Handwoven Magazine Ask Madelyn

Hi, Madelyn,

I want to do a “double-doubleweave” wall hanging project on my 8-shaft loom.  The layers are not to be connected except at the beginning to facilitate hanging.  I am using carpet warp in four colors (one for each layer) as a warp, and I have sleyed them 4 to a dent in an 8-dent reed.  I need to know how to thread, tie up, and treadle this project so each of the layers will weave in plain weave and the warp of each layer will be one of the four colors.  Hope this isn’t too confusing.
—Diane LaFrance



Hi, Diane!

I’d need to know more about what you hope to accomplish with your wall hanging to answer your questions completely. However, I can give you some steps to start with. First of all, your sett needs to be four times the sett for plain weave in a single layer to weave four layers. Your current sett (32 total epi) is 8 ends per inch in each layer. 8/4 cotton carpet warp needs to be sett closer than that; I'd try 16 ends per inch per layer: sley 8/dent (64 total ends per inch) in an 8-dent reed.

To thread, use two shafts per layer and thread 1 end from each layer in sequence. In the draft shown here, the first layer is on shafts 1-5, the second on 2-6, the third on 3-7, and the fourth on 4-8, though other arrangements  will also work. To weave, you’ll alternate the two shafts in each layer but weave 1 pick in each layer in sequence. The draft and tie-up here show the treadling order that will weave the layer on shafts 1 and 5 on top and each of the other layers below it in order. To change the position of any layer, the one guiding rule is that you’ll have to raise shafts for the layers that need to be above the one you are weaving.


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