Quigley and Half Satin

Hi Madelyn,
I was wondering if you could please explain Quigley weaves and tell me where I can find more info about them?
Thank you,

Hi Darla!

Here’s a brief answer to your question (it really deserves a chapter rather than a quick answer, so I made Quigley the subject of “The Draft” in the upcoming May/June 2017 issue of Handwoven).

Quigley is a block weave closely related to summer and winter. A supplementary weft patterns a plain-weave ground cloth and is tied to the cloth by regularly spaced warp threads usually called tie-down ends. In summer and winter, tie-down ends on shafts 1 and 2 alternate with pattern ends in units of four ends each (1-3-2-3 for Block A, 1-4-2-4 for Block B, etc.).

A weaver named Margaret Bergman extended this idea to three tie-down shafts that she threaded in rosepath order (Block A = 1-4-3-4-2-4-1-4-3-4-1-4-2-4-3-4; shafts 4 and above are the pattern shafts, one for each block). The tie-down shafts are also raised in rosepath order, so the texture of the fabric, instead of showing the brick-like alternation of the two tie-down ends on shafts 1 and 2 as in summer and winter, shows a rosepath twill-like effect.

1. Half satin: Three units each of Blocks A and B_Revised Chart2A

1. Half satin: Three units each of Blocks A and B_Revised Chart2A

The use of three tie-down shafts in straight order (1-4-2-4-3-4 for Block A and 1-5-2-5-3-5 for Block B is called in our literature “half satin”; see Figure 1. I think this is because in Scandinavia, the same structure is called a “halb dräll” weave. Halb means half and dräll has to do with block weaves (in full dräll weaves, each block requires an independent set of shafts, such as turned twill, in which Block A = 1-2-3-4, B = 5-6-7-8; in halb dräll weaves, blocks share some shafts).

A weaver named Joyce Quigley extended Bergman’s idea to use four tie-down shafts (1, 2, 3, and 4). Shafts 5 and above become the pattern shafts, one for each block. If the tie-down shafts are threaded in straight order, Block A becomes 1-5-2-5-3-5-4-5, Block B 1-6-2-6-3-6-4-6, etc.; see the draft in Figure 2.) An advantage to Quigley is that many different and appealing textures can be created by changing the treading and or threading orders of the tie-down shafts.

2. Quigley: Two units each of Blocks A and B

2. Quigley: Two units each of Blocks A and B

Table runner by Suzie Liles

Table runner by Suzie Liles found in Handwoven November/December 2011, pp. 54–55.

Looking at this group of weaves (tied unit weaves) one can only conclude that we have given them an incredibly confusing hodgepodge of names (summer and winter, Bergman, half satin, Quigley, etc.). You would never know they had anything to do with each other.

The first appearance of Quigley in weaving literature that I can find is in Harriet Tidball’s Handloom Weaves (Shuttle-Craft Guild Monograph Thirty-Three, 1984, page 31). It is explained in The Complete Book of Drafting (Madelyn van der Hoogt, Shuttle-Craft Books, 1993, page 89). A Quigley runner appears as a project in Handwoven (Suzie Liles, November/December 2011, pp. 54–55).


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  1. Diane L at 10:16 am April 5, 2017

    Dear Madelyn:
    The second block of the first sample of Quigley (1, 2, &3 as tied downs) uses the same pattern treadles as the first block. Shouldn’t the second block use treadles 6, 7, & 8?

    I could be reading it wrong, but when I follow the thread across it appears wrong. I am interested in this weave – just got an 8 shaft loom – so please let me know.



    • Tamara Schmiege at 8:51 am April 6, 2017

      Dear Dee:
      Thanks for your comment! You are correct. We have changed the chart here. We apologize for the error. Thanks for pointing this out so that we could make the change!

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