Ask Madelyn: Irregular Denting Orders

The draft I am wanting to weave says to sley 22 ends per inch in an 8-dent reed. I have a 10-dent reed. How do I sley 22 ends in a 10-dent reed?


Hi Maria!

The most important principle about irregular sleying orders is to spread the threads as evenly as possible throughout the reed. Any odd crowding will show in the final cloth as stripes of areas where the warp threads are more dense. If I have a number of ends per inch that does not divide evenly into each dent, I usually first consult the Reed Chart in The Weaver’s Companion (the Reed Chart is only one of the many useful charts, instructions, and tips in this book). To use the Reed Chart, you first find the reed you are using (at the top of the chart) and then look down that column to the sett you are looking for. I first wondered how your fabric was sleyed in an 8-dent reed and see from the Reed Chart that the sleying order is 2-3-3-3.

22 epi in 10 dent reed

Next, I looked down the column of the 10-dent reed for 22 epi, and I didn’t find it. This does happen for odd setts in reeds that don’t accommodate them easily. When I can’t find the epi I’m looking for in the chart, I usually draw on a piece of paper the number of dents I’m working with and place the threads in them, spreading them as evenly as I can. In the case of 22 ends in a 10-dent reed, I put two ends in every dent (20 epi) and then an exta end in the first and sixth dents. The sleying order would then be 3-2-2-2-2. It is possible that there will be a slight line in the cloth at the position of every fifth dent, but it should be minimal and may wash out. Let me know how it works!

choosing a sett


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