Donna Jean Barker
$5.00/year payable by October 31st.
One sample exchange per year
Sample Exchange:
One 16 shaft sample exchange per year, due October 31st.
To Join:
Contact the group chair listed above.
Group Began:
Closing Date:

Philis Alvic’s ground warp is 10/2 cotton in purple and maroon with warp ties of 10/2 rayon in Hot Pink.  For pattern weft, she used 3/2 cotton doubled, while the ground weft is 10/2 cotton in purple plus a strand of lurex.  The structure is Beiderwand, which was the Sixteens’ assignment for 2010.

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 harnesses.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 her 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. 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 harnesses. 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 Doubleweave / 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
The notebooks, which can be borrowed through the Complex Weavers Library, are a valuable source of research on each individual weave structure.


The assignment for 2017 is: Echo.

  1. 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 used  in the design.
  2.   Specifications for the sample:
    • Sample must be a minimum of six (6) inches square, finished.
    • All raw edges must be finished.
    • Wet finishing is strongly encouraged.
    • If you choose a design larger than six inches square, send a 6″ x 6″ sample of a part of the piece and a photograph or scanned image of the complete pattern.
  3. 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 (if you have it),  yarn type and size, sett and reed, type of loom, and software used.
    • Include a draft for a treadle loom and the pegging plan (liftplan) if you use a dobby.
    • Include comments on any particular problems encountered and suggestions for others to use.
    • Do NOT attach the sample to the documentation sheet.
    • Do NOT punch holes in the sheet.
  4. Specifications for distribution:
    • Mail all samples and documentation flat in a large envelope. Do NOT fold.
    • Mail during the month of October.
    • Send one sample to each person on the list, or send all samples to study group leader for distribution which will require additional fees.
    • Send two samples to the Chair (see above): one for the Complex Weavers library, and one for her personal collection.
    • Remit $5.00 dues to the Chair. These may be submitted when you send your samples.
    • 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.)
  5. Remember, you must be a member of Complex Weavers to be a member of the Sixteens. Check to make sure your dues are paid.
  6. Failure to comply with the above regulations:
    • If a member is unable to mail her samples during October, she must notify the others in the group to that effect, giving a date when the samples may be expected.
    • Any member not sending a sample by the end of the calendar year in which it is due will not be allowed to participate 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.
  7. Please notify the Chair of potential new members so they may be sent information.
  8. The 16’s samples will be archived on CD as well as in paper format. Both paper and cloth samples and the CD will be available for loan from the Complex Weavers Library.