Dreaming of Deflected Doubleweave

I remember the first time I saw deflected doubleweave—it was a set of scarves woven by Madelyn and featured in the January/February 2007 issue of Handwoven. They were unlike any weaving I’d seen before—big and bold shapes—some with curved edges!—all in shining, shimmering silk. I became a woman possessed and once I felt I had the weaving skills, I bought the yarns and set out to weave my own set of scarves.

Deflected doubleweave

One of Madelyn’s beautiful deflected doubleweave scarves. Photo by Joe Coa

Now before I put those lovely silks on my loom I wanted to make sure I understood the structure and the draft, so I put on some 8/2 cotton in contrasting colors and got to sampling. The first thing I noticed was how easy deflected doubleweave is to weave. I know two shuttle weaves can be scary at first, but with deflected doubleweave if you use the wrong color you know right away. It might seem more complicated to weave than a 4-shaft twill, but deflected doubleweave is a lot harder to mess up.

I also discovered how much fun I had playing with the patterning by adjusting the treadling. I tried to keep careful notes of what I was doing where so I could recreate anything I liked. I loved the way shapes seemed to magically appear on my cloth, and when I removed it to wet-finish it with just a bit of Synthrapol (affiliate link), the threads moved around and flowers began to appear in the place of grids. It was like magic! Best of all, the cloth had a different pattern on the opposite side that was just as lovely as the front.

Deflected doubleweave

Christina’s version of Madelyn’s beautiful black and white silk scarf. Photo by Christina Garton

Because of my sampling, I ended up tweaking the draft of the scarves after discovering a pattern I liked slightly more. Once I felt I’d sampled enough, I warped my loom and wove two slightly different scarves. The scarves were great fun to weave—I think twisting the fringe was the hardest part, and that was only because I didn’t have a fringe twister at the time. If I had been previously smitten, after weaving those scarves I was in love. Immediately my black and white silk scarf became a treasured part of my wardrobe. I wear it whenever I go to an art gallery opening because it looks so sophisticated—and I always get compliments.

I’m sad to say I haven’t woven anything else in deflected doubleweave—yet. I can feel myself getting the bug again. Fortunately, since I wove that first set of scarves several new (and wonderful) resources on deflected doubleweave are now available. Before I set off on my next adventure, I plan on watching Madelyn’s video Weaving Deflected Doubleweave and see what else I can learn about this magical structure. Once I’m done, I think I might warp the loom with some more inexpensive cotton to do some sampling and then weave up another scarf or maybe some reversible placemats. I might even try weaving with one variegated and one solid colored yarn just to see what happens. Whatever I do, one thing’s for certain: I won’t be bored!

Happy Weaving,

Featured Image: Close up of Christina’s deflected doubleweave scarf. Photo by Christina Garton

Posted February 24, 2019. Updated June 14, 2019.

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