Weft Dominant Weaving

Posted by Jodi Ybarra on

Holly Berry Placemats

This month we are going to learn about weaving a weft dominant weave structure.  

Weft dominant weaving provides a solid, sturdy fabric which is great for weaving placemats, runners, bags and anything that needs to have body and structure.

This is easily accomplished by choosing a thinner warp and combining it with a thicker weft. The weft threads will be dominant in the weaving, but we will still see the warp colors showing through. This technique can also be called weft rib-weave.  

Our project this month will be using 8/2 cotton in the warp, while the weft consists of Mop Cotton and 8/2 cotton.  Mop Cotton is a the very thick 4-ply cotton which can be substituted with a bulky yarn.

You can use the pattern that we provide with holiday colors or choose a color combination of your own.  We also offer this project as a kit if you would like to make these festive Holly Berry Placemats.

  • Gather your supplies ~ We've supplied a pattern in this blog for inspiration. You can also download this pattern as a PDF on our Cotton Clouds Rigid Heddle Weaving Facebook Group.  Just click on Files at the top of the group page and you will be able to retrieve your PDF to print.
  • I've chosen festive colors for the Christmas holiday, but we would love to see your own unique color selections too.  Our goal is to see as many different color combinations as possible! 
  • You can weave our "Holly Berry Placemats" from the pattern below in the colors we've chosen, or you can choose your own color pallet.  
  • We have our Holly Berry Placemats and matching Holly Berry Napkins project available as a kit if you'd like to weave the placemats and napkins shown in this blog or you can use your own yarn supply.  There are no rules, just have fun choosing and mixing colors.  We can't wait to be inspired by all of your woven creations. 
  • Let's get our looms warped and weave together!  I'm here for you every step of the way!  

Holly Berry Placemats 

Weave structure: plain weave

Rigid Heddle Loom (2-shaft); 14.5” weaving width; 12 dent reed; 2 shuttles

Warp Yarns: Aurora Earth 8/2 cottons Wine, Rose, Dark Green, Nile Green 165 yds each; Natural 660 yds

Weft Yarns:  Aurora Earth 8/2 cotton Natural 200 yds (thinner yarn); Mop Cotton (thick yarn) 136 yds

Total warp ends: 348 (174 doubled ends)

Warp length: 3.75 yds (allows for waste and sampling)

Setts: 12 epi (2 per slot/2 per hole);  ppi: (4 rug filler/3 Aurora Earth 8/2 cotton)

Finished size: four placemats 13.5” x 16” each placemat

Step 1:  Warping the Loom
Set up your loom to direct warp a length of 3.75 yards. 
Follow the warp order chart for 348 threads and 14.5” width.
Warp each slot with four threads.
Four threads Natural in a slot.
***Two threads Wine and two threads Dark Green in the next slot.
Four threads Natural in a slot.
Two threads Rose and two threads Nile Green in the next slot.
***Four threads Natural in a slot.
Repeat from *** to *** 21 times then end with two Wine and two Dark Green in a slot and four threads Natural in the last slot.

Step 2:  Sleying the Reed
Wind the warp onto the back beam and then transfer two threads from each slot into the holes making sure to still follow the warp order chart when moving the strands over to the holes.  All Wine and Rose threads will be in the slots.  All Dark Green and Nile Green threads will be in the holes.  The Natural threads will be in both slots and holes.  You will now have two threads in each slot and two in each hole.

Step 3:  Preparing the Shuttles
Wind one shuttle with single strand Natural Aurora Earth 8/2 cotton and another shuttle with Mop Cotton.  

Step 4:  Weaving
Weave a few rows using waste yarn to spread warp out evenly.
Begin placemat with 1 ½” Aurora Earth 8/2 cotton for the hem.
Continue weaving in plain weave alternating one row of 8/2 cotton and one row of mop cotton for 18” interlocking wefts along the sides consistently to get good selvedges. 
Finish with 1.5” 8/2 cotton for hem.
Weave 2-3 rows with a contrasting yarn then continue onto the next placemat.  

You can count how many weft rows in this first placemat and weave all placemats with the same number of rows to get the same size for all mats.

Step 5:  Finishing and Hemming
Weave a few rows of waste yarn after finishing all four placemats. Remove the placemats from the loom and sew a straight stitch across each end with sewing thread before cutting apart.  Using a hot iron, fold each hem over twice to get a nice flat edge.  Sew a straight stitch across securing each hem.  Hand wash in cold water and lay flat to dry.  Press with a warm iron if needed.

This project is available as a kit with all the yarns needed.

Enjoy or Gift Your Placemats!
I hope you enjoy weaving these Holly Berry Placemats.  I encourage you to weave some in your favorite colors!  

We also offer our Holly Berry Napkins to weave a matching set for a festive holiday table.  

Happy weaving! 

Jodi Ybarra

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