Sunday, January 10, 2010

Tube vs. Double-Width

I am economical with my learning, I only learn what I need to know to weave the next project. So, the seemingly straight-forward difference between a tube and double-width can throw me when I expect one and get the other.

With tubes and double-widths, you weave two layers where the layers never mix or cross over in the middle of the cloth; the only difference being, with a tube the weft goes around and around the cloth uniting the two layers at both edges, whereas with double-width it leaves one side open.

If we call the top layer A and the bottom layer B, for a tube you weave A-B-A-B, and for double-width A-B-B-A. The only thing to remember is if your draft has a direction, say a simple twill, you need to consider the direction you twill progresses on the bottom layer, so you don't get a big V in the middle of the cloth, unless you plan to.

A 2/2 twill in double weave, for example, can be expressed in many different ways, but since I prefer the easiest threading in the first instance, I will go with the one below. To make it easy for me, I left the 5th tie-up a blank. The first four (from the left) creates a 2/2 twill for the top layer A, and the last four (on the right), for the bottom layer B. Notice all top layer A shafts (1, 3, 5, 7) are lifted whenever I'm weaving the bottom layer B.

Once I get the tie ups right, I can change the shape of the cloth just by swapping the treadling order. The top part is a tube, the bottom in double width with the right side open. Because I want the twill to go in one direction in the cloth, the treadling on the bottom B layer, (tie-up 6-9) moves from the right to the left, as opposed to the top A layer, (tie-ups 1-4) from the left to the right. If you are on a foot loom, you may want to swap the tie-up so you can have a straight treadling order. Or not, because this way, you can walk it.

Sue, my tube. Its construction could be a nice neck/collar, but this one is a little stiff and heavy, so I shall ask my mother what she'd like.

Tube sox exchange next Christmas, anyone??


  1. Thanks for the tube picture!!!! (And bonus explanation!!)

    I like hearing about your approach to learning things. I seem to learn what I need for the current project during the project itself. (Or I make so many mistakes that I have to ask online or in real life for help - and then I learn about how to recover from whatever new mistake I've just made.)

    Hopefully I'm also going to learn some stuff just to give me a better basis for some future projects in 2010. (It's the beginning of the year still, so I can still believe my resolutions will actually happen!)



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