My Top Ten Weaving Tips – #7: Sett for Weaving Balanced, Warp, and Weft Faced Fabrics

It’s been five years since I published my new website including over 100 weaving tips and I’m counting down the top ten. Here is number 7. I’m amazed that it has had about around 5,000 views. The top one has about over 23,000 views to date!! Can you guess what the subject of that tip is?

This tip is mostly about making warp and weft faced fabric with a little bit on balanced weaves (for plaids). It refers to four other posts about sett.  Use these links for the information needed. This TIP refers to what is sett. Here is a TIP that makes weaving easier.This TIP refers to the Ashenhurst method of calculating sett. This TIP refers to adjusting the sett for specific purposes. NOTE: the percentages mentiond refer to the Maximum Sett using Ashenhurst.

In weft-faced fabrics, the warp is all but covered by the weft. To accomplish this, you have to space the warps far enough apart that the rows of weft will pack down and cover them. There is a method which can be used as a starting point for experimentation in finding this warp spacing. Use your ruler to wind both the warp and the weft threads together. Alternate the warp and weft threads. Keep them flat. Be careful not to twist or stretch them, but still, push them together until they just barely touch. Finally, count only the warp threads in your inch to get the approximate sett. See Figures A-C. You probably will use a thicker weft yarn than a warp yarn.

Sett for Weaving Weft Faced Cloth

Sett for Weaving Weft Faced Cloth



In warp-faced fabrics, there are so many more warp threads than weft threads that the weft is all but covered by the warp. Use Ashenhurst’s diameters or wrap the warp threads around your ruler. Then, increase or even double the number per inch you get. See figure below.

Sett for Weaving Warp Faced Cloth

Sett for Weaving Warp Faced Cloth



If you want a true plaid, then you’d want a precisely balanced sett, so that the warps and wefts are both showing equally. However, look at a machine woven plaid-the warps are denser than the wefts-for ease in weaving.


If a weave has weft emphasis, you can’t have the warp as dense as 80%. Examples are overshot and summer-and-winter fabrics. Use a plain weave sett here because plain weave is the basis for these two weaves. Then, as a starting point, take 60-70% of their maximum sett, depending on the purpose of your cloth.

More information in Weaving for Beginners and Book #1: Winding a Warp & Using a Paddle

5 thoughts on “My Top Ten Weaving Tips – #7: Sett for Weaving Balanced, Warp, and Weft Faced Fabrics”

  1. Peggy you have been my mentor in weaving since I first began in 2007. I wasn’t on the internet back then, I bought a couple of your books and your DVD on warping back to front. I still follow this method you used in that video.

    I put my loom up for a few yrs due to needing the space for something else. This past yr I brought my table loom back out, added 2 floor looms and watched your video again to refresh my memory on how to put on a warp.

    Your blog and all your great tips are awesome! They help this amateur weaver understand weaving so much better than just reading it in a book. I would like to say a Big Thank You for working so hard to help folks like me.

  2. Hi Peggy,
    Thank you for all of your extremely helpful information.

    When you say to “Use Ashenhurt’s diameters…and increase or even double the number you get per inch” (for a warp-faced fabric), are you talking about doubling the max sett for a plain weave?

    For example:
    I am working with weavers in Mexico who specialize in a warp-faced ikat. Using Ashenhurt’s formula the # of diameters per inch is 143 (we’re using 2/60’s). Does this mean that our sett would be 71.5 for plain-weave but 143 for our warp-faced ikat?

    Thank you Peggy!


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