Weaving Plain Weave and Twill on an 8-Shaft Loom

Handwoven MagazineAsk Madelyn


Hi Madelyn,

I am puzzled!  I would like to weave a fabric using the Bird's Eye/Rose Path pattern in Marguerite Davison’s A Handweaver’s Pattern Book (Joseph France’s No. 11,  #VI, page 15), but I want to have stripes of plain weave (or twill) in between the twill pattern. I have an 8-shaft loom, so can I warp the plain-weave sections on shafts 5-8 and the Rose Path on 1-4?  And how would it be treadled?  As you may have guessed, I do not have a program on my computer for weaving!  If you have any suggestions I would so appreciate it!


Hi Linda!

You can definitely thread and weave both plain weave and twill on your 8-shaft loom. You really only need to use six shafts, but I’ll make a draft for both six and eight. The issue with treadling is whether or not the twill treadling repeat has an even number of picks and treadles. (If not, you would tie the plain-weave shafts to two independent treadles and step on a twill treadle and a plain-weave treadle together in the order needed. Your treadling worked out evenly, so the plain-weave shafts can be tied to the twill treadles.)

I noticed when I made the 8-shaft draft that you could thread the twill there, too, and then weave squares of plain weave alternating with squares of twill. Just a thought! (You could also thread a different twill there, but it would be harder to work out the treadling so that it would look very different.)


PS: In February 25’s Ask Madelyn, the 8-shaft draft was incorrectly labeled a 4-shaft draft. I had first worked with changing twill direction on four shafts, but decided it didn’t work well enough and ended up with two blocks of 4-shaft twill on eight shafts without changing the caption and text.


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