Equipment Compendium (aka the Loom Geeks)

The Equipment Compendium (aka The Loom Geeks) study group gathers information about looms (past, present, and future) in order to understand the mechanical aspects of each device, possible uses, reuses, and adaptations, for repair and extension of equipment usage to extend the limits of complex weaving.

Study group members will develop and utilize templates to support consistency and completeness of compendium entries to include dimensions and features of equipment including ergonomic considerations accessible to all members of CW.  The group will also study patents, historical development, and information about how manufacturers adopted, altered, and improved design over time.  Sources for replacement parts and newer uses for older equipment will also offer opportunities for study group members to contribute to the compendium and development manuscripts for publication in the CW Journal. Members will be able to exchange information with each other using and virtual meetings. A periodic study group e-newsletter will help members fill in gaps for each other and develop new ideas to pursue.  Tools in development, especially based on interactions within the study group, will remain private to the study group.

We will look back through the lens of history to understand weaving mechanisms and look forward to the future with adaptations to new materials and methods of manufacturing.  Through membership in, members will be able to explore cutting edges of technology for fresh takes on equipment across time and around the world.

Dimensional Texture

Publication:          Members are expected to participate in year-round email conversations, sharing observations, experience, queries, solutions, drafts and photos via a group

Sample exchange: One physical sample exchange in the summer each year. In Seminars years the exchange will be scheduled to take place at Seminars to minimize postal costs. In the intervening years the exchange will take place conventionally with samples mailed to the admin chair and redistributed as complete sets by the most cost-effective means.

To join:                Contact the admin chair listed above

Study group year:  September to July

Membership:         Capped at 18

There are few things in weaving as fascinating as watching a flat web of interlaced threads transform into a three-dimensional woven structure. There are many ways to achieve this using carefully selected threads, fibers, and/or structures. Many weavers have experimented with 3/1 1/3 twill to create furrows or overtwisted yarns to weave collapse fabrics; this study group is for weavers who want to take their explorations of dimensional texture a bit deeper.

Each year the group will focus on one way of creating dimensional texture, researching, exploring and sharing our experiences throughout the year, culminating in the samples for the annual sample exchange. Topics examined so far include stitched double cloth, waffles, using floats to create dimensional texture, and woven shibori for texture. Future topics could include layer-exchange double cloth, four-color double weave, structural pleats, single warp with supplementary weft, deflected double weave, honeycomb, and plenty of other options.

The membership year runs from September to July. Membership is capped at 18, so each member will have to weave no more than 20 samples (including those required for the CW and study group libraries).

If you would like to join the group, please email Wendy Morris at

Ondulé Textiles ~ Weaving with a Fan Reed

Source material  –  Ondulé Textiles: Weaving Contours with a Fan Reed will be the initial source material. As the study progresses more written material will undoubtedly be found.

Because of the slow weaving process and because samples are too small to show the dramatic undulating effects, this study group will consist of discussion and photos, but no woven samples. The written descriptions and photos will be compiled into a notebook for the Complex Weavers Library. When appropriate this material will be compiled into an article for The Complex Weavers Journal.

This will be set up as an on-line discussion group.  There will be no cost for joining the group.  There is an obligation, however, to weave/experiment enough to submit a detailed discussion at least once yearly.  Study group participants must be members of Complex Weavers.


Archaeological Textiles


We are proposing a new study group to be called Archaeological Textiles, which will cover everything from textile impressions in prehistoric ceramics to relics in cathedral treasuries. The group covers global prehistory to approximately 1700. This group has a primarily online presence, and members will submit contributions for a newsletter. These contributions may be of any length, and cover museum finds, research projects, book reviews, etc. Themed sample exchanges may occur occasionally.

In general, it is expected that contributed articles will be posted on the study group website for discussion. An annual compilation will be deposited in the Complex Weavers library. All contributors retain copyright for their own materials. Any member who wishes their contribution to be restricted to Complex Weavers members only should contact the co-chairs before submitting it.

There is no required sample exchange, but sample exchanges on particular themes may be organized on an ad hoc basis. All exchanges will require enough samples for each member, plus an additional sample for the Complex Weavers library. All sample exchanges should also be submitted to the study group as electronic images and notes. Any member who wishes their contribution to be restricted to Complex Weavers members only should contact the co-chairs before submitting it.

Preserving Our Past; Index and Scrapbook of 20th Century Handweavers

As we chase the newest technology and weaving trends, we lose track of those who taught us and those who taught them, wrote the books on our shelves, and designed the looms that preceded the ones we use.

This is a study group designed to gather the names and as much of a biography as possible of our notable weaving predecessors, worldwide.

The starting point for name collection is the 1876 Centennial Exposition in the United States and the “Colonial Revival” movement begun then, modeled after the European Arts and Crafts movement (William Morris).

The initial focus of the group is name and information collection and its storage. Information about weavers is welcome from all.

