I think these veils came after my ruffles in the previous post. I thought I should make something large so these are long. The warp is the same high twist silk from my stash. (Same threads as the ruffles.) Since then, I have shortened them by rolling up the bottoms a bit.
I was wanting to weave sheer cloth. I wove double weave to dense up the warp a bit so the wefts wouldn’t beat down too close to keep the cloth open, sheer, and still have integrity (not sleezy). And weaving tubes meant I only needed one shuttle.
A friend with a little farm gave me some of her cow’s tail. I’m not sure it’s the right thing but it is what it is.
The two layers made moire! I was thrilled. When I tried to repeat it, I didn’t get the moire which provoked me no end. But I love this success.
Here is a blue one. I sold this one to a woman whose husband had just died. It reminded her of his last breaths.
A detail of Blue Veil. I had some fine silk on a skein that I gave up on putting on a spool. I just cut the skein and then had nice, long silky threads to lay in.
More of the silk fringe on one of the other veils.
Introduction: While in the throes of getting my entry ready for the China exhibition, I thought I would continue with some double weave projects and ideas.
I made these ruffles several years ago and had post cards made to give out on a trip to Japan. They came about by surprise but then I made a few. They hung in the windows of two galleries. The Craft and Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles and a Gallery in Mill Valley. I was very proud of them.
The first ruffle began as a tube woven in very fine silk. Probably around 95 threads per inch in the warp. I was after moire. The moire didn’t work so I thought about turning the tube inside out to see if it would make moire then. About half-way through turning it inside out (like turning pants inside out) when it was all ruffled up I stopped dead. I thought this is something!
Here I was fussing with one during the photo shoot. I put tiny stitches here and there to keep the ruffles in place.
Introduction: I’m thinking of posting interesting double woven pieces for some future posts. Interspersed might be my dye project progress. I feel swamped thinking about the June 16 deadline.
I wove this piece quite a few years ago out of cotton sewing thread. It began at the top with weaving the warp in a single layer. Then I opened it up to 3 layers, then to 2 layers. Then I decided to make as many layers as I could given the width and density of the warp. This was based on the idea of weaving double weave like a “Kleenex box” with an opening in the center of the warp and the edges like the edges of a tube.
Here is what the warp looked like when woven as a single layer. I put the red stripe in so I would know where the opening would be.
Introduction: Weaving tubes and double width and blocks will probably be in future posts. This post is about the underlying principles for all double woven textiles. There is a large section on double weave in my book, Weaving for Beginners.
You might like to print out the principles to hang on a wall in your studio.
I like to teach double weave by using words to describe what to do instead of giving a weave draft because a draft doesn’t really show what the cloth will be like. It does show both layers being intermingled, which is not useful at all for actual weaving. Drafts are in my book, but I like to use words for the threading, tie-ups and treadlings.
Seven Principles for Weaving Double Cloth
The cloth to be on top at any given time is determined by you.
The cloth to be woven on the bottom at any given time is determined by you.
The two layers are woven simultaneously.
You determine which shafts will weave the cloth that is on the top and which shafts will form the bottom cloth.
The order; or sequence, that you use to lift the shafts to make the sheds is what makes the two cloths weave simultaneously and determines which variation of double weave as well. (eg. separate layers, tube, or double width.)
Usually, in double weave cloth the layers exchange positions frequently to make the design or pattern—(what was on top at one time becomes the bottom and vice-versa).
If there were only one set of shafts used for all the top layer, you would end up with two completely separate cloths instead of one cloth double thick—it’s the exchanging of the layers that holds the cloth together as one piece. If there were no exchanging of the layers, the two cloths would fall apart from one another.
Introduction: Now that life is getting busier, I’m planning to post less often. Maybe weekly or so. I want to get to my looms and experiment and do some fine weaving again. And I have a dye project I want to start. If you still need something to have breakfast with, try reading the posts I began a year ago when the pandemic began. I still love getting comments.
This is my 125 ends per inch silk weaving. I had big plans, but it was almost a “dog on the loom”. I wanted sheer fabric and I didn’t want to beat in the wefts too hard. I wove a double weave tube so there would be more resistance on the beater to prevent beating too hard and still be sheer. A tube meant only one shuttle, of course. I made so many threading errors, I thought I had lost my mind! It’s really not hard to thread so many ends when the cross is right there to guide you. Sometimes I crossed threads and sometimes it was in the heddles. I already had made several fine silk tubes before at 96 epi. This shouldn’t have been so difficult. I’ve got more fine silk threads from Junco Sato Pollack so am eager to weave them up.
The weaving went terribly with a huge number of stops and starts to correct broken or mis-threaded ends. I properly repaired many threads and replaced many warp threads with colored sewing threads so I could see what I was doing. I had to throw away a lot but managed to get 40” woven as a tube.
After the 40” I decided to just weave off what I had left and not bother with corrections. I managed to get a hanging out of it. It hangs in front of an ikat hanging I got in Okinawa.
In the end, I gave up weaving the sheer cloth and decided to just weave off whatever I had left of the warp. Probably the warp was on the loom a few months before I made up my mind to get it off. I wove the layers separately.
Double weave is on the top of my brain because I’m teaching a small group the basics with the idea of moving on to bloocks. The reason most people start thinking about double weave is because you can get solid colors that way–rather than plaids. Then one needs also to think about different weft colors as well. Often the “back” side isn’t clear when different colors are needed. [click photos to enlarge]
Often the blocks of color are not so obvious. My mentor, Helen Pope wove this sample for one of her many afghans, always using the same threading but way different colors.
Here is a sampler I wove to show the separate layers. Also see below for the Weaving Tip I did using diagrams from my book, “Weaving for Beginners”.
I’ve been wracking my brain to be able to show graphically weaving the layers in different blocks. I dreamed up this today–not sure if it will do the job or not.
I was playing with layers and opening them out like Paul O’Conner suggested when I wove “Blue Descending a Staricase”.
Here is the width it was when threaded on the loom before being opened out to the 7 “layers”.
Peggy’s Weaving Tips > Introducing Double Weave
This is taken from my new book, “Weaving for Beginners” on page 245. How double weave works and making a sampler follows on pages 246 through257.
Weaving Two Separate Layers
Double weave is one of my favorite weaves, and most of my students love it, too.
It seems like magic that you can weave two layers of cloth simultaneously—
but that is what happens.
The cloth will be double thickness with a pattern or design happening when the layers exchange places
—going from top to bottom and vice versa.
I like to be the one to introduce weavers to this technique, because once they understand the concept, they feel so capable and proud.
There is a lot more to learn about double weave than the basics given here.
Read more in weaving books. Some special techniques and considerations are given in my third book, Weaving & Drafting Your Own Cloth, beginning on
There are three basic variations of double weave:
1. Weaving two separate layers at once: See Figure 481.
2 Weaving a tube: See Figure 482.
3. Weaving double width: (You can weave a cloth twice as wide as your loom!) See Figure 483.