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Learn By Doing: Turned Twill and Color Effects

One way to understand a structure is by studying it, but putting it on your loom will further solidify what you have learned.

Susan E. Horton Sep 5, 2023 - 2 min read

Learn By Doing:  Turned Twill and Color Effects Primary Image

Turned Twill and Color Effects Towels by Alice Schlein; Photo by Joe Coca.

If you are familiar with California Polytechnic State University, you know their motto of “Learn by Doing.” Here is the school‘s official definition: “Learn by Doing is a deliberate process whereby students, from day one, acquire knowledge and skills through active engagement and self-reflection inside the classroom and beyond it.” I believe it is an effective way to learn.

In weaving, learn by doing could translate to not only reading about a structure but working up drawdowns and then sampling on a loom to know more about how the structure works with yarn and color. This article by Alice Schlein from Handwoven January/February 2001, will put you on the path to a better understanding of turned twill, and you don’t have to sample to understand it intrinsically. Instead you can warp your 4-shaft loom and weave three towels using the instructions within the article.

While I encourge you to learn more about the structure using graph paper, a pencil, and a big eraser, we have made this a bit easier by providing WIFs in the Handwoven Library for each of the towels. The towels require four shafts, but to tie up your loom for a standard treadling you would need 10 treadles, four more than what most 4-shaft looms have. To help with that, we have included three other WIFs in the Library that allow for weaving the towels using only four treadles but require two feet in some spots.

Download the article using the button below. Find the WIFs in the Library and start learning about turned twills and color effects on a 4-shaft loom while you weave a beautiful set of twill towels.

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