Profile drafts are a shorthand form for writing weaving drafts. With them, a weaving pattern is laid out in blocks rather than thread by thread. Profiles can be written for threading, tie-up, and treadling. I'm just going to try and explain threading profiles, because they are more common and I understand them better.
The first question we need to answer is, what is a block? A block is a repeatable section of an overall pattern. Blocks consist of units, which are smallest number of threads needed make the weave unique. (More on that in this post.) Blocks can have as many repeats of a unit as the weaver desires.
As an example, let's look at this summer & winter dishtowel I wove about a year and a half ago. It is a simple 4-shaft design, using a Fibonacci sequence in both the threading and the treadling.
Below is the thread by thread draft for one pattern repeat. You can click on it to enlarge it.
Here is a profile of the same draft.
Each square in the profile represents a threading unit. If you compare it to the thread by thread draft, you see that from the right, unit A is threaded once, then unit B twice, then A three times, etc. The profile has two rows, because it uses only two blocks. The first row is for block A, the second for block B, and so on for additional blocks.
The beauty of a profile, is that its pattern can be adapted to any block weave. For example, here's the same profile in M's & O's (click to enlarge)
Or, a Multiple Tabby Weave (click to enlarge)
As you can see, profile drafts are not only easy to read and write, but are very versatile as well.
Posted 13 Oct. 2008 at http://leighsfiberjournal.blogspot.com
Shadow Weave Profiles