Twill WAL- things to gather

Hello folks,

I've had a request to run a Twill WAL starting in March/April time, as this would require two heddles of the same dpi.

We have three already.

Here's what you will need to gather for the project.

2 heddles that are the same dpi.

Determining what dpi you need:

Choose your yarn, cotton or another non-sticky yarn is ideal, though I've been working with wool and can give you some tips if you choose a wool. You will want a fairly thing yarn, calculate or reference the epi that is recommended for a twill weave. I find Halyon Yarn to be invaluable for this. All their yarns give you recommended tabby and twill setts.

Now the slightly tricky bit, you need a heddle that is .75 that epi. Weaving a twill on 2 heddles increases the epi by 1.5

Twills work really well with stripes, both int he warp and the weft. If you're feeling brave you could try a colour gamp or a tartan!

Please feel free to ask what questions this may bring!




Posted on Wed, 01/27/2010 - 20:50

Hi Erica,

Wow, I had no idea that 2 heddles increases the sett by 1.5, good to know that. And it's great because I want to do a color gamp, I have 2 heddles, both 10 dpi, and I want to use up some of my 8/2 cotton which is best with a sett of 20-24.  I may be okay. 

Do I need to know anything else about a color gamp? Just need to pick an odd number of several colors, right?


Posted on Fri, 01/29/2010 - 02:48

Thanks Erica for this information. I have two 12.5 dpi heddles and so will have to figure out how I can make my yarns fit to those.


Posted on Fri, 01/29/2010 - 22:09


I should have explained that better, if you do a plain weave you actually double the dpi with 2 heddles. However with the twill weave, you increase the sett by 150%.

I hope that makes sense,


Posted on Sun, 02/14/2010 - 16:14

I have 3/2 cotton that setts at 10 EPI for tabby.  For twill it requires a Sett of 15, therefore I will use 2 x 7.5 dpi heddles which will give the 15 EPI I need. Does that clarify any?

Posted on Tue, 02/16/2010 - 11:03

You do not double the sett for using 2 heddles to weave a twill you multiple the heddle size by 1.5, because you are essentially not using the slot in the back. I'm not sure how else to describe this, but trust me when setting up a twill you are not doubling the sett of the heddle. The threading for a twill is a bit different from doing plain weave on two heddles, which is what leads to havine 1.5 times the heddle sett rather than two times!

So if you need 15 epi you need to use 2 10 epi heddles.

Hope that makes sense, if not just trust me for now and when you set up the loom and start weaving it should click!


Posted on Wed, 02/17/2010 - 00:39

Are you saying that for a sett of 15 for my 3/2 I actually need 2x10 dpi?  This may be why I have troubles! I have been threading as shown on the ashford site and the threading doubles the sett! I can't wait to start and discover the difference.  I think I will also purchase a colour gamp to try out.  Thanks jahanara.  I will wait for March but it is hard!!

Posted on Wed, 02/17/2010 - 12:53

yes that's correct. I'll post a draft for the twill WAL soon, I don't have the JPG on this computer. You will have a 3 thread repeat.

Thread 1 through the slot in the back heddle and the hole in the front heddle

Thread 2 the hole in the back heddle and the slot to the left in the front heddle

Thread 3 through slots in both heddles, note these slots need to line up/not make this thread cross over the other two.

Then repeat this threading across the width of your heddle.

I did my back heddle first then the front heddle. Doing it this way the pattern is:

slot, hole, slot, repeat.

Let me know if this makes sense!



Posted on Fri, 02/19/2010 - 01:36

From these instructions I assume we are working right to left from the front of the loom.  Am I correct?

And while it is slot, hole, slot for the back heddle, the front heddle is hole, slot. skip hole, slot repeat?

Do you skip a hole in the back between repeats?

Posted on Sun, 02/21/2010 - 15:27


This may be a little off topic but I'm wondering how you made that diagram for threading the RH?  I am teaching a RH workshop this weekend and tried to make some such diagrams and ending up photocopying and drawing.

Posted on Sun, 02/21/2010 - 15:27


This may be a little off topic but I'm wondering how you made that diagram for threading the RH?  I am teaching a RH workshop this weekend and tried to make some such diagrams and ending up photocopying and drawing.

Posted on Sun, 02/21/2010 - 15:38

If we read your pictures from the right to the left and it you just want 3 threads then it reads as

2 3 1 3 and then repeats.

