Peggy’s Weaving Tips >Sett for weaving balanced, warp-faced, and weft-faced fabrics

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


Warp-faced Fabrics

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 “Peggy’s Weaving Tips >Sett for weaving balanced, warp-faced, and weft-faced fabrics

  1. dear peggy-
    i am an amateur weaver-mostly just a crafter-and have been experimenting using a backstrap loom. i have never been able to figure out what determines warp or weft faced weave. so, thank you so much for spelling it out for me! now that i see it, it seems so simple…as almost all truly elegant things are!

    • I am glad you “got it”. It’s something I play with a lot. It makes one warp so versatile, doesn’t it?

  2. How is sett figured when the weft is a smaller yarn than the warp? For example, say that the warp is 5/2 perle, but the weft is 10/2 perle. Would the sett be tighter or looser than a 5/2 perle sett would be? Thanks!

  3. Speaking of weft-faced texture, I have just begun a weft-faced rug that is showing an awful lot of warp threads. I am following a pattern for boundweave by Tom Knisely and trying to stick to every instruction, but it’s not looking right. The warp sett is 4 (doubled) per inch. I think I’ve done the tie up correctly. The treadling calls for a pick of plain weave after each pattern row. I’m beating down the weft as best I can, even pushing it together further with my fingers, yet the warp is not being covered. I’ve taken photos but I don’t know how to send them to you via this website. What can you suggest, Peggy?

    • You can always email me . Your warp tension has to be very tight and you must bubble a lot to get in enough weft to bend over and under the warps. That’s what comes to mind immediately. Maybe if you send photo you can also send any WRITTEN TEXT that goes with the instructions. I’m sure you can always contact Tom, too.Peggy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *