Master Yarn Chart

Hi Madelyn,

I am interested in finding some sort of chart that shows how to translate the yarn size and weight as well as the ends per inch into what size reed to use and how to sley the reed so the piece isn’t too wide or too narrow. Do you have something like that?


Hi Susan,

The Master Yarn Chart gives the plain-weave setts for almost all yarns (it’s the middle number of three; for 18, 20, 24, the plain-weave sett is 20, for example). There isn’t a way to translate yarn size (thickness) directly into a sett because the optimum sett would vary, depending on fiber type and loftiness, degree of twist, and the desired fabric hand for its use (rug vs scarf, for example). That middle number only gives you a starting point and is the sett you would use for a balanced, medium-dense plain weave. You’ll then adjust that number higher or lower depending on the weave structure and those other factors.

Once you know the sett, you can figure out how many threads at that sett you’ll need for a cloth to be a certain width. Let’s say you have decided you are weaving a scarf and your yarn/structure will work best at 24 ends per inch and you want the scarf to be 10 inches wide. You’d sley 240 ends in a 12-dent reed with 2 ends per dent. You can use other reed sizes, too, an 8-dent reed at 3/dent or even a 10-dent reed at 2-2-2-2-3/dent (this is not ideal since that irregularity might show as a slightly denser stripe in the cloth). Whenever you do an irregular sleying, always distribute the threads as evenly as possible to avoid streaks in the cloth. Minor differences in warp density will disappear with wet finishing.


Posted June 22, 2011. Updated July 7, 2017. If you have a weaving question we would love to hear from you! Please email Madelyn! Pictured above: Summer Lace Placemats and Mug Rugs by Suzie Liles Handwoven May/June 2017. View related & recent “Ask Madelyn” posts!

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