WeaveZine: an online magazine for handweavers—Archives

Woven Lace: Huck on a Twill Threading

Main Image

You don't need a lot of shafts to weave beautiful and unique cloth. For example, huck lace is a popular structure that can easily be woven on four shafts.

Having more shafts, however, gives you additional options, such as the ability to combine different weave structures and weave off a long warp in a variety of ways.

In the following, I demonstrate how to combine huck lace with the Wall of Troy twill threading in order to create a lovely cloth that can be woven on a four-shaft loom. Then I describe some of the additional options you have if you weave this on a sixteen-shaft loom.

First, let's take a look at huck lace. It is a structure that creates a lacy effect in cloth through a regular pattern of warp and weft floats.

Huck lace can be written and threaded in a variety of ways. Below are three variations of the traditional two-end huck lace, in which warp and weft floats are paired. 

Traditional Two-End Huck Lace

Diagram 1 (Download WIF)


Diagram 2 (Download WIF)

 Diagram 3 (Download WIF)
huck lace drawdown 3


Single-End Huck

Diagram 4 (Download WIF)
You can also weave huck lace with unpaired floats. In this single-end huck lace threading you can see a connection between point twill and huck.

With this in mind, I began experimenting with different twill threadings to create different huck variations.


One twill that caught my eye was the Wall of Troy twill threading.

I like to set up my loom so that I have more than one option for weaving off the cloth. 

By combining the Wall of Troy threading with a huck lace tie-up, I could weave the cloth in straight twill, a blended twill-huck structure, as well as other options.


  Wall of Troy Twill

  Diagram 5 (Download WIF)
Wall of Troy drawdown


Combining the Wall of Troy threading with the single-end huck tie-up and a point-twill treadling created an interesting and textured fabric.

Huck Lace on Wall of Troy Threading

Diagram 5 (Download WIF)

Note: If you look closely at the selvedges in the draft above, you will see that I interrupted the twill sequence. I did this to ensure a tidy selvedge without resorting to a floating selvedge.  If the threading and treadling are as noted, the outside warp ends will weave in plain weave.



I warped this four-shaft project warp on my sixteen-shaft AVL.  Even though I only needed four shafts to weave the structure, I spread the warp over all sixteen shafts as shown below.

(Download WIF)

By using all sixteen shafts, I could weave the warp off in a large variety of twill variations.  It’s one of the benefits of having more than four shafts.  Threadings can be designed so that you can use four different four-shaft patterns; two different eight-shaft patterns; a four-shaft and a twelve-shaft pattern (particularly useful if you want to thread a separate selvedge different from the body of the cloth) and so on. 

Combining different weaves works best if the pattern repeats share the same number of picks, or are divisible evenly, i.e., a twelve-shaft weave structure with 12  or 24 picks combined with a four-shaft weave structure with four picks. 

Another benefit of having more shafts comes when you want to weave closely-sett fine yarns or a hairy one: spreading the ends out over more shafts gives them more elbow room to move when creating a shed. 

Below is an example of one of the additional ways I can weave off the cloth because I've spread the warp over sixteen shafts. Having a dobby (which most sixteen-shaft looms do) makes it quick and easy to change out the tie-up and threading.

Wall of Troy in Twill Blocks

(Download WIF

sixteen shaft fabric detail



Project details

A generously proportioned shawl in fine cotton.



Wall of Troy twill threading on a huck-lace tie-up, treadled with a point-twill treadling.



Either a four or sixteen-shaft loom.



2/18 red mercerized cotton with 2/20 blue stripes. (2900 yards for one shawl, allowing one yard for loom waste and fringe.) 

The colors in this shawl are blended: mostly red with occasional random blue threads occurring along the selvedges and at center of the shawl. Then, wide five-inch stripes graduating from red to blue at either side. See the color diagram in the sectional warping instructions for more details.

Wind a warp of 828 ends, allowing 2-1/2 yards for each shawl and an extra yard for loom waste.

If you are warping sectionally, see the description below.



2/18 red mercerized cotton (2000 yards per shawl)



36 warp ends per inch

The shawl is woven to square, meaning there are 36 weft picks per inch.



On the loom: 23 inches wide, 86 inches long (before fringe).

After finishing: 17 inches wide, 64 inches long (excluding fringe).



Warping the Loom Sectionally

I warp sectionally, because it is an efficient and fast way to put long warps on a loom and, as a production weaver, every minute counts.



(Note: The pictures below show the warping process for this project in a blue colorway.) My loom has a one-inch sectional beam, so I loaded my spool rack with 28 red spools and 8 blue spools. (For a total of 36 threads per section.) Filled spool rack


Running the threads from the rack through a tension box, I wound them onto the sectional beam.

Tension box







I wound one warp section on each selvedge side, skipped five sectional spaces on each side, then filled in the eleven sections in the middle. 

The sections on each side were then wound with increasing numbers of blue and decreasing numbers of red spools, creating a shaded blue-and-red stripe on each side.

This patterning is shown in the following diagram.

color diagram

Wet Finishing 

The shawl was woven 86 inches long.  After it was cut from the loom, I inspected it, repaired any skips or errors, and then twisted the fringe.

The shawl was wet finished using a washing machine and the hot wash/cold rinse cycle.  It was dried until damp and then given a hard press.  The tufts on the fringes were trimmed off.



Laura FryLaura Fry has been weaving professionally for more than thirty years. In 1997, she was granted her Master Level by the Guild of Canadian Weavers. In 2004, she self-published a book, Magic in the Water: Wet Finishing Textiles. Her website is full of articles and tips about weaving.


Photography: Syne Mitchell and Laura Fry
Model: Marie Vlahos