A Pocket Dictionary

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

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Term Main definition

a supplementary-weft structure with a plain-weave ground cloth. The supplementary weft floats a) over an entire block, b) under an entire block, or c) over and under alternate ends in a block to form halftones. Since the pattern area is limited by float length (blocks cannot form pattern independently), overshot is not a unit weave.

paired-tie' weaves

('tied Lithuanian,' also called dimai or perverai; 'tied Latvian'): supplementary-weft unit weaves with two tie-down ends and a plain-weave ground cloth. The ratio of tie-down ends to pattern ends is 2:4 (or more); there are six or more ends in a unit; the two tie-down ends are threaded together at the beginning of the unit. In 'tied Lithuanian' the same tie-down end is always lifted and the other always remains down for the pattern pick; in 'tied Latvian,' the tie-down ends alternate to tie the float. A unit of A is threaded 1-2-3-4-3-4.

pattern warp

usually refers to a supplementary warp that weaves pattern on a ground cloth. It is also used to identify warp ends in supplementary-weft structures that determine pattern by remaining above or below a pattern float.

pattern weft

usually refers to a supplementary weft that floats to form pattern. In some sources the secondary weft of lampas is called a pattern weft. Less frequently it refers to a weft that determines where a pattern warp float appears by remaining over or under it.


a) fast-back piqu?: a stitched double cloth with a supplementary (stuffer) weft; or b) loose-back piqu?: a supplementary (stitcher) warp and supplementary (stuffer) weft structure. The back (stitcher) warp ends in both are held at greater tension than the face warp ends and are lifted over face weft picks (usually two) to stitch. The stuffer (also called wadder) weft adds to the puff of the unstitched areas. The ratio of face warp and weft to back warp and weft is usually 2:1.

plain weave

a simple weave in which each weft passes over one warp end and under one end. The adjacent warp end and weft pick reverse the actions of the first. The minimum number of threads required for plain-weave interlacement is two warp ends and two wefts.

profile draft

a graphed design for block weaves. The profile threading draft consists of rows representing the blocks required by the design (A, B, C, and D for four blocks). For each unit weave a different threading formula is substituted for one square on a profile threading draft. (1-3-2-3 equals one square on a profile threading draft row for block A in summer and winter.) The profile drawdown is the design that results when pattern is produced in the block(s) indicated by the profile tie-up and profile treadling order.


a supplementary-weft unit weave with four tie-down ends and a plain-weave ground cloth. The ratio of tie down ends to pattern ends is 1:1; there are at least eight threads in a unit; one pattern shaft is required for each new block; the tie-down ends alternate with the pattern ends in the threading; the tie-down ends are threaded in straight or point order and interlace with the pattern weft in straight or point order. One unit of A is 1-5-2-5-3-5-4-5 or 1-5-2-5-3-5-4-5-3-5-2-5.


complementary sets of warp ends or weft picks forming an identical interlacement on opposite faces of a cloth; one set appears on one face when the other is on the opposite face.


see weft-faced compound twill.


a simple weave with warp floats on one surface of the cloth and weft floats on the other. The order of interlacement of warp and weft is regular and dispersed: no two adjacent warps or wefts interlace. Warp ends and weft picks pass over or under every thread but one in the repeat (4/1 or 1/4 in 5-end satin; 1/7 or 7/1 in 8-end satin, etc.). Shafts are usually threaded in straight order beginning with the first shaft and ending with the last shaft. In true satin the warp that binds each weft is the same number of warp ends away from the warp binding the preceding weft. If it is not, the satin is irregular.

simple weave

a weave with one warp and one weft, i.e., one set of warp ends that perform the same function and one set of weft picks that perform the same function. Plain weave, twills (including turned twills), satins, (including damask), lace weaves, and spot weaves are simple weaves.

single two-tie unit weave

a unit weave that requires one pattern shaft ('single') for each block and two tie-down ends (as in summer and winter).

spot weaves

simple weaves with spots of pattern formed by floats on a background of plain weave. The same warp end or weft that weaves plain weave in the background areas forms the pattern float. Since the pattern area is limited by float length (groups of threads cannot form either pattern or background independently as desired), spot weaves are not unit weaves.

stitched double cloth

two independent structures 'stitched' together: warp ends of one structure interlace with wefts of the other, or a supplementary warp or weft weaves with wefts or warp ends of both structures. Stitching can be done decoratively or invisibly.