Weaving Terms


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Warp  threads attached to the loom which are lifted during weaving.

Weft   threads placed under or over the warp during weaving.


Types of weaving


Weft faced:  Used for floor rugs and tapestries.

The weft completely covers warp. Warp is spaced at 4 or 5 threads per inch.


Balanced weave:  Used for fabrics.

Weft and warp equally spaced. Spacing ranges from 8 threads per inch depending on thickness of yarn.


Warp faced:  Used for belts.

Warp completely covers weft, warp spacing about 24 threads per inch


Weave Structure.


The simplest structure is called plain or tabby weave

Weft goes under one warp thread and over the next.


Twill:  Weft  goes under two warp threads and over the next two. 

(or under one, over 3 etc).  

Each row moves forward one i.e

Row 1: Under threads 1 and 2, over 3 and 4, under 5 and 6 etc

Row 2: Over thread 1, under threads 2 and 3, over 4 and 5, under 6 etc

Row 3:  Over threads 1 and 2, under 3 and 4, over 5 and 6 etc

Row 4  Under thread 1, over threads 2 and 3, under 4 and 5, over 6 etc

Row 5  as row 1


On a 4 shaft loom the warp is threaded through shafts 1,2,3 and 4 in order.

Lifting the shafts as above gives simple twill.  

Lifting 1 and 3 and then 2 and 4 will form plain weave.


Variations such as Rosepath are produced if the threading order is reversed at regular intervals. Zigzag patterns are made if the weaving sequence continues as above. Reversing the sequence will give diamonds.  


Overshot can be thought of as a development of twill..  The threading is arranged so lifting two shafts next to each other can allow the weft to go over several warp threads. Every other row is normally woven in plain weave.


Further important terms


The warp is threaded through heddles which can be raised.. 

The heddles are fixed to four or more shafts.


The weft is threaded through the warp using a shuttle.

The weft is pushed down by the beater.



Last updated 24/06/2009