Ask Madelyn: Name Drafts

I’m new to weaving, and so naturally I had to get the 2012 Handwoven Calendar. The March 2012 photo is absolutely stunning and the caption indicates it is from an article in the Handwoven November/December 1997 issue on how to weave “name drafts.” What is a name draft?


Hi Terry!

A name draft is an arbitrary way to create a threading draft (usually threading, though it can be used for blocks or for treadling orders, too). There are many ways to do name drafting, but one is to assign a letter to each shaft. A=1, B=2, C=3, D=4, E=1, F=2, etc., for four shafts, for example. Then you just thread the number corresponding to the letters from words or phrases. Naturally, this doesn’t necessarily give you a threading that can be used, so then you adjust. Most often name drafting is used for overshot.

The runner used for March in the 2012 calendar has been reprinted in the Handwoven eBook, Baker’s Dozen: Top Projects in Overshot. The article explains how to do name drafts in addition to giving project instructions for that stunning piece.


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