Friday, 1 March 2019

Bath mats in double weave 2

This wonderful illustrated book is an inspiration for any weaver to try double weave. It is a timeless classic.

Double weave on Four to Eight Shafts by Ursina Arn-Grischott.
Published by Interweave Press in 1999.  ISBN 1-883010-74-8

Using a double weave pattern with two blocks gives more flexibility to design.

Bath Mats

Warp and Weft: 2/3 cotton set at 10 epi for each layer

A double warp is used therefore sett at 20 epi.
Twelve shafts are needed for this pattern. There are three blocks


Black   16   60   12   60   12   60   16
White   16   60   12   60   12   60   16

Here is the drawdown. I simplified the drawdown so that you can see the blocks clearly.  For each square the number of threads is 60 white and 60 black so 120 heddles are needed. In the diagram only 24 warp ends are shown.  For the space in between each block 32 heddles are needed but only only 4 are shown. This makes the diagram smaller so that it will fit onto the page and you can see the threading and treadling clearly.

From the diagram you can work out which treadling to use for different effects.  If you want all white on the surface and black on the reverse use treadling 1 - 4.

If you want all black on the front and all white on the reverse use treadling 13 - 16.

For each of the two blocks you can use the correct four treadles to place the block.

Drawdown showing possible treadling order to produce different effects. 

 You can vary the pattern in many ways.


When making the warp, use a strand of white and a strand of black for each group.  The white and black ends are threaded as shown. The black ends are threaded through the odd numbered shafts and the white ends are on the even numbered shafts.


Note that the weft is alternately white and black. Two shuttles are required.

I wove two mats.  The width was 23.6 however with double weave and cotton this will shrink considerably.

Generous allowances were made for take up and ends of the mats.

Two mats 

Here is a closer look at one of the mats.

One side of the mat

the reverse side of the mat

Here you can see the two sides of the mats. I deliberately varied the height of the 'squares' as it is difficult to end up with an exact square in double weave. I counted how many weft throws for each square. You can alter this to  make your own variation. The  warp and weft shrink when off the loom and washed.

To start and end the mats I used a thinner cotton yarn to weave 12 picks in plain weave in the same colour as the warp.  This ensured that I could turn in the hem to the inside of the mat without adding too much extra thickness.

Here is a close up of the hem. I think that it is neat.

The second mat is shorter and I used a different size of square in the pattern.

Black dominant on one side

As you can see at the selvedges, it is difficult to keep the black and white from showing. The two wefts should be twisted around each other so that the edge is as neat as possible. 

White dominant on the reverse side

I enjoy double weave but it is time consuming both the warp and weave. I have only used thicker threads. One day I will try a pattern with fine silk.

Double faced Rugs

When I first started to weave, I quickly became fascinated by rug weaving. I wove a simple rug but I wanted something more creative.  Double faced rugs are amazing.  Here is one that I wove many years ago and is still in use in the lounge.

It is a heavy rug as it is effectively two rugs on top of each other. Double weave produces very sturdy fabric.

For obvious reasons I called it my rainbow rug.

Here is the reverse side.

Two surfaces of the rug. 

Peter Collingwoods classic book on rug weaving was my inspiration.  Unfortunately, I found rug weaving too physically demanding and had to sell my sturdy Finnish Toika 8 shaft loom. The final item I wove was another double weave rug in blue which is carefully packed away.  I did not finish the edges at either end so when I decide that I want to use this rug I can decide upon the type of edging I would like.  For the rainbow rug, I used one of Peter Collingwoods ideas for no plaited ends.  This involved weaving each linen warp end back into the rug as the knots were made along the edge.  The ends are very neat and have no awkward plaits but as you can see, the linen shows through on the final navy stripe.

 I have used many of Peters designs for finishing the ends of rugs.  They are very time consuming to do and I remember one which took longer to do than weaving the actual rug!

I particularly liked the effect of weaving the date at the end of the rug using a second colour of linen warp thread.  Peters book is such an inspiration.

Happy Weaving

Susan J Foulkes  March 2019