Tied Weaves and Beyond

For weavers of Intermediate to Master skill levels to explore Tied-Weaves, Tied-Unit weave structures and weaves considered derivatives or variations of tied weaves, such as Taqueté, Samìtum, Lampas, etc.   This does NOT include any weave that has ties, only those that are related in some significant way to the interlacement found in Tied Weaves.  The broad study group goal is to better understand, create and define Tied-Weave structures, as well as create variants and methods to “break the rules”.   Each member will explore any Tied-Weave structure or derivative of interest.  If members choose a derivative their write up must include the reasons WHY the structure does not qualify as a Tied Weave and how it differs and resembles a Tied Weave.

Mandatory sample and information exchange due May 1 of each study group year.

On-line discussions and a private website for sharing photos, drafts and other visual information are in place. Members can share their questions, ideas, drafts and photos, enhancing our on-line study. All newsletters and correspondence, and the accompanying write-ups for the yearly sample exchange, will be done via email.

Write for a more detailed welcoming letter.  Su Butler, cwtw@subudesigns.com


Shown:  A fancy twill.  See the February 2009 CWJ for details.

Begun in 2002 by Judy Eatough, the first group worked together week by week as Judy added content: information, assignments and drafts. Jayne became Leader in 2019 and will edit content minimally. The group files, but none of the messages/conversations, have been migrated from yahoo to Groups.io. The group is now open to membership at any time, and operates as a self-study group with members working independently.

 Everyone should start with the Introduction and Lesson One, then each member is free to jump around the list and work at their own pace. Pace yourself, but try to work regularly so that your knowledge will build and not be lost during long breaks between sessions. In general the questions posed in the assignments are meant to be open-ended and have more than one correct answer. We do not mind answering the same questions as before. Sometimes with experience or technology changes, the answer has even changed.

Our goal is to better understand weave structure. This is an open group and everyone can see and discuss all of the drafts and all of the comments. Drafts do not need to be original; we are exploring techniques and drafting in this study group. As a bonus, we will also learn to use weaving software. This group is designed for the intermediate weaver as a mentored discussion of weave structure.

 Email, internet access, and weaving software that can write wif files required.  Drafts will be shared on the Goups.io web page. Send email to chairman above to join.  Topics include:

  • 00-Welcome / Introduction
  • 01-Plain weave
  • 02 Basket and Rib weaves
  • 03-twills-3 and 4shaft
  • 04-6 and 8-shaft twills
  • 05-Repweave
  • 06-As-Ifs
  • 07-Lace weaves
  • 08-Tied Weaves-assign
  • 09-Satins
  • 10-Twill variations
  • 11-Creating Fancy Twills
  • 12-Motifs
  • 13-Telescope analysis
  • 14-Thoughts on Designing Double Weave


This sample was woven by Claudia Spaulding in 2021. Claudia said she struggled to design a fabric using all sixteen shafts dedicated to waffle weave. Creating a 16 shaft huge waffle using fine threads didn’t appeal. After much exploring, she created this beautiful doubleweave fabric with waffle and twill blocks.

The Sixteens is a sample exchange group for weavers using 16 shafts. The weaving skills vary from some who are very knowledgeable to some new to 16 shafts. In 1978 Marian Hoskinson circulated a letter to her wide circle of friends and acquaintances in the weaving world announcing the starting of a sample exchange group for “16-harness weavers”. Marian established the rules that we still live by. Each year a topic is selected, usually a weave structure. The weaver is to do research and exert their personal creativity in the sample. The sample is to be large, at least six inches square and must be extensively documented. Each year during the exchange month the members mail the samples to each member on the list (with special arrangements for international mailings). Marian limited the membership to 30 and for about half of the years a waiting list existed. Membership is currently set at 25. A core group from The SIXTEENS was involved in the founding of Complex Weavers. The idea was first suggested at Convergence in Colorado and then organized at the Midwest Weavers Conference. A group of us gave $5.00 each to Eleanor Best and told her to start a newsletter and gather other members. We realized that others with common interests in technical weaving possess other types of equipment and membership was not limited to weavers with looms of 16 or more shafts. We wanted to build a network to share information, collectively investigate new topics, and help each other with individual problems. The objective would be beyond that of a sample exchange.

