Our first face to face workshop for over two years was tutored by Christina Chisholm, a very experienced weaver, who is also very good at explaining things. She also used samples from her Certificate of Achievement to show what we we’re aiming at.
In double weave half of the warp threads are used for the top layer, half for the bottom layer. Though it is possible to use a two shaft loom and a lot of pick-up, ideally you need 4 shafts or more. For this introductory workshop we were all working on 4 shafts, using shafts 1 and 3 for one layer and 2 and 4 for the other, with a different colour for each layer. We started off weaving two separate layers – lift shaft 1 to weave the first pick, then lift 1 and 3 to get the top layer out of the way, and 2 to weave the first pick of the lower layer with the other colour; lower all shafts, lift 3 to weave the second pick of the top, then 1, 3 to get the top layer out of the way again, and 4 to weave the second pick of the bottom layer. Once we got the hang of this we changed to bring the lower layer to the top. Concentration was needed to remember the new sequence: 2; 1, 2 and 4; 4; 2, 3 and 4.
The next steps were weaving double width cloth and tubes. Where the weave was continuous round the edges Christina used a string, weighted at both ends, passed through the reed a space beyond the last warp, and hung across the loom from front to back. This helped to keep the edges even, so that when the cloth was opened out the weave was neither to slack or too tight where the fold had been.
Finally Christina demonstrated the use of pick-up to exchange groups of threads from top and bottom to make surface patterns (some of us had a go at this), and showed samples of deflected double weave. A most enjoyable and very successful workshop