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

each warp passes over or under more than one weft and each weft over or under more than one warp in the interlacement sequence. The minimum number of threads required for a twill interlacement is therefore three warp ends and three wefts (the weft passes over one warp and under two or over two warps and under one). Each successive pick begins the same interlacement on an adjacent warp end, either to the left or to the right, creating a diagonal line.

twill diaper

turned or counterchanged twill. Twill diaper designs are usually small all-over squares or simple block patterns.

two-tie unit weaves

unit weaves with two tie-down ends that 'tie' a supplementary pattern weft float to a ground cloth (plain weave, twill, or satin). The other ends in the unit are often called pattern ends since they determine whether the float appears on the face or the back of the cloth. All of the ends in the unit weave the ground cloth. (The structural unit  must contain the complete threading sequence of the tie-down ends. The block, determined by the threading of the pattern shafts, can be smaller than the unit; see Bergman.) Two-tie unit weaves differ in: a) the ratio of tie-down ends to pattern ends, b) the number of threads in the unit, c) the number of pattern shafts required for each block, d) the location of the tie-down ends in the unit, e) and the order in which the tie-down ends are lifted to tie the supplementary weft float.

two-tie weave

a weave in which two warp ends in a threading group are designated as tie-down ends (i.e., the 1 and 2 in summer and winter). Most two-tie weaves are also unit weaves; summer and winter is a 'two-tie unit weave.'

unit weaves

pattern weave structures in which a specific number of warp ends and weft picks interlace in a specific way to produce either pattern or background independently of but identically to other groups. A specific threading formula?the threading unit?is substituted for one filled square of a profile threading draft. Pattern or background is woven in each unit by substituting a specific lifting order for filled (pattern) or empty (background) squares on a profile treadling draft. 'Unit' is a structural term; 'block' refers to design. In summer and winter, the threading formula for one unit of block A is 1-3-2-3.


warp pile. A supplementary warp forms pile loops on a plain weave ground cloth. To form the pile loops, the pile warp and the ground warp warp must be differently tensioned. Pile length is determined by inserting rods in the loops. The loops can be cut to make cut velvet.


warp ends hide the weft completely on the surface of the cloth. Warp-faced has also sometimes been used as a synonym for warp-dominant.

warp-faced compound tabby

a warp-faced pattern weave with two or more complementary sets of warp, one of which appears on the face while the other(s) are on the back. Even picks separate the sets of warps to determine the set (color) on the face. Odd picks bind the warp sets in alternate ('tabby') order, thus the name warp-faced compound tabby. Warp sets bound in twill order are called warp-faced compound twill.


wefts completely hide the warp. Some sources use 'weft-faced' to describe a weft-dominant surface.

weft-faced compound tabby

a weft-faced pattern weave with two or more sets of complementary wefts. Even warp ends separate the weft sets so that one set (color) is on the surface of the cloth and the other(s) on the back. Odd warp ends bind the complementary wefts in alternate (tabby) order, thus the name weft-faced compound tabby, also called taquete and summer and winter polychrome. Complementary weft sets bound in twill order are weft-faced compound twill, also called samitum.