Inkle Weaving
Inkle Weaving HomeInkle Weaving InstructionsInkle Weaving PhotosInkle Weaving PatternsInkle Weaving ResourcesContact Me

Making the Inkle Designs





The Loom










The designs that are possible in just your basic straight inkle weaving are limitless. The "style" of the designs is not. In creating inkle designs, you really only have two "rows" of design. The two rows repeat themselves. The finished design is row1, row2, row1, row2, row1, row2,...

I have created graph paper that is specially designed for inkle weaving. For every row on the graph paper, there are three columns. The reason for this is that, in order to weave a square on an inkle strip, it takes three threads of warp for every pass of weft. The warp passes over and under the weft while the weft remains straight. So, the warp has to travel half the circumference of the weft (which is 1/2 of PI times the diameter) but also has to travel an additional distance because the weft threads are not close enough to be actually touching each other (more like traveling half of an oval instead of half of a circle). Feel free to do the math <grin>. This ratio works out to approximately 3:1 and is changed when you use a weft that has a diameter different from the warp. With all that in mind, you can now create your inkle designs. Remember to repeat every two rows. For straight/plain inkle weaving, there can be no variation from that.

To write out an inkle design in the notation that is popular for inkle weaving, it would look like the following:


H = Heddle (warp through a heddle)
O = Open (warp NOT through a heddle)
W = White warp thread
B = Black warp thread

Total # of threads ==> 54

The above would result in a black and white check design with white edges using 27 heddles and a total of 54 warp wraps. The "O" at the left side of the top row indicates the threads that are wrapped through the "Open" areas. These are the threads that do not pass through heddles and are the ones that will be moved up and down to create sheds. The "H" at the left side of the bottom row in the design chart indicates the threads that will pass through "Heddles". For the warping process, the design chart is read from bottom to top and left to right. So, using the above design, the first thread of warp that goes on the loom will pass through a heddle and is white. The second thread is white and does not get passed through a heddle. The third is white and goes through a heddle. And so on. This next chart gives you an idea of the order of the threads.

O 2468 ... 
H 1357 ...

It seems a bit confusing at first but just takes working one project to get the hang of it. This is the way the previous notation would look on graph paper:

and this is how it would look as a finished band:

© 2000-2005Tracy DeGarmo