Editor's Picks: Runners to Brighten Your Table

The editors of Handwoven chose their favorite woven table runner patterns from the Best of Handwoven eBooks. Which will you weave?

Handwoven Editors Sep 1, 2021 - 5 min read

Editor's Picks: Runners to Brighten Your Table Primary Image

Tom Knisely's Wandering Vine Table Runner from Handwoven March/April 2014 Photo by Joe Coca

Weavers love table runners, and for good reason! Runners allow you to minimize waste and time spent finishing, and they are wonderful for practicing a new weaving technique or weave structure. Whether you weave them on four shafts, eight shafts, or a rigid heddle, there's a lot to learn by weaving runners. I asked the weaving editors to share their favorite table runner patterns from Handwoven's wonderful eBooks on four- and eight-shaft runners, and here are their selections! ~Andrea

Anita Osterhaug recommends: "Runner in Four-Shaft, Four-Block Doubleweave" by Jean Scorgie with Gloria Martin, from Top Ten Table Runner Patterns on Four Shafts

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This Table Runner in Four-shaft, Four Block Doubleweave by Jean Scourgie with Gloria Martin is just one of many woven table runner patterns in Handwoven's eBook, Top Ten Runners on Four Shafts.

With just four shafts, you can combine color-and-weave effects with doubleweave and greatly increase your design potential. This runner's design in 4-shaft, 4-block doubleweave is not only an attractive table linen, the design is mind-boggling.

Jean combines two layers of plain weave with a color-and-weave threading, then uses the shafts in different combinations to make checkerboard patterns in solid colors and stripes of log cabin-type patterning. A non-weaver will find this runner handsome; any weaver will also be dazzled to hear that it is woven on only 4 shafts.

Christina Garton recommends: "Mock Damask" Table Runners by Tuija Hannakainen, from Top Ten Table Runner Patterns on Eight Shafts

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Try weaving this pair of runners in mock damask, each with a unique weft color for very different effects. They are slightly weft faced so weft color choice is important.

One of the things I love best about the Organ Mountains that look over my town are the way they change colors as the sun sets. They start off in the day as your typical brownish-desert mountain color, but as soon as the sun starts going down, they transform as they turn first orange, then pink, and then purple before the sun finally dips below the horizon.


These gorgeous runners by Tuija Hannikainen remind me of those sunsets on the mountain with their subtle and beautiful color palettes. The dusky colors woven in such a striking, elegant design make for a set of runners that I would be more than happy to display on my New Mexican table.

Anne Merrow recommends: "Table Runner with Twill and Leno Borders" by Linda Ligon, from Top Ten Table Runner Patterns on Four Shafts

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Woven table runner projects like this twill and leno runner are wonderful for practicing a new weaving technique. "They're samplers you can use!"

This runner can be woven with butcher's twine, making it a very inexpensive project. It's also a perfect intro to leno lace!

As a rigid-heddle weaver, I’m always looking for patterns that I can translate for my rigid-heddle loom, and this sweet and simple runner by Handwoven founder and Long Thread Media co-founder, Linda Ligon fits the bill.

I love the clever use of hand-manipulated leno to highlight the stripe of colorful twill at either end. It’s such an elegant addition to the piece; the little bit of lace just makes it that much more special.

While I doubt I’ll do pick-up twill to recreate this runner on my rigid heddle, I think some colorful striping, perhaps a bit weft dominant in nature, would give a similar effect.

Andrea recommends: "Harvest Berry Runner in Warp Rep" by Jean Scorgie, from Top Ten Table Runners on Four Shafts

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Warp rep is a classic weave structure that's very useful for household goods like runners. Master the technique with this runner and and then experiment away!

Warp rep is a wonderful structure for runners, sturdy, firm, and durable. Plus, you can easily create a reversible runner with two dramatically different sides!

A great example is Jean Scorgie’s “Harvest Berry Runner,” which is mainly raspberry with turquoise accents on one side and rust-colored with purple accents on the other. Projects like this take some time and care to warp, but are fast to weave, as the thick weft used to create the ribs makes for relatively few picks per inch.

I haven’t woven any table runner patterns before, but my goal is to create one in time for Thanksgiving this year. I think this one’s a great candidate with its rich berry colors.

Andrea Lotz

Published July 19, 2016 Revised September 1, 2021