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Learn by Doing: Turned Twill and Color Effects on Eight Shafts!

I recently wrote about turned twills on four shafts. With this downloadable PDF, you can learn more about turned twills and color effects—but this time using eight shafts. Your reward? Three beautiful towels to weave!

Susan E. Horton Oct 3, 2023 - 2 min read

Learn by Doing: Turned Twill and Color Effects on Eight Shafts! Primary Image

Three 8-Shaft Turned Twill Color Effects Towels by Alice Schlein. Photo by Joe Coca

This is the second part of a series of three articles by Alice Schlein about using color when designing turned twills. The first part, Turned Twill and Color Effects, used 4-shaft drafts for examples and included a towel pattern that could be used to weave three similar but very different towels, depending on your weft-color choices and your treadling sequences. This article builds on that experience for 8-shaft weavers. This article originally appeared in Handwoven March/April 2001. If you are interested in twills in general, I highly recommend that issue, which has “twills” as its theme.

An 8-shaft turned twill draft allows you to treadle a 3/1 twill and a 1/3 twill at the same time, something you can’t do with only four shafts. This, in turn, opens the door to more complex patterning as you can see in the towels in the photo above. It’s really all in the tie-up! You stack a 1/3 twill on top of a 3/1 twill on one side of your tie up and then reverse them on the other side. You’ll see what I mean when you download the PDF using the button below. For those of you who like to play with your own colors, change and adjust treadling sequences, weave with a dobby, or simply use WIF printouts to thread and treadle, the three WIFs that correspond to these towels have been added to the Handwoven Library.

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