Designing Echo as Double Weave for 16 Shafts

Above: the front of a 16-shaft drawdown that I just finished designing. 

My inspiration came from Pinterest, where a while back I came upon a design I really admired. It was for 24 shafts and I have just 16 on my Toika, but still I had to figure out what made it so appealing. It was for double weave in an Echo threading and the tieup looked like this:

My first reaction was, "Oh boy, here's one of those irregular double-weave tieups that makes absolutely no sense." And my second reaction was, "How did they DO that?" My third reaction was, "I want to do that!" 

I knew that the original tieup had been modified -- "carved" you might say -- to veer off a straight twill angle for some of the shafts, creating interesting and eccentric patterns in the cloth. So I set about adapting the design to 16 shafts, first by breaking the 24-shaft tieup into two sections, one each for the top and bottom layers of the original 24-shaft draft.

Here's what they look like.

Tieup for the top layer

Tieup for the bottom layer

Back to Stubenitsky's Echo and Iris, of course. On page 89, she lays out her method of designing double weave tieups based on what she terms a "ratio." (Note here: Of all the listings in the index of this book, "Ratio" is cited the most. Something to ponder.)

She begins with what she calls the "ground tie-up." Below is what the ground tieup looks like for a 16-shaft double weave in Echo. For both layers, this ensures that half of the shafts will weave plain weave throughout. (You can't really weave anything with this tieup; it just gives you a stable ground for creating designs using the other half of the shafts.)

It isn't as inscrutable as it may first appear. On treadle 1 (for the top layer, which is treadled with all the odd-numbered treadles), you'll weave plain weave by raising shafts 1, 3, 5 and 7. On treadle 2 (for the bottom layer, which is treadled with all the even-numbered treadles), you'll weave plain weave by lifting shafts 10, 12, 14 and 16. 

An aside: With double weave, the shafts that are "raised" to weave the bottom layer are actually being lowered from the perspective of the bottom layer, because the bottom layer is weaving upside down (from the weaver's perspective). It's helpful to think of the tieup for the bottom layer as a sort of photo negative, where up is down (black is white) and down is up (white is black).

Note that the second half of the tieup for both layers is totally blank. That's where Stubenitsky's ratio comes in. For this, I tried a tieup with a ratio of 4:4, meaning that, in the second half of the treadling above the ground tieup, 4 shafts are raised and 4 shafts are down in an ascending order for both layers (top and bottom layers, on odd and even-numbered treadles).

Here's how that 4:4 ratio looks.

Next I created a tieup with a 3:5 ratio, which looks like this.

And then I tried a tieup with a 7:1 ratio, which looks like this.

And here's what the drawdowns look like, respectively.

4:4 ratio

3:5 ratio

7:1 ratio

I chose a 5:3 ratio tieup because to me it created the most interesting draft. And then I started "carving" the design section of the tieup. 

Because this is already a long blog post, I'll cut to the chase: Below is the tieup I came up with. Perhaps not as dramatic as the one in the drawdown on Pinterest that I so admired, but it's just 16 shafts and I'm moving ahead cautiously. 

And as for those 24 shafts... well, I'm working on it. Thanks for reading!

Back of drawdown


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