Discovering the Thrill of Weaving Twill
A weaver friend was explaining weave structures to me the other day. I’m a newbie weaver, it was a long discursive chat, and at the end of it I came away with one thought: if I learn twill, I can weave for the rest of my life without getting bored.
Which is totally awesome, because Robyn Spady’s Totally Twill: the Basics is now available as an online workshop, and I’ve already watched it more than a few times. If you want to do more with less, get more bang for your buck, or employ any other thrifty metaphor, twill is a great weave structure. A basic 2/2 threading can take you all kinds of places, as shown in this gamp here. Robyn herself takes you through straight draw, point, extended point, and broken twills, which are enough to keep anyone busy for a while. Twill is a marvelously manageable structure: small changes to the tie-up or treadling sequence can yield an enormous range of patterns using the same warp. And if you are a new weaver like myself and warping still seems like a Very Big Thing to do, twill makes you feel like a far more advanced weaver than you may be.
If you do get bored with the basics, you can explore twill variations like birdseye, rosepath, M&W, undulating, and turned twills. You can also pick up some handy tips like how to use floating selvedges, weave a better header, and use twill to really showcase a handpainted yarn. Probably the coolest thing I learned was that an unbalanced twill can actually create a double-faced fabric. Those jeans you wear are a great example of 1/3 twill, which gives denim its signature light/dark sides.
Want to feel the thrill of twill? Check out Robyn’s workshop. It comes with an extensive PDF on twill, including instructions for how to weave a sampler of your own.
Want to learn more? Check out these resources: