Analyzing a Fabric to Determine Threading and Treadling Draft

Handwoven MagazineAsk Madelyn
ask m 1Hi everyone!

An amazing number of very observant readers pointed out that shaft 3 was missing from the last treadle in my 8-shaft twill tie-up in last week's Ask Madelyn. Somehow, I must have clicked on something I shouldn't have when I saved that draft. I was so happy with it that I never looked at it again!

ask m 2Another reader (Mary) asked me to explain how to figure out an actual threading and treadling draft from analyzing a fabric, so I thought I'd use the twill draft in Wednesday's Ask Madelyn to demonstrate the process and at the same time show the correct tie-up. So here's a brief course in fabric analysis for Mary.

1. On graph paper, draw exactly what the warp threads and weft threads do in the fabric. When you are working with a real cloth, this is the hardest part. Threads don't stay on a grid; they move under and over and beside each other, which can make it difficult to tell exact warp and weft order. (Note that you will not know when you start how many rows/shafts there will be in the threading.)

ask m 32. Start with the first warp thread and above it write the number 1 in the first row of the threading draft (for Shaft 1) and then put a 1 above every warp thread that is exactly like the first one (up when it is up, down when it is down). Move to the next thread and call it 2 (for shaft 2) and do the same thing. Continue until all of the warp threads have been assigned a shaft. Figure 1 shows the drawing of the warp and weft threads and the shaft numbers for the first 2 threads. Figure 2 shows the completed threading.

ask m 43. For the tie-up, look at the shafts that are up (warp threads raised) for the first weft row. Write those shafts on the first treadle of the tie-up (1-2-3-4) and place a mark under that treadle to indicate the weft for that pick. Put a mark in the same column for any other pick that is exactly like the first one. Do the same for the second pick (see Figure 3), and then continue until you have the complete tie-up and treadling (see Figure 4).


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