A good rule in 2-heddle weaving is to never have more than 2 threads in a slot.  You have three threads in each slot of heddle 2.  This would make is a lot harder to get a clear shed.

Your picture is a good example of using 2 heddles to weave 4 shaft patterns.  From right to left it reads

3 2 1 4 3 2 1

Posted on Sun, 02/21/2010 - 16:20

Ok, so we are only dealing with three threads then and would follow the threading pattern Erica posted earlier. 

Thank you for your explanation Susan. I was unable to get a clear shed trying to weave a 4s pattern with 2 heddles.  I concluded you need 3 heddles to do it without going nuts and I gave it up.

I am now working on how to thread for a Bronson lace 3s pattern.  Here is the draft:

I am assuming my threading is the same regardless of the draft so I would thread 2-3-1-3. The pattern is determined by the "treadling" or how you lift the  heddle to create the floats of Bronson lace.  I would love some feedback on this. My brain is having trouble transferring from 4 and 8s looms to the rh. 


Posted on Sun, 02/21/2010 - 17:40


On your draft there are two small red arrows which mean that is the starting point.  Weave drafts are always read right to left so your draft reads 1 2 1 2 3 2 3 2 which is the warping order.

With the two heddles matched hole to hole and slot to slot and the heddles facing you as if you are sitting at the loom:

Warp thread 1 is put through the hole of Heddle 1 (which is in front of Heddle 2) and then threaded in the slot to the RIGHT of the matching hole in Heddle 2.

Warp thread 2 is put through the slot to the LEFT of the just threaded Heddle 1 hole and threaded through the Heddle 2 hole which is behind the Heddle 1 hole threaded with warp 1.

Repeat these two steps once more.  Please note that there is only one warp thread through EACH slot and each hole.

Now for the rest of the draft.

Warp thread 3 is put through the SAME slot of Heddle 1 that has the last warp thread 2 (there will be two threads in this slot) but warp thread 3 is put through the empty slot of Heddle 2.

Here is the tricky part.  Skip the next hole in Heddle 1 and thread warp thread 2 through adjacent slot in Heddle 1 and the Heddle 2 hole that is adjacent to the slot with two threads in it and behind empty Heddle 1 hole.

Repeat the last two steps. 

For the part of the draft that reads 1 2 1 2 Heddle 1 will have two warp threads  in the slots while there will only be one warp thread in the Heddle 2 slots.

For the part of the draft that reads 3 2 3 2, there will be no threads in the holes of Heddle 1 and two theads in the slots of Heddle 1.  Heddle 2 will have one thread in each slot and each hole.

In working with two or more heddles, try to keep the warp threads going in as straight of a line as possible.  If they don't, it will be a lot harder to get a clear shed.

When possible try to keep the number of threads in each slot to a minimum.

I hope that my verbal explanation makes sense.  With your earlier post there was a very nice drawing of the two heddles and the threading.  How did you get that?  For me I just take a piece of paper and draw two lines of holes and just pen in the warp threading sequence.

Posted on Sun, 02/21/2010 - 22:18

Hi Susan,

That is great, thanks so much.  Now, I understand what to do and I have a test warp on my loom and will thread it during the Olympics skating events later, if I can get my eyes off the TV.


Posted on Tue, 02/23/2010 - 20:22

Not quite this looks like it's plain weave on two heddles at double density.

The back heddle will be slot, hole, slot, repeat

The front heddle will be hole, slot, slot.

So rather than 3 threads in each slot, you only have 2, which is why the density is 1.5 times the heddles dpi.

I hope this helps,


Posted on Sat, 02/27/2010 - 01:19

Hi Erica,

Do we have a start date?  I have found the yarns I want to use and am reading an article by Betty Davenport from 1994 about threading 2 rigid heddles.  I am hoping to start threading tonight or tomorrow.


Posted on Sun, 02/28/2010 - 16:39

Are we all ready? Can we be warped up in a week or so? Do you need any further explanations of warping?

What are you all planning to weave?

I'm weaving fabric to be used to make a Medieval hood for re-enactment.



Posted on Sun, 02/28/2010 - 17:53

What draft are we using?  The 3s point twill?  And is this the threading draft?

Maybe there should be a separate WAL draft.  What do you think?


Posted on Mon, 03/01/2010 - 09:13

I was thinking a straight twill, see draft below. Note: 1= slot in back, hole in front, 2 hole in back slot in front, 3 slots in both.



