I remember the first time I saw deflected doubleweave—it was a set of scarves woven by Madelyn and featured in the January/February 2007 issue of Handwoven. They were unlike any weaving I’d seen before—big and bold shapes—some with curved edges!—in shining, shimmering silk. I became a woman possessed and once I felt I had the weaving skills, I bought the yarns and set out to weave my own set of scarves.
Now before I put those lovely silks on my loom I wanted to make sure I understood the structure and the draft, so I put on some 8/2 cotton in contrasting colors and got to sampling. I learned firstly how easy deflected doubleweave is to weave. I know two shuttle weaves can be scary at first, but with deflected doubleweave if you use the wrong color you know right away. Even though you might be able to argue that it’s a more complicated weave than, say, a 4-shaft twill, deflected doubleweave is a lot harder to mess up.
I also discovered how much fun I had playing with the patterning by adjusting the treadling. I tried to keep careful notes of what I was doing where so I could recreate anything I liked. I loved the way shapes seemed to magically appear on my cloth, and when I removed it to wet-finish it, the threads moved around even more to create rounded edges as and flowers seemed to magically appear in the place of grids. It was like magic! Best of all, the cloth had a different pattern on the opposite side that was just as lovely as the front.
Because of my sampling I ended up tweaking the draft of the scarves after discovering a pattern I liked slightly more. Once I felt I’d sampled enough, I warped my loom and wove two slightly different scarves. The scarves were great fun to weave—I think twisting the fringe was the hardest part, and that was only because I didn’t have a fringe twister at the time. If I’d previously smitten, after weaving those scarves I was in love. Immediately my black and white silk scarf became a treasured part of my wardrobe. I wear it whenever I go to an art gallery opening because it looks so sophisticated.
I’m sad to say I haven’t woven anything else in deflected doubleweave—yet. I can feel myself getting the bug again. I think I might warp the loom with some more inexpensive cotton to do some sampling and then weave up another scarf or maybe some reversible placemats. I might even try weaving with one variegated and one solid colored yarn just to see what happens. I’ve been looking through our new deflected doubleweave eBook and I’m also curious about using it to create texture with differential shrinkage. Whatever I do, once thing’s for certain: I won’t be bored!