Sleying the Reed for Specific Setts

Hi Madelyn!

I’m wondering what I should do to sley a 10-dent or 12-dent reed to get a sett of 16 ends per inch.



Hi Larry!

The overall goal in sleying a reed with more than one end in a dent to achieve a particular sett is to make the sleying order as even overall as possible. If you sley one dent with 4 ends, say, and the adjacent dent with 1 end, the 4 ends are likely to show as stripes of grouped threads in the final cloth. To achieve 16 ends per inch with a 12-dent reed, think of it this way: 1/ dent in a 12 dent reed = 12 ends per inch. To sley the remaining 4 ends as evenly as possible in that same inch, sley 1 of them in every third dent. The sleying order of the 16 threads would therefore be 2-1-1 four times in each inch.

To sley a 10 dent reed to achieve 16 ends per inch is a little trickier. If I sley 1 end per dent to get 10 ends per inch, I have 6 ends remaining. I can sley 2 ends in every other dent for 15, but I still have one more end to sley. I would probably sley: 2-1-2-1-2-1-2-1-2-2.

If you are choosing between the 10-dent and 12-dent reeds, I’d choose the 12-dent for a more regular sleying order (even though I think the extra 2 ends at the end of every inch would probably not show—or show much—in the final cloth). Note that, page 15 of The Weaver’s Companion is a Reed Chart, in which sleying orders are given for all setts between 2 and 120 ends per inch using reeds of between 5 and 24 dents per inch. The Reed Chart doesn’t give sleying orders for setts that don’t repeat evenly within a single inch, however, so it would not include 16 ends in a 10-dent reed.


If you have a weaving question we would love to hear from you! Please email Madelyn! Pictured: Starry Sky Placemats by Judit Ozoray Handwoven Sept/Oct 2016

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