Ask Madelyn: Deflected Doubleweave Selvedges
I’m wanting to weave my first piece in deflected doubleweave but I’m not sure how to handle the selvedges (I have to weave 4 picks of one color followed by 4 picks of another). The inactive weft floats up the selvedge and looks unsightly, but I don’t want to take the time to begin and end a weft after every 4 picks. How should I handle the selvedges?
What you need to do is to enclose the inactive weft(s) with the active weft. It (or they) may still show a bit on the edge but much less than floats. And, of course, you would never want to take the time to begin and end a weft after every 4 picks.
What I do is place a stool (higher than my loom bench) at one side of the loom. Usually, the weft sequences in deflected doubleweave have an even number of picks with each color so the shuttle will always end up on the side it started. For the easiest handling of the shuttles, I start them all on the same side (for me, the left side). Photo a shows a deflected doubleweave with three colors; the shuttles are all at rest. To weave the first pick, I enter the appropriate shuttle into the shed over the floating selvedge (most deflected doubleweave drafts benefit from floating selvedges) and take it out under the floating selvedge on the other side. For the second pick, I enter the shuttle over the floating selvedge on the other side. At the same time, I take my hand and lift up the strand(s) of inactive weft so that the shuttle comes out of the shed under them and under the floating selvedge. I continue in this way. When I make the last pick of a color (returning again to the left side), I take the shuttle out under only the floating selvedge and place it in the position on the stool that is closest to the loom. I then pick up the next shuttle and repeat.
It’s a little awkward at first; you sometimes have to pull on the inactive threads with your left hand so that they stay taut, but your hand is there anyway and it becomes second nature.