Oscar Beriau Sampling Group

Oscar Beriau, appointed by the Minister of Agriculture to be Director-General of Handicrafts of the Province of Québec in 1930, became a significant force in weaving in Canada in the 1930s and 1940s.  Beriau founded a school for the domestic arts, hired weavers from the US and Europe to instruct future Québec teachers in the most modern, attractive, and efficient methods of weaving, and created a system for delivering these skills throughout the province.  He published a book on natural dyeing, followed by two weaving books.  The detailed instructions in these books, on everything from preparing and spinning wool to making ‘original’ works from drafts, was unprecedented at that time in materials available to home weavers.  The drafts gave specific uses or functions for each woven piece.

The chair of this group began researching Oscar Beriau in 2001 with the intention of publishing a book to include both a history and sets of samples recreating the original drafts and drafts created by the sampler.  There are no known collections of the original samples used in the original Beriau books.  Beriau took care to suggest to weavers how they might take existing drafts and alter them to make something original.  And in the spirit of Beriau and weavers at that time, we create both reproduction and original drafts.

There are two very different skill sets for this group:  weaving something exactly as written, using materials appropriate for the time period; and creating a ‘new’ piece of cloth by altering fibers/drafts/etc.  Sample drafts will be assigned (owning a book is not necessary), but weavers can indicate preferences.  Participants receive a complete set of instructions upon joining.

It is the chair’s fondest dream that a trip be planned to Québec for all participants to experience the historic & beautiful areas of Québec where weaving thrived during Beriau’s time.



The picture shows a Takadai with Kumihimo in progress; from Sandy Jessett

There is one exchange per year, with samples due at the end of April. For the swap, each member will make enough samples for the group, plus one extra for the CW Library. These are to be mailed to the group chair prior to the due date. Each participant who submits samples will then receive a packet with sample braids from each of the others in the group. Following email discussions within the group, a new topic and the date for the next sample exchange will be decided. Samples of other braiding strands or techniques may be accepted.  The samples are presented on card stock along with the braid diagram and all information pertinent to that braid,  ie; name of braid, number of bobbins, yarn(s) used. We communicate by mail and e-mail and occasionally by telephone. Please contact the chair at the address above for further  information.

Twenty four, More or Less

In the featured image: “Last April I purchased a used 32 shaft V Loom with an e-lift from a woman living in the USA. After a four day road trip with a friend, the loom was home in my Canadian Studio. The loom, barely used, required some work to get it up and running.   The cat fabric was woven with a warp of 2/20 Tencel black (tie-down thread) and a 50% Silk 50% Wool grey (pattern thread) with a weft of 2/8 Tencel in black. The tie downs were on shafts 1 & 2, pattern threads were on 3-32. The sett was 28 epi in a 12 dent reed, dented, 2, 2, 3. It was woven with an alternating tabby. The cat motif was taken from a knitting pattern.” By Catharine Wilson.

The CWSG more/less was originally designed in the fall of 1997 by Terri Tinkham as a way to share 24 shaft designs.  This was for all levels of weavers with 24 shafts:  challenging new owners to use their looms.  Someday a break off from CWSG 24 may occur requiring originality and virtual samples.  Even then, this original CWSG 24+/- will be maintained.  Dottie Smith became chairman in 2004. We do a woven sample exchange. Anyone interested in using drafts with a minimum of 17 shafts is welcome to join.  Those with more than 24 shafts are also welcome. This group encourages all levels of weaving.  There are no limitations as to structure, fiber or design. There is no particular study assignment to a given year, the sky is the limit.  We do ask that you submit a record sheet including the complete draft, software, loom, warp and weft yarns, sett and picks per inch with the woven sample. We encourage you to design your own drafts.  We ask that your drafts be designed so that your woven samples will have at least two repeats of the threading and treadling if possible.  Stand-alone motifs may be woven as just a single repeat.  If your threading and/or treadling draft is extremely large, we will allow this but will ask for a decent representation of the draft and a complete computer draw down of the entire draft.  A discussion of problems encountered, design process and thoughts, and notes of interest should be included. New members should contact Dottie Smith for a membership form.  Invitation to membership goes out June 1st, with active membership dues paid by September15th, when membership closes.  October 1st a letter goes out to all active members with a count of samples to be mailed anytime after October 31st and no later than February 15th.  Exchange CWSG24 Packets will be mailed March 1st.

Additional Information/Requirements

  • June 1st:  Invitation to membership in CWSG 24 +/- sent.
  • By mid-September:  Membership and dues due to CWSG 24 +/- chairman, Dottie Smith. Membership closes for the current year at this time.
  • October 1st :  Notification of the number of samples required for February 15th.  Exchange and membership list sent.
  • Samples must reach Dottie no later than February 15th.  Exchange sample and draft mailed to CWSG chairman, Dottie Smith.
  • March 1st  Exchange samples mailed out to participants.