Metric Conversion for Setts

Handwoven Magazine Ask Madelyn

Hi Madelyn

Thank you for your videos which I have found so helpful and for the advice you are so generous about. I am wondering if it wouldn't be possible to have the Master Yarn Chart(which already reports meters per kilogram) with the sett ranges given in metric numbers (ends per centimeter)?

I know it's a lot of work, but I still hope…





Hi Lidia!

The Master Yarn Chart is fairly constrained for space, and I'm afraid adding in more numbers might make it even harder to read. Remember that setts are fairly arbitrary in the first place. They depend on the desired hand of the finished fabric, the weave structure, and the specific yarns being used. In the Master Yarn Chart, we give a range of setts. The middle one is for a balanced plain weave (and is the most useful, if not the only useful one, of the three numbers; too many variables affect the other two numbers). As you gain experience working with yarns, you'll establish the setts you like with the yarns and weave structures you are using.


However, there is a fairly easy way to translate the numbers in a Handwoven project to a metric sett. First, substitute the metric reed that is closest to the 8-, 10-, 12, or 15-dent-per-nch reed recommended in the project. You can then sley the metric reed the same way as the project instructions recommend or make the adaptations to get the same metric sett with an alternate reed.


Here are the reed equivalents, gathered from several sources (the metric number is listed first in dents per 10 centimeters, then the corresponding reed in dents per inch):


100/10 = 25

70/10 = 18

60/10 = 15

50/10; 45/10 = 12

40/10 = 10

30/10 = 8

25/10 = 6

20/10 = 5


I hope this helps,



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