Bergdala Spinnhus

More about profile patterns

But you don't have to be traditional...
In "About profile patterns" I wrote that we can consider every square in the profile draft as a "shorthand" represtentaion of something else - something that is not pre-determined: a number of ends woven in a specific way.
A profile pattern can be seen as a wish: we want to make a fabric with a pattern like this. At the moment we don't know how, but the goal is that it be patterned like this.
Usually, the pattern appears through the use of different structures for the different pattern areas.
So: we need to identify the repeat of the structure(s) we wish to use - and to make them work together. This sometimes means that we need more shafts and treadles than we would guess to begin with.

Let us again look at a simple checkerboard pattern:

simple profile draft
In classical Swedish weaving literature the profile drafts were always blue and white, the detail drafts were in red and white. (Note that Swedish drafts usually are written for sinking shed)
In newer (and very old) books most drafts are in black and white.

This pattern has two blocks, both warp-wise and weft-wise.

If we want to combine one 4-end weft-dominant twill in one of the squares with a "rackel" weave in the other - how do we do?

Starting with identifying the two structures, with their threadings, treadlings and tie-ups:

"rackel" or "three-treadle" weave
They have, in their usual notations, the same number of shafts but not the same number of treadles.
Thus they can't be combined without some fixing:

First, we have to find the "lowest common denominator": as both structures are to be woven at the same time in both blocks, they have to have the same number of shafts, the same threading order, the same number of treadles and the same treadling order.
The threading orders are already the same, but the treadling orders are not. The point treadling can be changed to a straight order over four treadles, if the middle treadle is doubled - like in the picture to the right:

three-treadle weave modified
If we let one square in the profile draft represent eight ends and eight picks, we can combine both structures like this (only the lower right-hand corner of the profile draft):

both structures combined

This is what the whole profile pattern will look like woven with the structures above:
I found exactly this structure in a book called VÄF-BOK för mekanisk handväfstol, published by L. Persson, Östersund 1891.
("WEAVING BOOK for mechanical hand loom")
complete draft from Persson
woven sample

It is nearly always possible to make an irregular threadinbg into a straight, if there are shafts enough. Of course the added shafts also have to be added to the tie-up - the added shaft has the same tie-up pattern as had the "old" shaft. Working this way it is often possible to combine structures that, from the beginning, seemed incompatible.

This method is also useful to get an easier treadling order. The three-treadle weave above, for example, is much easier to weave with a straight treadling over four treadles than it is by treadling points over three...

My local guild studied rackel (or three-treadle) weave some time ago - read more here. (The link opens in a new window, and the page is in English.)

  © Kerstin Fröberg 2009