp or filling.
  • regatta: equally wide blue/white, gray/white, or other color stripes, usually in wool.
  • regimental: stripes ranging from ½” to 1″ in width, using British regiment or U.S. university colors.
  • Roman: brilliantly contrasting stripes of equal width, usually in the warp direction.
  • satin: alternating stripes of warp- and weft-faced satin.
  • seersucker: puckered stripes created by having sections of the warp at different tensions.
  • shadings: cloth made of colored warp yarns in striped arrangements to produce bright and dull effects resulting from S- and Z-twist yarns.
  • shadow: a blended stripe effect of darker or lighter shades than the body of the goods.
  • stria: 1. an irregular warpwise stripe effect obtained by twisting two strands of one shade of yarn loosely with one strand of a lighter, darker, or harmonizing color. 2. very fine, random, seemingly nonrepeating stripes, no more than one, two, or three threads wide.
  • ticking: small twill with alternating white and colored stripes.

Weave well

Stripe Glossary, Handwoven March/April 2003 page 66 and Handwoven March/April 1983 page 49.

Featured Image: Zebra stripes aren’t in the Glossary of Stripes. Does that make 25 types? CREDIT: Pixabay

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