Drawloom designing

For years I've been doing my design work on a program developed for me at at a regional college's CAD-CAM centre. Sadly, after many updates and adjustments, it no longer interfaces with my computer and/or printer.I don't need any help with threading and treadling but I am without desing capability beyond graph paper and pencil, at the moment.

And my technical/ computer/ ability is quite limited. I REALLY need to know what design programs are available for me. I'll learn what I must but don't know where to begin. I want to design on a grid, be able to manipultae the image and reproduce it and then I want to be able to print out the row and column data in numerical form. Thus, Row 1: 2, 6-12, 22, 28, 63-68. etc etc.

I suspect that some aspect of PhotoShop may be useful. Please bear in miind that I live in a rural area, some +60 mi. from a town with a computer sales centre.

I'd appreciate any suggestions.




Posted on Sun, 03/22/2015 - 18:55

weaving softwares?  pixeLoom, Fiberworks, WeavePoint?  They are available for free download so you can try them out and see if they will work for you.  Pretty straightforward interface and they have manuals too.

I am sure someone can suggest the best for drawloom weaving--not an area I have any expertise with but the software is something I use for designing.  And Madelyn van der Voogt has an instructional video for learning how to use computer weaving software if you need it.  

Posted on Sun, 03/22/2015 - 19:57

As I stated on your other post, the following software will easily do what you need:

PCW Fiberworks


To use them for drawloom design, you work in "liftplan mode" which assigns a pattern shaft to each "shaft" in the threading. You then set up the way you thread your pattern shafts in the threading (or can put your graph into the design mode of each program and let it determine that threading for you). When you have your design graph in the drawdown portion of the screen correctly displayed, you will have the liftplan where the treadling should be. This is the arrangement of drawpulls needed to make your design. Both programs allow you to print just this liftplay in "numeric" format so you see it as you describe.

I do have a new book on double harness weaving "When a Single Harness Simply Isn't Enough" with considerable attention to designing using software and recommendations for programs to do so. Information here:


Posted on Mon, 03/23/2015 - 10:33

I saw the photo of your work that you posted yesterday and I think you need to be off the grid when you are designing, then superimpose the grid to create a chart. The nearest software that might suit is Grid'n'WeaveIt, which has a free demo you can download and try. Perhaps you then need to import this into a weaving software program to get a numbered drawdown as Sarah suggests.

Good luck, you have inspired me to think more freely about designing,


Posted on Mon, 03/23/2015 - 14:30

You might want to check out crossstitch software. It is much less expensive and just might work for your application.

Posted on Mon, 03/23/2015 - 16:04

The cross stitch programs work for single unit drawlooms, but if using pattern shafts and working from creative threadings of the pattern shafts, they are not as effective.

Often when "drawing" a design on the loom, with the drawpulls, the liftplan has little relation to the full blown design because of creative repeats. Cheap substitutes are not really good if going to the time and trouble needed to do damask designs.

Posted on Mon, 03/23/2015 - 21:43

Why has your familiar software stopped working for you? Did you get a new computer that won't run it?

Posted on Wed, 04/01/2015 - 00:01

Thanks for all the replies. I haven't checked the site for a bit and didn't receive notice that you all had responded. i'll check some of the suggested free demos including the GridnWeaveIt. I've avoided "weaving" programs since I know exactly how I'm threading and treadling-- I don't need a lift plan or drawdown.

The PCW Fiberworks might work but sounds a bit a**backwords for what i need. But I'm not familiar with the program's design element so I'll check it out.

I work on grid because I'm designing within a 70 block/shaft width limitation and it's what I've used forthe past 20+ yrs.

The original program was developed for me in 1991 and while I can get it to work on my laptop it will no longer work on printers.

In any event, thanks so much for all the suggestions.

Posted on Wed, 04/01/2015 - 01:09

What may be usefull is a virtual environment on your laptop.  A virtual PC lets you run older Windows OS on a new machine, and allows you to run software and use older printers, cameras, etc that won't work on W 7 or 8. You need W professional or greater, but it's a free app.  It's a bit inconvenient; the only drive that the base machine and the virtual machine see in common is a thumb drive.  So anything you want to work with in your W XP or W 98 virtual PC have to be on the thumb drive.  I use it to run older printers, cameras and graphics software.

Posted on Wed, 04/01/2015 - 01:29

If you are looking for how to fit a design into a grid, look for info on how to use Photoshop to make photos into gridded images for cross stitch or similar uses.

Posted on Thu, 04/02/2015 - 13:00

As big white sofa dog suggests, try something like VMware player. I use it with Windows XP installed. I have it on a USB Passport HD. I have to use an older version of GPS software so I can get corrections for gathered positions from a base receiver through the internet. I can run the older software through VMware player and even in it's own window on Windows 8.1. They call this unity mode where it looks like a regular windows 8.1 program running only with XP style frame and gadgets up top. With a folder icon along the top of the window. If you want internet. Just set it up within the older version of the OS and it works all integrated with the host OS. I only use internet to get corrections as I didn't install an XP virus scanner on it. So be aware your virtual OS will be vulnerable if you go web browsing within it. For me not an issue because I am only using a secure government site.

When you have $8000 of equipment and software you don't just toss it aside for the latest when it works just as well as new. Does exactly the same thing and as accurate.



XP screen