Yards per Pound is Huge Key

A comment on my previous post gave more information about the yarn balance. It is available from Eugene Textile Center, in Eugene, Oregon ( www.eugenetextilecenter.com ) for $35. I find it one of my most important tools in my studio. It can tell you the yards per pound of a yarn as I explained in that post. In this post I want to show more about knowing the Yards per Pound.

Sett Chart for Plain Weave
You can see that by knowing the yards per pound in this sett chart you can get the yarn count of the yarn which is the number given on yarn labels. The diameters used in using the Ashenhurst Rule have been calculated, as well.

If you didn’t read about Ashenhurst and his rule when it was described in the recent post, “Sett Thoroughly Revisited on March 25, 2023,  https://peggyosterkamp.com/2023/04/sett-thoroughly-revisited/  refer to that post for links with information. There are 7 pages of charts for various fibers in my book Winding a Warp & Using a Paddle,  and 7 pages for the same yarns for twill. If a yarn is not listed in a chart, the formula to calculate your sett is given HERE https://peggyosterkamp.com/ashenhurst-rule/  . There is information in Weaving for Beginners with fewer charts and a way to use them to estimate your sett.

Sett Chart for Twill
Here you can see  the comparable chart for figuring the sett for twill. These charts also have calculated the diameters according to Ashenhurst, and the variations in sett for different purposes. (I use the 80% figure for “ordinary” fabrics.)

Sett Thoroughly Revisited


I’ve been beating around the bush recently with lots of topics all coming down to determining the sett for various projects. Sett is a large subject so this time I will be referring you to various previous posts. I think that way you can get a thorough picture of the topic.

Follow the links to the topics listed below:

1 – Read about what is sett and how diameters of yarns is important HERE

2 – Read about making your weaving easier. This is an introduction to a way of determining sett using the Ashenhurst Rule which will be in a following post HERE

3 – Here is the explanation and formula for Ashenhurst’s Rule. NOTE: Here he explains only the MAXIMUM SETT. You will probably never use that number because it will be denser than you want. Read the next installment about what to do for plain weave, twill, warp and weft face and purpose etc. HERE 

4 – Ashenhurst Part Two: The previous post gave you a calculation that will give you the number of diameters, which will be used to determine the sett for a fabric. The reason you want to know the Ashenhurst number of diameters is that it’s his number that is used to make allowances for yarns, weave, shrinkage finishing, purpose (e.g. upholstery or sheer curtains, etc.). What you actually do is to calculate the maximum sett so that you can ten take a percentage of it to allow for different purposes of the cloth or types of yarns. For most “normal” weaving I use 80% of the maximum sett. You just use another % if you want something else. Read on.

This worksheet I made to make all this handy to use.  You can see that first is calculating the maximum sett. Then taking the various percents of that figure for different weaves, purposes, etc. See that you would take 90% of maximum sett for upholstery and 50-60 percent for delicate fabrics.

5 – Good reasons to Use Ashenhurst’s 80% figure are given in this post HERE

6 – An example how to use the sett charts: You have a 5/2 pearl cotton that is 2100 yards per pound (ypp). You want to weave a twill, so you would look in the Twill Chart for 2050 yards/pound.

Then, going across that row, look for the purpose of the cloth you want to make.

If you want something very delicate, you would choose the 50% column and see that it is 14 EPI.

If, however, you wanted to make a pillow, you might choose the 80% number (22epi). This sett is what I recommend for “regular cloth”—what I use unless I want extra dense or delicate fabrics. Read more in my book Weaving for Beginners or THERE ARE MANY MORE sett charts in Winding a Warp & Using a Paddle. There are 14 pages of charts with hundreds of yarns and threads all calculated for you.

7 – Select the sett for purpose, width, yarn type HERE

8 – Read sett basics and Ashenhurst HERE