A Pocket Dictionary

Compiled from Madelyn van der Hoogt's A Pocket Dicionary of weaving terms for today's weavers copywrite 1990

Search for glossary terms (regular expression allowed)


Term Main definition
cross twill

diagonals within the twill (treadling or threading) repeat move in opposite directions.


a simple weave in which areas of warp-float satin and areas of weft-float satin appear on the same surface across the width and length of the cloth, syn. turned satin. When satin units of five ends are threaded, the damask is often called 5-shaft (or 5-end) damask even though l5 shafts are required for three blocks, 20 for four, etc. When units of six ends are used, the cloth is often called 6-shaft (or 6-end) damask even though satin on six shafts is not true satin.

damask diaper

damask in small all-over block designs.

distribution factor

see counter.

double damask

sometimes used to describe damask that is woven with reciprocal complementary wefts of two different colors that produce a weft-float on both sides of the cloth; the two wefts (therefore the two colors) exchange positions in pattern and background areas. Double damask has also been used to identify damask with a weft to warp ratio of 2:1.

double two-tie unit weave

a supplementary-weft unit weave with two tie-down ends and a plain weave ground cloth. The threading unit requires two pattern shafts ('double') for each block. Each block can produce pattern, background, or halftones independently. The label is applied to the specific threading (1-3-2-4, 1-5-2-6, etc., also called double summer and winter) but not to other unit-weave threadings with two pattern shafts per block and two tie-down ends (1-3-4-2-3-4; 1-2-3-4-3-4-; 3-1-3-1-3, 2-4-2-4-2, etc.). A 'double two-tie unit weave' threading can produce many structures other than supplementary weft; its most frequent uses are to expand twills and to combine structures.

double weave

a compound weave in which two sets of warp ends each weave with a respective set of wefts. The two structures are usually connected to each other in one of several ways: a) the structures exchange positions from face to back or vice versa, b) the structures are 'stitched' together by warp ends or wefts of one structure (or extra warp ends or wefts) interlacing with wefts or warp ends of the other, c) the warp of one structure interlaces with its weft on opposite sides of the other structure?or by a combination of these three ways.


when two complementary sets of warp (or weft) are reciprocal, forming an identical structure on both sides of the cloth.


Swedish term usually used to describe weaves in which warp-float areas contrast with weft-float areas such as turned twills and turned satins, especially when they are simple block designs woven on eight or ten shafts

dr?ll damask

damask patterning produced on a shaft loom or (more rarely) shaft drawloom. Dr?ll patterning is less elaborate than figured drawloom or jacquard damasks. The edges of the design are stepped in squares that are the size of a unit or half-unit of the satin structure being woven.

extended summer and winter ('-tied beiderwand')

a supplementary-weft unit weave with two tie-down ends and a plain-weave ground cloth. The ratio of tie-down ends to pattern ends is 1:2 or 1:3 or 1:4 (or more); there are six to ten (or more) ends in a threading unit; two pattern shafts are required for each block; the tie-down ends are threaded at the beginning and at the middle of the unit; the tie-down ends interlace with the pattern weft in plain-weave order; the threading for a unit of A is 1-3-4-2-4-3 or 1-3-4-3-2-3-4-3, etc.

figured double weave

two equal and independent structures (two warps each weave with a respective weft) exchange positions from the face to the back of cloth for the purpose of patterning; sometimes called 'block double weave' or 'patterned double weave.'

four- (or more-) tie unit weaves

supplementary-weft unit weaves with four (or more) tie-down ends. The tie-down ends can interlace with the supplementary weft in plain-weave or twill order. All other characteristics and potential variations are the same as for two- and three-tie weaves. The cloth can be plain weave, twill, or satin.

ground vs.pattern

Ground usually refers to the cloth structure on which a pattern warp or pattern weft floats. If the (supplementary) pattern warp or weft is cut away from the cloth, the ground structure remains intact. Such grounds are found in overshot, crackle, summer and winter, and other tied unit weaves, but not in M's and O's, lace weaves, double weave, or damask, though these can also be block weaves or unit weaves or both. Pattern, an even more general term, refers to the area of cloth where the pattern warp or weft appears on the surface, but it can also mean any part of the design that the weaver designates as pattern on what is also an arbitrary designation of background. In beiderwand, for example, the 'pattern' weft usually forms the background.

ground warp vs. pattern warp

Pattern warp most often refers to a supplementary warp that floats on a ground cloth to produce pattern. In tied unit weaves, the warp ends which determine pattern by remaining above or below a supplementary pattern-weft pick are often called pattern ends. In summer and winter, therefore, the ends in each unit that are not threaded on shafts 1 and 2 (which carry the the tie-down ends) are the pattern ends, and the shafts on which they are threaded the pattern shafts. Ground warp is used to distinguish the warp that weaves the ground cloth from a supplementary pattern warp. It also is sometimes used for the main warp of a lampas structure. It is not usually used to refer to the warp in supplementary weft structures.