During a past vacation in Scotland, we bought a large woven blanket with 3 inches of plain weave all around the fabric; the rest of the fabric is twill. I tried to reproduce it, but it doesn’t work. I can get plain weave at the top and bottom of the weaving, but not along the sides. What is wrong? Is it that plain weave and twill do not work together or only work together with a specific twill or is it magic ??
—Philippe in France
Since you also told me that you have eight shafts available, you will be glad to know that you can weave plain weave on the side, top, and bottom of a twill fabric if you use at least six shafts. Thread the twill on the first four shafts, using a twill threading that alternates even shafts with odd shafts. Then, thread the two side sections on shafts 5 and 6 (5-6, 5-6, etc.).
To weave plain weave for the beginning and end of the blanket, treadle 1-3-5 vs 2-4-6. To weave the twill body of the blanket with plain weave along both sides, tie up and use four treadles so that the first four shafts produce the twill (1-2, 2-3, 3-4, 1-4, say). Tie shafts 5 and six to the same treadles so that when you weave the twill you'll also raise 5 and 6 alternately (as in 1-2-5, 2-3-6, 3-4-5, 1-4-6) .
Does this make sense?