Getting Started with Double Weave

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Double weave can be a very intimidating weave style to take on. Sometimes just the sheer volume of threads you need to wind and how to thread them through the heddles can seem overwhelming. This post covers a simple approach to winding and threading a double weave sample that can be adapted for a variety of projects.

This post is the first in a series on double weave. Initially I will cover the setup and warping process for a sample warp. Then I will cover how to use double weave for pockets and tubes, double weave pick-up mug rugs and a double weave block wall hanging.

I feel quite lucky to be using 8/3 un-mercerized cotton from Gist Yarn! This yarn has a great rustic and natural feel while being extremely sturdy.

Equipment: 4 shaft loom

Let’s start with the math I used for my sample:

Sett: 20 EPI (10 epi x 2 for 2 layers of cloth)

Weaving Width: 5 inches

Ends: 100 ends

Length: 2.5 yds

Warping Method: Front to Back

For my sample warp, and the project I’ll include in my next blog, I wanted to have one layer of cloth that would be aqua and one layer that would be white.  In order to achieve this with the most efficiency, I wound both colors/layers at once. Using the Goko Swift, I put two skeins side-by-side and wound one yarn from each simultaneously onto the warping mill. In order to keep yarns as straight as possible, I kept one finger in-between the two strands as I wound.

For a double weave, you can use as few as four shafts of the loom. Each layer of fabric needs at least two shafts. Because I already wound the warp in pairs of two yarns (one white, one aqua) it was simple for me to thread two yarns per dent of the reed. It is important that the pattern is maintained (one white and one aqua per dent). This makes the threading process simple! Use a straight draw threading that carefully alternates the colors. See draft.

When thinking about the tie-up, keep in mind, that you are weaving two layers of cloth consecutively.

For the top layer, lift shaft one and pass the shuttle through and then lift shaft three and pass the shuttle through. Now the picks for the top layer are complete. Then it’s time to weave the bottom layer. In order to do this, you need to lift the top layer (shafts one and three) plus shaft two for the bottom layer. Keep shafts one and three lifted, lower shaft two and raise shaft four for the final pick. There are now two separate layers of cloth sitting on top of each other.

 

In order to switch the top layer and bottom layer, the treadling will change:

First lift shaft two, pass the boat shuttle through, then lift shaft four. The white yarns should actually pass in-between the aqua yarns and make a white stripe. Now to weave the aqua layer on the bottom, lift the entire white layer plus shaft 1 of aqua. Pass the boat shuttle through and then lift shafts 2 and 4 plus shaft 3 of the aqua. This action intertwines the two layers. You may now proceed with either the white or aqua as the top layer.

Switching of the layers. White will now be on top.

This is the first step to being able to make tubes, pockets and slits which I will discuss in the next post.

Look for upcoming posts on double weave pick up and double weave blocks throughout the spring!

In the meantime, shop for yarn or listen to an informative podcast from Gist Yarn-

https://www.gistyarn.com/

Other tools and references:

Schacht Boat Shuttles

Our boat shuttles are beautifully shaped and well balanced. They are sanded smooth and then given a hand-rubbed Danish oil finish. Four sizes are available: 9″, 11″, 13″, and 15″. Our smallest boat shuttle, the 9″ mini, is styled after a Japanese silk shuttle. This duck-nosed shuttle is wonderful for narrow widths and fine yarns. Our most popular boat shuttle, the 11″ boat shuttle, is offered in slim and regular models with closed-bottom and open-bottom styles.

Goko Swift

Goko Metal Swift
This traditional Japanese winding tool is the smoothest-turning swift we’ve tried. Excellent for fine fibers, it holds skeins 57″ to 64″ in circumference.

Ultra Umbrella Swift

Link to Ultra Swift
Ultra Swift Vertical

The Ultra Umbrella Swift is ingeniously designed with features you will love. The optional revolution counter makes it easier to determine skein yardage.

Doubleweave Revised and Expanded by Jennifer Moore

Double a loom’s weaving width and your weaving knowledge with Jennifer Moore’s Doubleweave. In this revised and expanded edition, Jennifer reveals all her secrets, from basics to advanced techniques. Weave two layers of fabric at the same time, joining them at one edge for a doublewide piece or at both edges for pockets. Now even newer weavers can unlock the possibilities of doubleweave through Jennifer’s clear explanations and 12 projects.

Carrie Miller

Carrie is a sales associate at Schacht Spindle Company, and if you've ever called, you've probably heard her friendly voice. Carrie was trained as a seamstress and pursued design and art simultaneously throughout her undergraduate degree. She received her MFA in fibers from Colorado State University. She has been an art instructor, in a variety of capacities, to students of all ages.