I’ve been weaving for just a few years and have managed to work through the drafts designed for the cloth I want to make.  A draft explains how to set up your loom for the threading, treadling, and tie-up.  I understood the process enough to get by.

Saturday, however, it all became much clearer.  Deborah Yorde of Craftsman Hill Fibers in Mt. Vernon, Ohio visited our guild for a one-day workshop on understanding and designing drafts for woven cloth.  She had us graph out the drawdown which is what the cloth will look like on paper when you consider all the elements.  Then we took exisiting cloth and worked backwards by charting each weft and warp.

Deborah says understanding drafts is foundational to weaving.  I couldn’t agree more.  In fact I learned a rather simple but critical fact.  I never knew why some twills were labeled 3/1 or 2/2.  She said it stands for 3 harnesses up and 1 down or 2 harnesses up and 2 down.  And the numbers should add up to the number of harnesses you are using on the loom.  Lightbulb switch went on.

Sometimes you need to go back to the basics.  I’ve been operating on limited information.  After Saturday, I feel a little more prepared to go forward as a better weaver.

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