Tromp as Writ

Handwoven MagazineAsk Madelyn

Hi Madelyn!

I have just purchased Design Collection 19, Scarves and Shawls for All Seasons.  I have made a few of the projects from this book already and love them, but I don’t see treadling directions for the Blooming Leaf Scarf by Jean Korus, page 6. Can you help?

––Marilyn Swett 

Hi Marilyn!

We had quite a few questions about that treadling. In the article, the directions say to “tromp as writ.” This means to “treadle as written,” and the assumption is that the “written” part is the threading draft. You therefore use the threading draft 

as the treadling draft. 

To do this, you must assign a number to each treadle. Then, you use the treadle with the number that corresponds to the shaft number in the threading. In the case of this scarf, you also use the same colors for the weft as are threaded in the warp. For example, the threading begins with 1-2-3-4, alternating burnt orange and gold. You will use treadles 1-2-3-4, also alternating burnt orange and gold.  Notice that this doesn’t mean you are raising shaft 1 when you read shaft 1 in the threading. Treadle 1 happens to raise shafts 1 and 3. The tie-up will determine what the actual structure and interlacement are. The only thing that results from “tromp as writ” is symmetry; the design will be symmetrical along the diagonal.

“Tromp as writ” was an especially valuable shortcut back in the days when you might have had to write your threading draft with a quill and ink. 


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