Past Projects

1979: Twill / 1980: Biederwand / 1981: Damask / 1982: Doubleweave / 1983: Clothing Fabric / 1984: Double Two-Tie / 1985: Doubleweave / 1986: Park Weaves / 1987: Lace Weaves / 1988: Combined Weaves / 1989: Pique / 1990: Lampas / 1991: Twill Variations / 1992: Damask / 1993: Star & Diamond / 1994: Network Drafting / 1995: Stitched Double Weave / 1996: Taqueté / 1997: Brocade / 1998: 3 or 4 Tie Block Weaves Structures / 1999: O’Hara Technique / 2000: Bronson Lace / 2001: Integrated Cell Weaves / 2002: Blended Drafts / 2003: Network Drafting / 2004: Turned Overshot / 2005: Piqué / 2006: Turned Taqueté / 2007: Crackle / 2008: Shadow Weave / 2009: Echo Weave / 2010: Beiderwand / 2011: Corkscrew and Manifold Twills / 2012: Double Weave / 2013: Collapse / 2014: Four Color Double Weave / 2015: Deflected Double Weave / 2016: Lampas / 2017: Echo / 2018: Diversified Plain Weave /2019: Honeycomb / 2020: Satin/ 2021: Waffle  / 2022: Double Weave / 2023: Variations on Tied Weaves
The notebooks, which can be borrowed through the Complex Weavers Library, are a valuable source of research on each individual weave structure.


    • THE SIXTEENS 2022 RULES AND REGULATIONS The assignment for 2023 is Variations on Tied Weaves.
    • All the skill and creativity of the weaver should be expended on the sample. Yarns, colors, designs, and sett are at the discretion of the weaver, but all 16 shafts should be required for the design.
    • Procedure for participation in the sample exchange:
      • All active members of the study group are eligible to participate in the next sample exchange and are asked to confirm their position as early as possible, and by 1 September at the latest.
      • The Chair will invite as many other members of the wider group to participate as can be accommodated within the maximum number of active members agreed (see paragraph 8).
    • Specifications for the sample:
      • Sample must be a minimum of six (6) inches/ 15cm square, finished.
      • All raw edges must be finished.
      • Wet finishing is strongly encouraged.
      • If you weave a design larger than the required sample size, it’s fine to submit a sample of the required size that is only part of the larger design with a photograph or scanned image of the complete pattern.
    • Specifications for documentation:
      • Research the weave structure and share sources.
      • Include on all pages your name and the date of the sample.
      • Include on the first page: your address, phone, and email, yarn type and size, sett and reed, type of loom, and software used.
      • Include a draft for a treadle loom or the pegging plan (liftplan) if you use a dobby.
      • Include comments on any particular problems encountered and suggestions for others to use.
      • For permission to share electronically via the CW Library, please include the following statement on your notes: “I (name) agree to have this sample and corresponding information shared electronically with other Complex Weaver members through Complex Weaver Library. (Date)”
    • Specifications for physical distribution:
      • Mail all samples and documentation flat in a large envelope. Do NOT fold.
      • Mail during the month of October.
      • Any member unable to mail the samples during October must notify the others in the group to that effect, giving a date when the samples may be expected.
      • US members: Send sufficient samples to Claudia Spaulding as Distribution Hub: one for the Complex Weavers library, one for the Sixteens’ own library, one for her personally, and one for each participating member outside the US. Send samples direct to any additional participating member within the US.
      • Non-US members: Send sufficient samples to Claudia Spaulding as Distribution Hub: one for the Complex Weavers library, one for the Sixteens’ own library, one for her personally, and one for each additional active member outside your own country. Send samples direct to any member within your own country, if any.
    • Specifications for electronic distribution:
      • Assuming you use weaving software, save your design in the *.wif format so that all weaving software can open it. Use the naming format: “SurnameInitial Sixteens 2021”
        eg PontJ Sixteens 2021.wif
      • If possible, scan or photograph your fabric sample, and save in the *jpg or *.jpeg format. Use the same naming format: “SurnameInitial Sixteens 2021” eg PontJ Sixteens 2021.jpeg
      • If possible, save your notes in the *.pdf format and include the fabric image as the last page of the file. Use the same naming format: “SurnameInitial Sixteens 2021” eg PontJ Sixteens 2021.pdf
      • If you cannot do some of these things yourself, liaise with the Chair who should be able to help.
      • Upload your files to https://groups.io/g/CWSixteens
    • Membership and dues
      • You must be a member of Complex Weavers to be a member of the Sixteens. Check to make sure your main CW membership dues are up to date.
      • Remit US$7 dues for the Study Group to Claudia Spaulding as Treasurer. These may be submitted in US $ cash or check when you send your samples, or sent electronically via PayPal or Venmo.
      • The categories of membership are:
        1. Active (for those who were part of the previous year’s physical sample exchange)
        2. Invited (for those who are new to the group but who opt into the current year’s physical sample exchange)
        3. Priority Wait Listed (for those Active members last year who opt to sit out the current year’s physical sample exchange)
        4. Regular Wait Listed (for those who wish to participate in the group but do not satisfy the membership requirements of other categories).
      • Any member who opts in to the sample exchange but does not then send a sample by the end of the calendar year in which it is due will not normally be allowed to participate (ie will be obliged to sit out) the following year. However, exceptions may be granted for good reason. Requests for extended delay should be addressed to the Chair and include a reason for missing the deadline and the anticipated date of sending the samples.
      • The Chair may exercise discretion in relation to membership issues, particularly for members who have been active on a long-standing basis.
      • A member who wishes to resign, or to sit out for a year, should notify the Chair of that fact as early as possible, and certainly before September 1 of the sample year. (This is to help the rest of group plan the number of samples they will need to weave, and to allow for new joiners from the waiting list.)
    • Maximum size of the group
      • The maximum number of participants for the physical sample exchange is 24, so that the maximum number of samples to be woven is 26 (including the member’s own sample and two for library copies).
    • Active and Passive Members
      • Only active members receive actual woven samples and hard copy of drafts and notes from the annual sample exchange.
      • All other members who have paid their dues will be invited to the CWSixteens groups.io by which they will receive emails, can participate in discussions, and have the same access to shared electronic records as active members.
      • Please notify the Chair of potential new members so they may be sent information.
    • Library Copies
      • The Sixteens’ samples, drafts and notes will be archived electronically as well as in paper format by the CW Library and by the current chair as back up. Both paper and cloth samples and a CD (or other electronic form) will be available for loan from the Complex Weavers Library.

