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
ground weft vs. pattern weft

The ground weft weaves with all of the warp ends to form the ground cloth. In tied unit weaves, the ground weft weaves plain weave (the ground cloth can aso be twill or satin) with all of the warp ends. The pattern weft creates pattern by floating above groups of warp ends (or beneath them) interweaving with only the tie-down ends. (The main weft in lampas is sometimes called the ground weft and the main structure the ground structure. The secondary weft in lampas is sometimes called the pattern weft.)


Swedish term used for weaves in which patterning is formed with supplementary-weft floats (such as overshot or crackle); the term usually applies to four-shaft weaves. These are also called simplified dr?ll weaves. Halb (half) and simplified indicate that these weaves require fewer shafts per block than dr?ll weaves.


a supplementary-weft unit weave with two tie-down ends and a plain weave ground cloth. The ratio of tie-down to pattern ends is 1:2 or 1:3 or 1:4 (or more); there are six or more ends in a unit; the tie-down ends are threaded at the beginning and in the middle of the unit; the same tie-down end is always lifted and the other always remains down for the supplementary pattern weft pick. One unit of A is threaded: 1-3-4-2-3-4 or 1-3-4-3-2-3-4-3, etc.


a supplementary-weft unit weave with three tie-down ends and a plain weave ground cloth. The ratio of tie-down ends to pattern ends is 1:1; there are six ends in a unit; the tie-down ends alternate with the pattern ends in the threading; the tie down ends interlace with the pattern weft in twill order. One unit of A is1-4-2-4-3-4.

Han damask

an historical term for a simple, self-patterned float weave (that is not damask). Floats over three threads form the pattern; the background is plain weave. Where warp floats appear on one surface of the cloth, weft floats appear on the reverse. The three-thread floats are 'alternately aligned': they are bound by alternate ends (or picks) in alternate rows, i.e., 'tabby' order. The second and fourth ends (and the second and fourth picks) bind the floats.

huck lace

a unit weave with at least six ends and picks in a unit. The threading unit is divided into half units each with an odd number of ends (3/3, 5/5, 7/7). Three combinations of interlacements can be woven: a) plain weave in both half units, b) plain weave in one half unit alternating with warp floats or weft floats in the other (often called huck texture or 'huck'), or c) warp floats in one half-unit alternating with weft floats in the other (often called huck lace). Treadling half units for huck texture and huck lace also alternate warp and weft floats.

inner warp

usually refers to the warp ends in a double-faced complementary-weft structure that do not interlace with any set of wefts and are hidden, adding to the bulk and stability of the cloth.

interruption factor

see counter.


a Finnish word used widely as a synonym for tied unit weaves, particularly summer and winter. Kuvikas is also used as a synonym for pattern in Finnish texts.

lace weaves

simple weaves with floats caused by an interruption of plain-weave interlacement. Warp floats alternate with weft floats or warp (or weft) floats alternate with plain weave. As in spot weaves, the same warp or weft forming a float in one area forms plain weave or the opposite float in the adjacent area.


a double weave in which a main structure is patterned by the weft of a secondary structure. The resulting cloth can be either completely interwoven or contain areas of double cloth where the main structure is on the top surface of the cloth. The main and secondary structures can each be plain weave, twill, or satin. Areas where the secondary weft appears on the face of the cloth are usually considered the pattern areas. In beiderwand, however, areas where the main structure appears on the face are considered pattern. The two structures do not exchange positions as they do in figured double weave. The main warp and weft can weave on the face of the cloth (while the secondary structure weaves on the back), but only the secondary weft can pass above the main structure; the secondary warp always interlaces with the secondary weft beneath the main structure, syn. diasper, tissue.

M's and O's

a simple weave forming two blocks of pattern with four shafts. The warp ends in one block weave plain weave as individual ends while groups of warp ends interlace in plain weave order with the same weft in the alternate block. Since pattern cannot be woven in both blocks at the same time, M's and O's is not a unit weave.


a double cloth with decorative stitching. Sometimes matelass? is stuffed. Often the face cloth is twill or satin. The back (or stitcher) warp is usually not held at greater tension than the face warp as it is in piqu?.

one-tie weave

a weave in which one warp end in a threading group is designated as a tie-down end. If such a weave is also a unit weave, it is a one-tie unit weave. A one-tie weave allows for a pattern weft to be tied on one surface. If the pattern weft passes above the cloth in one area and below it in another, two tie-down threads are usually used, one to tie it from above and one to tie it from below. Summer and winter has sometimes been called a 'one-tie' unit weave when only shaft 1 is lifted for all pattern picks, but shaft 2, though not lifted, ties the float on the bottom.


(from Sweden) a supplementary-weft structure with a plain weave ground cloth. All of the warp ends weave the plain-weave cloth. A supplementary weft floats either over all of the ends or under all of the ends in each block to create pattern. Since the pattern area is limited by float length (blocks cannot form pattern independently) opph?mta is not a unit weave. (Opph?mta is woven in other European and Scandinavian countries under other names.)