Swedish Lace Linen Towels

Swedish lace is one of those magical structures that allow you to weave multiple patterns on one warp, simply by changing the tie-up. In her Swedish lace towels from the November/December 2018 Handwoven, Kate Lange-McKibben shows you how to do just that using either a 4-shaft or 8-shaft draft. Here’s what Kate has to say about her design:

Swedish lace linen towels

Learn a bit more about Swedish lace as you weave all the variations of Kate Lange-McKibben’s Swedish Lace Linen Towels. Shown here are the four-shaft towels.

Designer Kate Lange-McKibben’s Statement

I started this project with the goal of exploring the warp and weft floats of Swedish lace. In Swedish lace, tie-down threads allow you to create repeating blocks at will without creating long warp and weft floats. You can tie up and treadle so that one block is weaving warp floats while another is weaving weft floats on the same side. As with all lace weaves, if you have warp floats on one side of your fabric, you will have weft floats on the other side.

I began my 8-shaft exploration with a profile draft of trees. Using weaving software, I converted the profile draft to Swedish lace and then adjusted the treadling to weave taller trees. For fun, I designed one of the towels with the trees in plain weave on a background of lace.

Using the same number of warp threads, I created a 4-shaft, 2-block design and explored changing the tie-up but keeping the same treadling sequence. Each towel has different proportions of plain weave to lace, causing the lengths to vary slightly. Even with a very careful beat, the towels with a high proportion of lace interlacements have more picks per inch.

Happy Weaving!

Project at a Glance

PROJECT TYPE: 4- and 8-shaft.

STRUCTURE: Swedish lace.

EQUIPMENT: 4-shaft loom, 13″ weaving width; 15-dent reed; 1 shuttle; 2 bobbins. 8-shaft loom, 21″ weaving width; 12-dent reed; 1 shuttle; 2 bobbins.

YARNS: Linen 14 (100% linen; 7,000 yd/lb; Cotton Clouds); 16/2 linen (100% linen; 2,700 yd/lb; Bockens Lingarn; Lone Star Loom Room).

Featured Image: Kate Lange-McKibben’s towels are the perfect project for playing with Swedish lace. Shown here is the eight-shaft towel.

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