Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Multiple Tabby Weaves

By Leigh

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.

"Multiple Tabby Weaves" by Dr. William Bateman.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:

3 different tabby threading blocks.
  • 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.
In other words, each of these threading drafts results in every other warp end being lifted (or lowered.) By using combinations of these three blocks in a single draft, Dr. Bateman created a wide variety of "multiple tabby" fabrics.

M's & O's can be classified as a multiple tabby weave which uses extended blocks.

M's &' O's threading 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

Related Posts:
M's & O's: The Basics
Multiple Tabby Weave Sampling
Multiple Tabby Weave With a Heavier Weft
Expanding Multiple Tabby Weave Blocks


Anonymous said...

Where did you find this monograph? It looks great.

I agree with you about weaving books (and any craft book, really.) I am generally looking for answers about technique and looking for inspiration for my next project.

Marie said...

Oh goody! You're doing my homework for me. I enjoy it so much when you study and share! Keep up the great work.

Leigh said...

Thank you! Textillian, I bought it used through amazon.com. I've updated the post and added the link, but I've including it right here too. You can also find it at Woodland Woolworks.

Peg in South Carolina said...

I have this little monograph as well and very much look forward to your sharing your explorations.

ladyoftheloom said...

I bought this monograph from a lot of weaving books that a friend of mine was selling around the time I first started weaving last summer. I looked through it and was too new at weaving to 'get' it. Now I see what it was talking about.

I look forward also to your experiments!

pethikemou said...

wow! your weaving blogs have been more informative than ANYTHING ELSE i have come across in text or on the web since i spent two back-to-back semesters weaving in college nearly ten years ago. i have just spent the better part of the day sifting through all of your experiences and am deeply grateful, appreciative, and impressed with the time and energy you have invested to share what you've learned along the way.
i am bringing home my first floor loom this weekend ~ a red oak kessenich jack loom 42" weaving width with 8 shafts and will most definitely keep following your "threads."

: )

bless you, leigh!

Anonymous said...

Leigh, I agree the old monographs seem to have all the info but just lack the glitz of beautiful photography. Seems like lots of things suffer from this problems. Thanks for the post, you explain things so well

bspinner said...

Great information!! I agree with you. The older monograms are wonderful and full of almost more information than so many of newer books on the market.

Leigh said...

Thank you! I am so happy that I'm writing information that is useful. That's very encouraging. Jeannie, how exciting about that loom! I'd be very interested in how you get on with it.