Profile Drafts: Unlocking Geometric Design

Have you dreamed of weaving confidently from profile drafts, translating endless geometric patterns into easy-to-design block weaves? Then Deb Essen’s new video, Unlocking Profile Drafts, is for you! Here’s Deb herself to explain what she loves so much about profile drafts, and to give you a sense of what you can expect in her video. ~Andrea

Designing with a profile draft versus a thread-by-thread draft is kind of like driving a sports car versus driving a scooter. Both will get you to your destination, but a sports car is faster, and, may I argue, allows more opportunities for fun. A profile draft allows you to explore many different design possibilities much more quickly than writing out a thread-by-thread draft.

 Deb Essen's clear instruction will help you understand how to weave and design with profile drafts.

Deb demonstrating the parts of a profile draft in her new video Unlocking Profile Drafts.

My “moment of Zen” is not found in creating thread-by-thread drawdowns by hand on graph paper (which is why I have a computer drafting program). However, with a profile draft I can design and redesign a textile quickly—on graph paper, on my computer, or even on the fly at the loom!

Whoever originally created profile drafting was brilliant (and perhaps, like me, a little impatient). Or maybe it was more of a practical necessity. Writing materials were once difficult to obtain. With a profile draft, a little scrap of paper could hold the design (profile) of a textile. It’s like drafting in shorthand!

In a nutshell, the colored-in squares on a profile draft (as you can see at right) represent groups (blocks) of warp and weft threads that interlace in the same way to weave pattern. You only need 4 shafts on your loom to start creating fun designs. With 20 different block weave structures to choose from and the ability to add more pattern blocks with more shafts, the design possibilities are almost limitless.

In Deb's new video, learn how to weave a variety of geometric designs on one warp by changing your treadling.

Deb’s summer and winter, 4-block, 6-shaft sample from Unlocking Profile Drafts, showing just a few of the patterning possibilities you can achieve just by changing your treadling.

The picture above is of the 4-block, 6-shaft summer and winter sample I used for demonstration when we filmed Unlocking Profile Drafts. With only one day to shoot the video, there was a limited amount of time to weave on film, but I couldn’t bear to waste the warp.

So, after we finished filming, I started playing with different treadling sequences. Look at all the different designs that are possible just by changing the treadling! The only reason I stopped is because I ran out of warp, not because I ran out of ideas.

Want to learn more about how to weave, read, and translate from profile drafts, greatly improving your ability to design with summer and winter, rep, taquete, and twill blocks? Please join me in unlocking the creative potential of profile drafts.


Deb Essen

Deb Essen

Deb Essen is the instructor in the video Unlocking Profile Drafts and the author of the Supplemental Warp Weaving Collection. In addition to running her handwovens business, Deb teaches at national and international conferences and guilds.


P.S. Do you like to weave from profile drafts? Share your tips in the comments!

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