Quiet Friday: Undoing

I see a treadling error about 24 picks back. Don’t you hate it when that happens? Backing up is not hard, but it does take some guts if you do it the way I propose. (I first observed it done this way by Becky Ashenden at Vavstuga, though I don’t claim to enjoy it nearly as much as she does.) It is time for some undoing.

Disclaimer: Try at your own risk. Do not attempt the following if you do not know how to repair a broken (or cut) warp end. And do have fun! (I have not cut any warp ends with this method… yet, but it could happen.)

1. Notice the error as soon as possible. Stop weaving. Loosen the warp tension enough to make it easy to spread the warp ends apart.

Treadling error detected. Steps show how to fix it.


2. With one hand, spread the warp ends apart at the center of the warp’s width. With your other hand, begin clipping the weft threads between the spread warp ends. Do not try to do this without good lighting. And if you must have coffee first, no more than one cup.

Tutorial for removing weaving errors.


4. Continue carefully clipping the weft threads. Only clip as far as you can easily insert the point of the clippers.

A bold way to fix weaving errors!


5. Treadle as for the last pick woven, and pull out the top weft thread on each side of the cut. Treadle the pattern in reverse, and with each step on the treadle pull out the top thread on each side.

Removing weft threads to fix an error. Step by step.


6. Continue treadling in reverse and pulling out the top thread on each side. Repeat steps 2 through 6 until you have removed the weft error.

Undoing a weaving mistake. Tutorial.


7. Tighten the warp tension for weaving. Weave as if nothing ever happened. Except, pay attention this time!

Goose eye twill towel on the loom. Karen Isenhower


May you have all the do-overs you ever need.

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Happy Weaving,

14 thoughts on “Quiet Friday: Undoing

  1. The first time I saw Becky do that, I think I held my breath! Great photos–they bring back that feeling of terror/wonder.

    1. I’m sure I held my breath, too, Deb! Becky showed a little too much glee when she found an error in my weaving, “Would you like me to rip it out for you?” Definitely a feeling of terror and wonder.

  2. I knew just what you were about to do as soon as I read the first few words!! Some things really do stick with you. Perhaps it was Becky’s enjoyment that made the mark on my brain. Happy weaving my friend.

    1. Gretchen, it does take some bravery, but if you make the cuts carefully, it’s a quicker way to undo; and I think it’s less abrasion on the warp than “unweaving” with a shuttle.

  3. Great technique. If you have ever sewn & had to rip out on fine fabric, it’s a similar method & just as scary the first time you do it! Thanks for the instructions & excellent photos.

    1. Good point, Andrea! I once watched someone demonstrate ripping out a seam using a single-edged razor blade. I think I tried it one time and decided to go back to my trusty old safe seam ripper.


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