Sample Exchange the Old-Fashioned Way

This group does a swatch exchange once a year. Notification of the number of samples required is sent out sometime in March and the sample due date is determined yearly. The group is limited to 15 members which, with a sample for the archives, means a member never needs to make more than 16 samples. This upper limit allows members to work on samples before actually knowing how many will be needed.

The purpose of this group is to allow members to create samples which are focused on their own particular areas of interest or to explore a facet of weaving which they have not tried before and are uncertain if they would continue to be interested in pursuing. Samples can be woven on any number of shafts, of a size to clearly show the structure, usually about 6″ by 6″, and are to be accompanied by the usual information: materials used, drafts, setts, finishing, shrinkage, as well as comments as to purpose, problems encountered and possible solutions, or whatever information is felt to be of interest to other group members. The “Old-Fashioned” means that samples can be woven on a standard treadle loom without use of a computer interface; treadle, table and computerized looms have been used in the past exchanges. CAD is fine.

The fee is US $7.50. We communicate mostly by e-mail, occasionally by phone or surface mail. Any level of weaving skill is acceptable. The idea is for each member to set their own learning goals and to share them with the other members. Over time quite a good, varied collection of samples will be accumulated.

Sample distribution will also be accompanied by a CD of drafts and pertinent information from those members who so consent.

Fine Threads

The object of the Fine Threads Study Group is to encourage weaving with finer threads. Members set their own definition of ‘fine’.

Membership in the Fine Threads Study Group has a 12 month cycle. In the fall of each year an invitation is extended to those who have expressed an interest in joining, and to those who participated the previous year. Requirements are paying annual $15 fee and submitting a set of samples in  May. Some members who do not live in the United States have joined for two years to save on currency conversion fees. In  January each member receives a roster.

In March, members are reminded that samples are due in May. After the samples have been collected, they are compiled and a complete set is mailed to each member in June or July. Mailings include tips and questions from members, citations of articles published by study group members, and anything else for the common good.

The number of members determines how many samples must be submitted. Each member must submit enough samples for the entire roster,  plus one extra for the Complex Weavers Library. Each sample is to be mounted with a draft and pertinent information, along with any problems and their possible solutions.

Beginning with the 2002-2003 Fine Threads Study Group, members give implicit permission for their sample submissions to be put on a”backup” CD to be kept in the CW archive. And, of course, each member receives a complete set.

Each sample should be an entire pattern, or at least a quarter of one. Some samples have been as small as 1″ square. Most of them are larger, but all of them are beautiful! There are no restrictions regarding weaving skills. All you need is an interest and desire to weave with fine threads on more than four shafts.