If you're feeling adventurous you could try the diamond/lozenge will with me, my draft looks like this:


Posted on Mon, 03/01/2010 - 13:00

thank you for this! One thing I need cleared up. On the front heddle... 2 goes through a slot in the front heddle. Does 3 go through the SAME slot in the front heddle?-so there are 2 threads in that one slot?


Posted on Mon, 03/01/2010 - 13:17

I like the threading draft for the diamond or broken twill.  What are you using for the treadling draft?  Is it just tromp as writ?  I believe so, but would have to get my graph paper out.  I haven't had the time to study and learn computer weaving programming yet.  Not my forte.


Posted on Mon, 03/01/2010 - 19:01

I just used Excel for the draft, then had to copy and paste it into a Photoshop document, though I'm sure you could use picture manager as well, to create an image that I can upload here. I tried just pasting straight from Excel, but Weavolution told me my post was too long!

Yeah just follow the guides on the right for which heddle to "pick up". I say "pick up" because you put one and two down to get three "up".

Hope this helps,


Posted on Wed, 03/03/2010 - 13:22

Ok, I started threading last night after I beamed the warp.  I put the heddle with all the threads in it in the back slot and threaded from there.  Some of the slots have 3 threads and some have 2 if I follow the threading for the diamond pattern.  Is that correct?  I hope to finish today but it took a long time to sort everything through.  Also, I used adding machine tape and wrote down the threading pattern in rows of 4 threads each before I started.  I learned this trick from Jean Scorgie in an issue of Weaver's Craft and I find my threading has improved greatly since I started using it all the time.  Peggy Osterkamp also suggests threading in groups of 4 threads.

Claudia, anxious to sample

Posted on Wed, 03/03/2010 - 14:32

I have PixeLoom which is very easy to use.  Personally I get lost using Excel.  LOL

Here is the draft for the 3S 1/2 Diamond Twill.

When direct warping, each slot of Heddle 2 (back heddle) will have 3 warp threads.  After Heddle 1 is added and warped, Heddle 1 will have one thread in each hole and two in each slot.  Heddle 2 will have two threads in each slot and one thread in each hole EXCEPT where the pattern changes with that single 1.  At that change Heddle 2 will have an empty hole. 

Just PM me if anyone needs help in the threading the two heddles for this.


Posted on Wed, 03/03/2010 - 17:29

Pardon my ignorance, but what does WAL stand for?  I've gathered that it is a group weaving, but I'm not sure as to what the acronym stands for.



Posted on Wed, 03/03/2010 - 17:30

Hi Susan,

Can you show the draft with 2 colors.  Oh, how I wish Pixeloom was available for the Mac.  The other Mac choices are complex and I can't find the time to sit and learn them.


Posted on Wed, 03/03/2010 - 17:32

Oh, WAL is a weave a long or we are all weaving a variation of the same theme.

Hope you'll be joining us.  Erica is leading it but we all pitch in and help out.


Posted on Wed, 03/03/2010 - 18:02

Yes, I can show the draft with as many colors as you want.

Please tell me how you want the two colors to be?  Do you want one color for the warp and another for the weft?  Do you want me to use different colors for the three warp threads?

Once I make the draft I can save it as a JPG through PixeLoom.  I have to say that it is so easy to insert a picture in Weavolution.  Maybe I will get the courage up and select a picture!  LOL

Posted on Wed, 03/03/2010 - 18:07

Thanks, I'd like to -- when's the start date?

Just got some new heddles -- 2 12.5dpi and 2 more 7.5dpi (for total of 3 -- I plan to work on projects from Weaving with Three Rigid Heddles), and my loom empty at the moment. 

I'd promised to weave some worsted weight my 5yr old daughter dyed, but that should just take a couple of evenings as plainweave....  I think the worsted is too heavy to weave as twill on the 7.5 dpi, otherwise I'd do her project as the twill.

Hmmm, here's a question -- what happens to a twill if the warp and weft are unbalanced?  Say the warp in a thinner yarn and the weft in worsted?

A quick google for unbalanced twill just returns things like 3-1 and 2-3.

Posted on Wed, 03/03/2010 - 18:09

I, personally, would just like to see the warp in one color and the weft in another. 

I have a sampling warp on my loom right now and need to focus on getting it threaded correctly.  I have the warp beamed and need to reinsert the cross to thread it so the threads don't get messed up.


Posted on Wed, 03/03/2010 - 22:15

I just finished the entire book Weaving With Three Heddles.  I wove a sampler for all the drafts.  I have got to take pictures and post them.  (On my ToDo list)

I used worsted weight cotton as I had it in my stash at 8 EPI which is what he recommends for sampling.

