Designing with Warp Rep


Dear Madelyn,

I have been asked to make a cotton rug that is warp dominant with a handpainted warp. I have been researching warp rep, and I am wondering if it would work well to simply have two handpainted warps and weave with the usual thick/thin wefts so that one warp shows on one side and the other warp on the other side. I have 5/2 or 3/2 cotton I could dye for the warps and muslin or multiple cotton yarns to dye for weft. Not quite sure how close a sett I need, This sounds almost too easy; am I missing something?


Hi Cynthia!

Get tips for designing warp rep weave patterns, including designs with handpainted warp threads.

Warp rep rugs by Rosalie Neilson, from Handwoven Jan/Feb 2008 pp. 44-47.

I love this idea! The two warps could be quite different from each other, making a reversible rug with two completely different sides. The tiny stripes created by the warp from the other side that covers the thin weft threads would add to the whole effect. (I’m not sure handpainting two dense warps sounds all that “easy,” but the concept is simple and great.)

In looking through warp rep weave patterns in Handwoven for examples of setts and yarns, I’m thinking that 3/2 cotton sett at 30 ends per inch would produce the firm hand you’d need. I’d then want to experiment with the weft. Using rags for the thick weft might interrupt the smooth view of the painted warps. I’d choose one of the darker colors from the handpainted warps for dyeing the weft in order to intensify rather than wash out the handpainted colors.

Send photos!
Madelyn Signature

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