The Fine Threads Study Group has met only by mail. Most of us have e-mail and it is a convenient medium to exchange questions and answers. If the leader doesn’t have the answer, often another member will. Except for sample exchanges, the study group mailings are via e-mail with attachments. Hard copies will be sent when attachments can’t be opened and read or e-mails are not acknowledged.

In 1990 at Complex Weavers Seminars, someone suggested a study group on fine threads. In 1991 CW Study Group Coordinator, Peggy Hoyt, asked Lillian to take it on and the group began in the fall of 1992. Lillian has tried to keep the organization as simple as possible.  The problems and solutions shared are very informative and encourage each of us to continue pursuing beautiful fabric.

The sample above was woven by Claire Ehernberger for the 2002 Fine Threads sample exchange. The pattern is called Jet Stream and is an adaptation from a workshop by Emily Dubois. The warp and weft are 60/2 silk sett at 60 epi.

Early Weaving Books and Manuscripts

The Early Weaving Books and Manuscripts study group is for anyone, weaver or non-weaver, interested in 16th to early 20th century manuscripts, published books, and handwoven textiles from Europe and North America. Interest in the above is the only requirement for membership other than the payment of yearly dues.

Since the group began in late 1992 members have located dozens of pre-1910 weaving books and manuscripts in museum and private collections. Many of these are available in photocopy form for study either by purchase or from the Complex Weavers library. At the request of members of the study group, one draft book, that of Cyrus Uhler, written in 1836, was scanned and had been placed on the Internet by Lebanon Valley College which owns it.

The study group newsletter is published six times a year and is mailed to over 80 members worldwide. Topic of discussion include: newly found manuscripts, textile analysis of coverlets and linens, listings of museums with extensive textile or manuscript collections, museum exhibits of interest, books of interest, the ever-present problems of reading and interpreting someone’s working notes, and just what name to give a weave. Most newsletters contain woven samples reproduced from drafts in manuscripts or actual textiles.

Once a year there is a swatch exchange for those who choose to participate. Extra postage ($6.00) is required, as are samples and draft sheets for all participants in the exchange. In past years, as many as 48 have participated and some members weave samples for all 90+ study group members. Samples are due in April for inclusion in the May newsletter.

Early American Coverlets & Counterpanes

doubleweave coverlet

The Early American Coverlets & Counterpanes Study Group, is looking for weavers who are interested in participating in research of 18th and 19th century American handwoven coverlets and counterpanes.  The group researches both geometric and fancy coverlets. While the focus of the group is the research of these early art forms, the study group members will also share information on projects they have woven which are based on early coverlets and counterpanes.

The newsletter will be published three times a year.  The chair will write one article per issue on such topics as the elements of a coverlet, fabric analysis of coverlet patterns, a bibliography of coverlet related books, block design for coverlet patterns, weave structures used for coverlets and counterpanes and their fringes. It will also include information about southern counterpanes.  Members of the study group are asked to contribute book reviews, information on coverlet exhibits, articles on individuals contributing to coverlet research and weaving, as well as results of member’s research and weaving projects.

The study group will include an annual sample exchange. Additional information will be supplied on request.

Information for the exchanges and the newsletters is shared on the group’s website at coverletgroup.com/.  Also available on the website are the drafts and samples woven by the group related to their analysis of the coverlets shown in Kathleen Curtis Wilson’s book entitled Textile Art from Southern Appalachia: the quiet work of women.

In 2018, the group is starting a new project for the sample exchange which includes weaving samples for a collection of 19th century southern overshot and counterpane drafts.

Designing Fabrics

The Designing Fabrics Study Group studies how to design good fabric. This includes technical aspects, such as yam size, fiber type, structure, sett, color, texture, wet-finishing, and so on. But it also includes things like the design process, tools and resources used in designing cloth, and meeting and overcoming challenges in design.

To promote discussion, we choose a yearly theme, and each member contributes an article related to that theme. We have divided the year into 4 quarters, each participant picking a quarter to submit their article.  Zoom meetings in the last month of the quarter will allow participants for that quarter to talk about their work.  Other topics maybe scheduled.  Topics/questions of interest to the group will be welcomed.

The Designing Fabrics Study Group welcomes weavers of all levels of experience and with any kind of loom – from rigid heddle to jacquard. If you are interested in designing your own fabric and expanding your knowledge of fabric design, this group is for you.