Reed Substitutions

Handwoven Magazine Ask Madelyn

Hi Madelyn!

I have recently purchased both the Doubleweave Basics DVD and Doubleweave (the book) by Jennifer Moore. Because I am a ”visual” learner, I have found her double-disk DVD to be just what I needed to start exploring this fascinating weave structure. She recommends an 8-dent reed sleyed at 4 ends per dent. I only have a 10-dent reed, so I used slightly finer warp threads and sleyed 4/dent for 4 dents and then skipped 1 dent, but the skipped dent is very obvious in the cloth. Any suggestions?

—Grace Mandle

Hi Grace!

With a density of 4/dent for 4 dents, that sudden empty space is very likely to show. Washing may spread the threads a bit, but probably not enough.

The instructions for Jennifer Moore’s sampler recommend 5/2 pearl cotton. The sleying of 4/dent produces a sett of 32 ends per inch or 16 ends per inch per layer. As you clearly understood, the arrangement of 4/dent has the purpose of placing the 4 threads of each threading unit together in a dent. This is especially important for doing pick-up, since it separates the units visually, making counting and selecting the threads to pick up much easier than they would be otherwise.

If you really need to use a 10-dent reed, I would advise changing the yarn to either 8/2 cotton or 10/2 cotton and sleying 4 ends per dent (40 epi, 20 epi per layer). If you have a 12-dent reed, you can also use it with 10/2 cotton at 4 ends per dent (48 epi, 24 epi per layer). The 8/2 and 10/2 threads will be finer and therefore not quite as easy to see and count as 5/2, but both can be used successfully for doubleweave pick-up.


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