Turning an Overshot Draft

Ask Madelyn
Dear Madelyn,

I am planning to do a turned (warp-way) overshot project and I am following a pattern.  Is it possible to turn any overshot pattern into its turned version should I want to, and if so, how?

––Peter Sheridan

Hi Peter!

Yes, you can turn any overshot draft (you can turn ANY draft). You simply rotate the draft ninety degrees so that the threading becomes the treadling and the treadling the threading. The former number of treadles therefore becomes the number of shafts and vice versa. You also have to reverse the numbers in the tie-up. That is, in the new draft, any shaft that was raised in the original draft goes down and vice versa.

With overshot, you’ll be changing a structure with two wefts (pattern and tabby) into one with two warps (pattern and ground), and what was one warp in the original draft will become one weft (the ground weft). The disadvantage to having two warps (pattern and ground) is that there is less take-up on the pattern warp and you will probably need two warp beams or you’ll have to weight the supplementary warp in some way. You’ll also need six shafts instead of four since overshot’s six treadling columns become the new threading.

The advantage to turning overshot is that you weave with one shuttle instead of two. Also, turned overshot patterns allow vertical stripes of pattern in a piece, which is very appealing in a runner, for example.

I hope this answers your question!



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