Any time I start a new weave structure or technique, I always look to see what books are available on it. When I started my M's & O's dishtowels, I did exactly that. What I found, was Multiple Tabby Weaves, a monograph based on Dr. William Bateman's weaving manuscript.
I really like finding monographs as well as most of the older weaving publications. A lot of the more recent weaving publications seem to be basically project books, which I'm not real keen on. I prefer books which discuss and explore a particular structure, leaving it up to the weaver to develop their own projects.
Multiple Tabby Weaves is edited by Virginia I. Harvey, and was published in 1981 by Shuttle-Craft Guild as monograph #35. While it isn't specifically about M's & O's, M's & O's is one of its examples of a multiple tabby weave.
According to Dr. Bateman, a multiple tabby weave is any draft which contains two or more tabby weave threadings.
I should probably note here, that Dr. Bateman uses "tabby" synonymously with "plain weave." However, last month there was an interesting discussion on WeaveTech about these terms, which seem to be evolving for modern weavers. Today, "plain weave" is more often interpreted to mean the simple over-one, under-one weave structure. "Tabby" on the other hand, refers to the single shots of plain weave which are thrown in between pattern wefts, such as in overshot. A lot of older publications however, use the two terms interchangeably, as is the case in Dr. Bateman's manuscript.
On four shafts, Dr. Bateman used three different threadings to create a plain (tabby) weave:
- For block A, plain weave is created by lifting shaft 1 - 3 alternately with 2 - 4.
- For block B, plain weave is created by alternating shafts 1 - 2 with 3 - 4.
- For block C, shafts 1 - 4 and 2 - 3 alternate to create a plain weave or tabby.
M's & O's can be classified as a multiple tabby weave which uses extended blocks.
It repeats the first two and last two threads of the plain weave on either side of the four thread block. You can see it better in the illustration above than I can probably explain it.
As you've probably guessed by now, I'm going to experiment with some multiple tabby weaves next and in fact have the loom dressed and ready to go. I should have some samples to show next time.
Posted 11 March 2008 at http://leighsfiberjournal.blogspot.com
M's & O's: The Basics
Multiple Tabby Weave Sampling
Multiple Tabby Weave With a Heavier Weft
Expanding Multiple Tabby Weave Blocks