Jennifer’s Draft Number #2

Jennifer wrote to me and asked me about this draft she had found in a file. She was not familiar with this particular draft and wanted to learn more about it. My first step was to look at the blocks – the areas separated by the long lines. Most of the sections have 4 lines in them in two rows. It appears that this draft is on four shafts. Likely it is an overshot draft.

I looked at the sequence of the blocks, reading from the right to the left,  A block has lines on shaft 2 and shaft 4, B block has lines on shaft 2 and 3, C block has lines on shaft 1 and 3, D block has lines on shaft 1 and shaft 4. Looking through the rest of the draft the are no other combinations of lines. Our Draft has 4 blocks. I then could label the blocks on a piece of paper

I then wrote the draft out in my notebook, matching the lines and the threads by the block I identified.

I then translated this into a profile draft by substituting  the A Block for shaft 1, the B Block for shaft 2, the C Block for Shaft 3 and the D Block for shaft 4. Because some of the blocks had 4 threads and some only 2. I decided to use two threads to represent the four thread blocks, and one thread for the half block. I treated the 3 thread block as a two thread block for the profile.

I set the tie up to ABCD, to match the blocks.

I then selected tromp as writ, and colored the warp a contrasting color to make the design appear.

While I was entering the draft into the iWeaveit program, I noticed that some of the draft was not even (balanced) I adjusted the draft to make it even.

I had found one place where the draft did not move sequentially through the blocks. Usually overshot moves in a circular fashion through the blocks, jumping blocks can cause long floats to appear. You can see the area on the on the bottom line towards the left edge the block moved from D to B and back to D again. This is in one of the short blocks. This is not the way the other side of the block is, and so I adjusted it to match the beginning of the block sequence.

At this point you can not weave the pattern, but you have a fairly good idea of what the design will look like when woven.

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The blocks in the threading move gracefully from left to right and the designed when woven will have that characteristic of a 45 degree diagonal line from bottom right to top left.

When this design is woven it will need to have a border and a number of repeats to match the size of the fabric desired. To repeat the design you would start from the top right of the threading and enter that sequence after the last thread on shaft 4 in the draft.

At this point, you are missing the threads for the ground cloth. The tabby weave.

To weave this pattern I will need to decide what structure it is, and then change the draft to have that threading arrangement.  I will show you how I do this in the next blog update.

 

This is a quick look at the profile draft as it is repeated.

There are tables (the big blocks) and smaller blocks in the middle. The pattern will look like the checkerboard you see, to prevent long floats.

I am sure this pattern can have variations. This is a sample of what it would look like if it remained symmetrical.

 

 

 

Double Bow Knot Coverlet

Woven sample of Double Bow KnotAn old pattern in overshot weaving that has had many names over time: Muscadine Hills, Hickory Leaf, Blooming Leaf.  The Double Bow Knot name comes from the leaf like square  that forms the larger portion of the design. The dark square is called a table. Because there are two motifs used the pattern it may be most properly described as a Double Bow Knot and table design.

This design can be woven with only four shafts in an overshot structure. Overshot blocks can share shafts, which is what makes them so efficient. It is a structure that will require you to have planned your design carefully before you thread your loom. The threading typically is the most limiting design factor. coverlet - francis goodrich with coverlet

The goal of traditional overshot weaving is to be able to “square” the blocks as they are woven from the lower right hand corner of the loom to the left most block, which will result in the leaf or bow portions being square also. The coverlet in the photo on the right was not a perfect square and did not “match” when sewn together. This could be from the choice of threads for pattern and weft, and it may also have been impacted by how tightly it was beaten when woven.

DoubleBowknot_Pattern - old drafting methodEarly copies of drafts for this coverlet were written with a different notation than weavers use today. Draft of Pattern from Edward Francis Worst The only threads listed were pattern threads. Weavers were expected to  know where the plain weave threads were to be placed. The draft to the right is a modern version of the draft on the left. All of the needed threads are shown for the pattern. It is read from right to left and top to bottom. What it does not tell you is anything about the needed tie-up or the treadling.

Not to despair, these early weavers knew some basic weaving information that may not be apparent to weavers today. If you look closely that the draft above on the right, every other thread appears on either the first or second shaft, this is our clue as to where the plain weave background will come from. The first treadle will need to be tied to shafts 1 and 2 and the second treadle will be tied to shafts 3 and 4. When you alternate these using treadles you will achieve a plain “tabby” weave. When translating a historic pattern I suggest simplifying it into a profile draft to demonstrate the order and number of blocks that must be threaded on the loom.  When you do this you can now use any block structure you would like.double bow knot profile draft This design can be woven using any loom that can support 4 blocks of the desired structure. This pattern in overshot will require 744 threads. If sett at 24 threads per inch a single repeat will be  31 inches wide when woven. In the photo of the full coverlet above the coverlet was woven with 2 and 1/2 repeats in each piece. The documentation for the coverlet indicates it was sett at 40 ends per inch (epi). It would have likely to have been woven on a 60″ wide loom.

This profile could be woven as:

  • Overshot or Crackle on a 4 shaft loom
  • Spot Bronson, Bronson Lace, Huck Lace, Summer and Winter, Even Tied Overshot, Half-satin, or Bergman,  on an 8 shaft loom
  • Turned Twill, Patterned Double Weave, or Beiderwand, or Twill Lampas on a 16 shaft loom
  • Damask will require 20 shafts.

There are a ton of possibilities based on your choice of profile and structure,  we haven’t even begun to talk color, or choice of materials.

Because of the large size of the profile draft, it is not expected that the coverlet will require a border. The table portion of the design can function as a border if it is placed on both sides of the warp.
Primary Weaving Resources:

  • The Shuttle-Craft Book of American Hand-Weaving  Open Page 182
  • Foot-power Loom Weaving  Open Pages 96-97
  • The Book of Handwoven Coverlets  Open Pages 22-23
  • Of Coverlets: the Legacies, the Weavers  Open Pages 347-352

Additional Weaving Resources: (Use Resources search page for a complete listing)

    • A Basic Approach to Designing and Drafting Original Overshot Patterns  Open
    • American and European Handweaving Revised  Open
    • An Introduction to Turned Overshot  Open
    • Contemporary Approach to Traditional Weaves: Overshot and Summer and Winter  Open
    • Creative Overshot  Open
    • Creative Overshot  Open
    • Foot-power Loom Weaving  Open
    • Functional Overshot: Basic Source for Modern Fabric Design  Open
    • Handwoven Overshot Figures on 8 Harnesses  Open
    • Master Weaver Library, Vol. 7: Contemporary Approach to Traditional Weaves: Overshot and Summer & Winter  Open

Drafting Files for Download:

WIF File Download File - Profile Draft Only

Download a Profile Draft to use in your weaving software

WIF Files Download File

Download the FULL Weaving Draft to use in your weaving software.

Zip File Download File - No Software

Download a Zipped (Compressed) file with the Full Draft images of threading, treadling, and tie-up. Does not require you to have weaving software.

Project File Download File

Download a Double Bow Knot Shawl Project. Package includes both a PDF file with a complete weaving draft and a WIF for use in weaving software.