Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Coming December 1: My Book on Texture in Weaving

You're looking at the cover of my soon-to-be-published book on texture in weaving! I've been working on it for, lo, these past five years and it's almost ready for publication.

I plan to begin offering it on Lulu on December 1. And after that, I might celebrate with a good brew or two ;o)

Why did it take so long? Mainly because it includes 12 projects for 4, 8, 6, and 16 shafts, which meant I had to weave them all and document every single detail. And check and double check -- 80 versions and revisions to date, which isn't all that surprising. Plus, with some of the projects, there was much sampling involved, meaning lots of warps and dressing of looms until I got it right.

The title, "Weaving Outside the Box," has two meanings: first, I'm referring to creativity in design and process, "thinking out of the box" about what and how we weave. Second, I'm referring to the rectilinear, two-dimensional plane of weaving -- "the box" that we are typically confined to in our craft -- and how we can begin to break those boundaries. Textural weaving is all about ripples and pleats and buckles and poufs, about bends in the road and reflections on the organic curves of nature herself. Take, for instance, this image of lateral curves of fungi on a tree trunk:

I see a reflection of these lines in a double-weave sample I wove on four shafts, in the style of Liz Williamson:

Different colors, of course, and less nuanced, but the two images share flowing horizontal lines, staggered randomly. I love the unpredictability of how the patterns shift and bend -- much of which takes place in the finishing. After washing these fabrics, the results are  always surprising, which makes it so rewarding to me.

The book is about 120 pages long, with 90 full-color photos and diagrams that aid in understanding the hows and whys of dimensional weaving. It includes a long bibliography to aid in further study, an index (to me that's a big deal, for some reason), and three beginning chapters on the theory of texture in weaving, its history, and some of the overriding techniques involved.

Here is a peek at some of the projects in the book.

Antelope Canyon Shawl in point twill on 4 shafts, 
16/2 bamboo gradient warp, silk/stainless-steel weft

Detail of 'Puzzle Shawl' in deflected double weave 
on 6 shafts, 18/2 merino in warp and weft

60/2 silk striped scarf in plain weave and turned twill 
on 8 shafts, with soft pleats in the middle

Deflected-double-weave infinity scarf on 16 shafts,
using hand-painted warps and wefts in 18/2 merino and 10/2 cotton

Right now, the final draft of the book is with a group of first readers, in alphabetical order, Marianne Antczak, Leslie Mendelson, Ann Richards, Joyce Robards, Sarah Saulson, and Linda Schultz. All of them are wonderful weavers who have generously agreed to serve as fact-checkers and goalies, you might say, to keep any errors from appearing in print. It's good to have smart friends!

As I mentioned, I will offer the book on Lulu, a print-on-demand site used by several folks I know. I will also offer an e-version at a slightly lower cost (and no shipping charges, of course). 

If you're interested in pre-ordering, please click on the "Downloads for Purchase" section of this site, where you'll find a link. I will be in touch as soon as it ships on December 1.

Let me know if you have any questions, of course. My email address is in the "Contact Information" page on this blog. 

Thanks for reading!

Front and back covers, ready for printing


Peg Cherre said...

WOW!!!! That's a HUGE deal, Denise!! I'm SO impressed!
And P.S. Congrats on your article in the current/new issue of Handwoven. :-)

Amazing work by an incredible woman!

Denise Kovnat said...

Thanks, Peg! I wasn't sure the link was posted yet ;o)

Candy Hargett said...

Congratulations! Will look forward to your book in print!

Anonymous said...

Hi Denise,
Congratulations !! I remember when you began weaving in one of Joyce’s classes !!
Would your book be helpful for me, I only use 8 harnesses, thanks,
Sara Burnett

Denise Kovnat said...

Thanks Candy! It will be available as a "Print on Demand" kind of book. I did have a contract with a publisher but I decided I wanted to be my own boss.

Denise Kovnat said...

Sara, the book has 12 patterns to weave (weaving recipes): 9 patterns for looms from 4 to 8 shafts (4 patterns for 4 shafts, 1 pattern for 6 shafts, and 4 patterns for 8 shafts). It also provides information on the techniques you need to know to weave textured fabrics as well as a bibliography with every piece of information I could find on the subject. I hope that weavers can move forward with their own designs or their own variations on some of the designs in the book. So the short answer is yes, the book would be helpful for you. Thanks for your interest.

Pam said...

Exciting! Just ordered and now have to wait until December. I know I'll be inspired. Thank you, Denise.

agnes hauptli said...

Congratulations on writing a book about your weaving!!!

Anonymous said...

I am happy for you! Congratulations!!

Frances said...

Congratulations, that looks like a very interesting book.

Denise Kovnat said...

Agnes, we work with color and pattern -- and texture! I think we don't always realize how much the texture of yarns and cloth appeals to us. Thanks for writing!

Denise Kovnat said...

Frances Stevens, I checked out your website -- and you definitely understand the importance of texture! Thanks for writing.

Linda S. said...

I just mentioned on Facebook: "I can confirm that the book is wonderful - very informative, exciting projects, a wide variety of techniques. And Denise is really good about giving you enough background for each project that they are easy to personalize or go off in your own direction with the technique."

I'm happy to be able to help. Thank you for putting all the work into making this happen, and sharing your knowledge and creativity.

Anonymous said...

Linda, thank you for your kind words. And thank you for proofreading the book, helping me make sure it’s a quality resource!

Anonymous said...

Waving hands to you, Denise! I’m so happy for you!

Denise Kovnat said...

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Sounds great. How do I sign up for a book?
Emily Jones

Denise Kovnat said...


Thanks for your interest. You may pre-order, for shipping on December 1, by going to the page on my blog titled "Publications for Purchase." There's a paragraph about the book and then a PayPal "Buy Now" button.

That's for pre-ordering. If you want to purchase it after December 1, when it launches, you can order it on I will have a link to all the purchase options, including an eBook, beginning December 1.

Ziraleet said...


Five years of work, organization, trial & error, perseverance, determination, zest, research, collaboration-how absolutely inspiring and uplifting!

That photo of tree fungus speaks to me! Your vision to see texture, appreciate (and maybe endure) surprises in finishing, and bring it all together in one place shows your resilient spirit! A good index is hard to find.

May all the final details fall into place, on time. All the best and happy holidays.

Denise Kovnat said...

Thank you, Ziraleet, for your kind words. I especially appreciate that you noticed the beauty of the fungus -- I think it's a type of bracket or shelf fungus. Yes, they are a separate kingdom from plants and animals, but what a magical kingdom! We can weave these shapes and colors if we take care with our materials and techniques.

Sampling, in Search of Beautiful Cloth

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