Monday, February 23, 2009

Learning to Like Twill

I'll confess that on the surface of things, I'm not a big fan of twill.

I just finished the plain weave section of Deborah Chandler's Learning to Weave and now I've graduated to twill.

My first reaction: "Yuck! Twill is so diagonal and pointy. People weave all kinds of weird-looking things with twill."

My second reaction: "Plus, jeans are made from twill. Why would I want to weave fabric that's the same structure we see all around us? I want to weave something more interesting."

So we're not off to exactly a promising start.

However, according to the Chandler book, twill is one of the most flexible woven fabrics, which is why so many garments are made from twill.

For the first exercise, she provides a draft like this, but says to customize it by adding more repeats of the center section if we like.

I decide I'll add 2 repeats - one slanting in the same direction, and one slanting in the opposite direction - and that I'll add those repeats in both the threading and the treadling.

I fiddle around with Fiberworks PCW for a few minutes, and am astonished at how quickly what seemed plain and boring starts to get more interesting. Even though this isn't balanced or beautiful, I'm going to weave it up as my next sample - hoping to learn more about twill.

Now I'm starting to see why some people love twill.

I quickly wound a short warp, and started dressing the table loom I brought home last week.

The other day Bhakti Ziek had a tip about tying lease sticks so the back stick is higher than the front stick. This is my second time warping with lease sticks, and I tried that tip about halfway through. It definitely helps so much!!

When the lease sticks are flat, it's really hard for me to see which thread comes next, but when the rear lease stick is raised, I can see the cross and see which thread to select next.

My adventures with twill are beginning. Even in this first exercise, I'm starting to see why some people find it so fascinating.


Theresa said...

Have fun with your twill, it really is a fun structure and
so much can be done. Looks like you have a great start and I love the program. I don't think they have one out yet for Mac's but I hope they do soon!
Happy weaving!

buyathread said...

Sue, check out the twill mat on my Gallery page for an unusual twill design, but for a more traditional one, see the lovely Swedish mat that was my 2008 weave of the week #6.

And thank you for mentioning Bhakti's blog. We were friends in NY, but lost touch.

Life Looms Large said...


Interweave has some software info on their website, and it does look like there are several products that run on Macs. I can't vouch for any of them, but I think there's Mac weaving software out there!


I totally love the mat in your gallery! I like the way the stripes fade in and out.

The Swedish mat is beautiful too! It's really good for me to look at twill fabrics that I like, so that I don't throw out a whole weave structure just because of a few bad examples of it!

That's cool and you and Bhakti are friends! I love how the internet brings people together!

Thanks for commenting!!