Friday, June 19, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

Anyone who has ever woven crackle knows that one of the givens is floats of 3 in the weft pattern. No fewer. No more.

Zielinski addresses this in Volume 8 of the Master Weaver Library. The section is called “Crackle with Floats of Four.” I read this and immediately wondered if I couldn’t do this with 8-block crackle woven on 4 shafts. I set to work and here is what I came up with.

Clarifying the blocks by color

To help keep things straight and facilitate my ability to understand what was going on, I did some color coding.


There are 8 separate threading blocks. Each threading block has its own color warp thread. There are two units in each block. The blocks are threaded in straight twill order.

Looking closely at the draft shows an occasional black warp end. These are incidentals needed to adjust the joins between blocks. I wanted these incidental warp yarns to be black so that I would easily recognize them as such.

The blocks on either end are identical; I did that so I could check out block transitions in repeating the threading.

Each treadling represents a separate threading block. In each of those threadling blocks there is a at least one threading block which shows the 4-thread weft float. So I assigned a light version of the warp color in the block in which it first appears across the row to that threading.


The first two treadles show the floats in two different threading blocks. In the case of the first shot, floats appear both in the red block (hence the pink weft) and the brown block. In the case of the second shot, floats appear both in the navy block (hence the light blue weft) and in the orange block.

With the third shot, the violet weft, there are the 4-shot floats in the purple threading block. Then that violet seems to come close with a 4-float and a 3-float warp in the green threading block. But when I went back to the original drawdown and checked more carefully, I saw a threading error I had made in the design. I corrected it (it is NOT corrected in the above image).

The green shot has its 4-thread float in the green threading block. It also has one 4-thread float falling between the green and the red-violet threading blocks. That placement suggests that I have made a mistake with the black incidental warp end there. I checked and it turned out that if I removed the end and the end to the right of it, all was well. (Again, this correction is NOT shown in the above image).

The fifth and sixth shots have 4-float wefts occurring only in their respective threading blocks.


So, 3 treadles result in 4-float wefts showing in two different threading blocks. The other 3 treadles result in 4-float wefts showing in only one threading block. Is this true in Zielinski’s structure with 3 floats? I will color code them.


This color coding has been enormously helpful in revealing problems. And it is giving me more understanding of crackle. Not only am I going to color code Zielinski’s crackle, I am going to color code regular 4-shaft crackle. I know that with regular 4-shaft crackle two blocks always appear with each treadling. But I have never understood how to figure that out. I think color coding will help.


Color coding looks to be a promising tool! And weaving 8-block-on-4-shaft crackle with weft floats of more than 3 seems it might be viable.

Related Post:
Crackle Threading Review
Crackle: The Incidental Threads

Crackle with Floats of Four (or More)” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on June 19, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina


Delighted Hands said...

This is amazing to me and appeals on several levels. Thanks for sharing your explorations-looking forward to updates.

Peg in South Carolina said...

Thank you, Delighted Hands.