Who Says Plain Weave Must Be Plain?

Do you see the lengthwise raised ridges in this linen fabric? Don’t be fooled. The plain weave panel of this fabric is as flat as can be. Optical illusion. I have two slightly different colors of linen in the warp, unbleached and golden bleached. Instead of strictly alternating the colors, I threaded the warp ends “as they came,” to bring depth and interest to the plain weave fabric.

Dice weave on the loom. View from under the weaving.
View from under the weaving, the cloth is seen going over the knee beam. This dice weave, with 16/2 linen, has colorful squares of weft pattern floats. A panel of plain weave follows the patterned cloth.

We can be fooled by what we see. Lines and colors work together to create a false impression. Coming close enough to touch and examine is the best way to help the eyes see what is real. How many things do we misunderstand because we fail to come near enough to truly examine the evidence? We assume that a distant view is reliable.

Humility sets the stage for learning. It removes distance between us and what we need to learn. Instead of trusting only what we see, we step nearer to touch and examine the real thing. The humble are teachable. They know there are things they don’t know, and they are on a quest to learn. With weaving, and with matters of greater importance, like faith and truth, we must come close enough to touch and to learn.

May you hold valued fabric in your hands.

With much to learn,

6 thoughts on “Who Says Plain Weave Must Be Plain?

  1. this is from a weaving perspective only. It looks like your floats are over about 5 threads? You may find the floats pull out because there are no tie down threads. If this does happen consider putting in a couple of tie down threads with the floats, they can be evenly spaced or scattered. I’d like to know how this works when it’s off the loom. peace, love and joy, linda
    ps love the effect of the two colors of linen.

    1. Linda, you are correct, this weave has floats that are longer than usual. Dice weave is a simplified Monk’s belt, and the floats are part of the desired look. The floats are actually over 10 threads on the front and 14 threads on the back. I have a special way to secure the beginning and ending of the pattern weft so it won’t pull out. When the fabric is wet-finished it all pulls together beautifully. I have already wet-finished my sample, and I’m ready now to do the rest. I’ll show more in a later post.

      I’m glad you like the effect of mixing the colors in the warp. I’m pleased with how it came out.


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