Ask Madelyn

Have a question, just ask Madelyn! Each week Madelyn van der Hoogt answers your questions on weaving, looms, and handwoven cloth. Want to learn how to weave a tabby border around twill? Ever wondered what, exactly, tabby is? Madelyn has the answers to these questions and much, much more. Explore the archives or ask your own question by emailing Madelyn at madelynv@interweave.com.

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Choosing a Reed for Even Sleying (Or Close)

Hi Madelyn! I’m buying a 40”-wide loom. It comes with an 8-dent reed, but I’m already planning on choosing a reed with more dents per inch than 8. I can only buy one new reed at the moment, so I’m trying to decide between a 10-dent and 12-dent. I know that I plan on weaving…

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Dräll Pulleys or Countermarch?

Hi Madelyn I am thinking of turning my 4-shaft counterbalance loom into eight shafts by adding a dräll pulley system. I am told that this would mean I can only weave on opposites. Is this correct and what does this mean? Will I be restricted in my choice of patterns/designs? Many thanks, –Jacqui Hi Jacqui!…

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Ask Madelyn: How To Sley Floating Selvedges

    Hi Madelyn, I have just delved into the May/June 1989 issue of Handwoven that my Aunt Liz passed down to me when I started weaving a few years back. I have decided to get out of my plain-weave rut and try to do the waffle weave “Sunny Towel Set” by Margaretha Essen-Hedin on page 47. The draft calls…

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Ask Madelyn: How to Sett Turned Taquete

Hi Madelyn! I want to design some towels in turned taqueté, which I have not woven before, but I love the possibilities with patterning. The only problem is I have no idea how to sett the warp using 8/2 cotton. I’ve looked at a few different projects online and in the magazine and each one…

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Ask Madelyn: Dense Sett for Better Selvedges?

Hi Madelyn, I’m a new weaver and I’m trying to work on my selvedges. I’ve heard that you can get better, stronger selvedges by setting the warp threads denser at the selvedge edges. Is this true? If so, what is a good rule of thumb for setting those areas of the warp? –Elliot Hi Elliot!…

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Ask Madelyn: What’s a Block Weave?

Hi Madelyn! I have some questions about definitions. When we weave a straight twill, or a reverse twill, or a rosepath or bird’s eye twill, or whatever other kind of twill that relies on a twill sequence, we just call it a twill. I don’t see anywhere in the literature that it is referred to…

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Ask Madelyn: Deflected Doubleweave Selvedges

  Hi Madelyn! I’m wanting to weave my first piece in deflected doubleweave but I’m not sure how to handle the selvedges (I have to weave 4 picks of one color followed by 4 picks of another).  The inactive weft floats up the selvedge and looks unsightly, but I don’t want to take the time to begin and end…

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Ask Madelyn: Fishing Line for Neat Selvedges?

Hi Madelyn, As a rookie weaver trying to learn at least one new technique with every project, I’m planning a doublewidth blanket from my homespun wool on my 4-shaft/6-treadle Gilmore floor loom. In a Weaving Today Q&A, a weaver asked about using fishing line for neat selvedges. How does that work? What thickness fishing line…

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Ask Madelyn: Turning a Draft

Hello Madelyn, The attached draft is from a non-weaving friend who wants me to weave her some towels and napkins, but she wants the pattern stripes to go length-wise (warp-wise) instead of in the weft direction. How do I change the draft to put the pattern stripes in the warp? I have an 8-shaft, 10-treadle…