I will give you a heads up.  It is very difficult to do plain weave (clear sheds) with three heddles on a RH loom but when you switch to Twill and Double Weave everything falls into place.  Our guild had a woman give a talk on historical weaving and historical looms.  She maintained that many of the very old looms were designed for one type of weaving.  I believe that a RH loom with three heddles was designed and used for weaving Twills.

With an unbalance weave, your preception of the pattern will be different.  The pattern may disappear or it will be more visible.

Posted on Thu, 03/04/2010 - 20:40

If I have some silk that wraps 20 times in an inch- should i use two 8's or two 10's when it comes to heddles? I'd like a fairly dense fabric (for silk) with a good drape.  probably a scarf. and i''m going to try this diamond twill.  Any advise?

Posted on Sat, 03/06/2010 - 20:05

I would use the two 8's.

My advice is this... If you have a way to have one heddle in the neutrel position and one in the down position (without this one being precarious) that you thread both heddles at once. I've done this this time adn I think it's helping prevent threading errors! You can do this one of two ways, either direct warp going twice through every other slot, or use Peggy Osterkamp's method. Use whatever works to get the threads on the back beam.

Hope that helps.



Posted on Sun, 03/07/2010 - 14:08

That makes sense.

I'm warping (right now (well not *right* now, I'm typing on the computer)) and am using yarn which is the same size for both warp and weft.  I'll try the warp faced fabric another time (soonish).


I might be overly ambitious for my first twill -- in loom I'm weaving ~30" and am shooting for ~24-26" when washed, with a finished length of ~50" -- making a shawl *loosely* patterned on one I saw on (same basic idea, very different pattern).

But it should be fun!

Posted on Sun, 03/07/2010 - 14:11

I'd been a little confused by the "either direct warp going twice through every other slot" idea.  I parsed it as "go 2x through one slot, slip a slot, repeat".  But I quickly realized that this wasn't going to work ;-)


I'm doing direct warp where I go 2x through one slot, then 1x the next...

Posted on Wed, 03/10/2010 - 22:52

WAL is Weave A Long...


Timing here is good. I've been doing a bit too much challenging weaving lately with all the LEDs and such, I need a break and have been accumulating a nice stash-let of painted yarns intended for RH scarves in the warp.  I 'm toying with doing a twill, searched here and voila! There you all are getting ready for a WAL with twill .  Very cool.  So, I'm wading through the discussions and trying to sort out the questions from the answers! AT any rate, I'm looking forward to WAL-ing with you!



Posted on Fri, 03/12/2010 - 15:55

I'm familiar with reading weaving drafts for shaft looms, but not sure how to translate it for an RH. I can just look at the threads and work it out I guess, but is there a convention for reading it off the draft?  I have my loom threaded and a sample, it seems to weave weft face up, but not warp faced up, is that right?  I go both heddles down, front up/back down, then back up front dangling. If I put the front actually all the way down for that last shed I don't get a good shed on my Emilia. 

Claudia-- I"m 100% with you on the drafting programs. I have Pro-weave, and can get it to work, but it seems to think differently than I do.



Posted on Fri, 03/12/2010 - 16:39

Hey Marie,

The threading is different.  You have to thread it correctly or the pattern doesn't work. 

Erica posted an earlier note.  For the thread on shaft 1 you thread the hole in the front heddle and the slot to the right of that equivalent hole in the back heddle.  For shaft 2 you use the slot to the left of the first hole in heddle 1 and the hole to the left of the thread for shaft 1 in the 2nd heddle.  For shaft 3 it's the slot in heddle 1 (same slot as shaft 2 thread) and the slot in heddle 2 that is next to the hole for shaft 2.

I'll look for the diagram for you.


Posted on Sun, 01/26/2020 - 22:56

<p>I am reviewing the Twill WAL thread and my best guess is that commenters often attach diagrams in the form of images. Occasionally, I suspect a URL, when I read, &quot;here is the post that...&quot;. I do not&nbsp;see any of the diagrams or URLs. Where or how do I find them?</p>

Posted on Fri, 03/12/2010 - 16:49

I used jahanara's post #22,  the back heddle is threaded with 2 per slot and 1 per hole as i the front, but the front is offset by one, so the 2 in a slot in back end up with on in a slot on in a hole in front. I checked and that diagram is the same as her post #8.