Ask Madelyn: Swedish Drafting Format

I would really like to see a discussion of the best way to “translate” an American weaving draft into a Swedish draft. The conventions are so different, I get brain freeze trying to do it myself!


Original draft

Original draft

Hi Marjorie!

It’s so coincidental that you should ask me this question, because a short time ago, I completed an article for the Swedish magazine Väv Magasinet. I was uncertain about how to change our format into theirs. After some research and stops and starts (and lot of help from Laila Lundell’s The Big Weaving Book), I think I can demonstrate how to do this.

In a traditional Swedish threading draft (although numbers are not usually used), the top row in the threading is shaft 1; the bottom row is the last shaft threaded. In the tie-up, treadle 1 is the treadle at the far right; the treadles are numbered from right to left. The tie-up gives the shafts that are down, rather than those raised. And finally, the threading and tie-up are at the bottom of the draft and the treadling is read from bottom to top.

This may seem complicated, but to change our draft format into a Swedish one: first change the tie-up so that blank squares are filled in and numbered squares are blank (Swedish drafts usually show filled in squares rather than numbers).

Then, flip the threading horizontally, flip the tie-up both vertically and horizontally, and flip the treadling both vertically and horizontally. Compare all of these elements in the two drafts shown here.

Swedish draft

Swedish draft

Note that all Swedish drafts are not written alike just as ours are all not written alike. And, you don’t have to use their shaft numbers when you are using their drafts. You can call the bottom row of the threading shaft 1 and place our shaft numbers in the marked squares in the tie-up and still weave the fabric as shown.


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