Yarn and Sett

Handwoven Magazine Ask Madelyn

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Dear Madelyn,


I have trouble in figuring out what project I can do with a 12-dent reed and how to determine the yarns and setts I can use. I want to weave dish towels and dish cloths. Can these be done with a 12-dent reed?

––Milton Krug

Hi Milton!

It sounds like you are a pretty new weaver, and it is always hard at first to grasp the significance of all these tools with numbers (dents, widths, shafts, treadles). The purpose of a reed is simply to space the warp threads. You can use your 12-dent reed and put 1 thread in each dent (12 ends per inch) or 2 threads (24 ends per inch) or other numbers for other setts (2 alternating with 3 for 30 ends per inch, for example). The number depends on the yarn and the density that works for your desired fabric hand. 10/2 cotton would work well for dish towels at 24 ends per inch in plain weave, for example.

The best way to learn how this all works is to pick a project in Handwoven that is similar to what you want to weave and follow the directions. The more you weave, the more you will understand how to figure out setts, denting orders, and their connections to specific yarns and the results you want.




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