The Warp and Weft Floats in Weaving

In the past year I’ve been exploring different variations in plain weaving on a rigid heddle loom. Rigid heddle loom weaving consists of warp and weft threads (or yarn). The warp thread is held vertically (lengthwise) under tension while the weft thread is passed horizontally through the warp threads by the weaver.

One way to add some texture to a plain weave is to have warp, weft or both warp and weft floats. Pictured below is a woven scarf and a woven wrap/shawl that has both warp and weft floats. These floatsThe scarf was woven with same cotton yarn for both its warp and weft. The wrap/shawl was woven with two different colors of wool yarn for its warp and weft.

Floats are skips (not passed through) in the warp or weft threads and are created by using a pickup stick. A warp float is when the warp thread skips over two or more weft threads and a weft float is when the weft thread skips over the two or more warp threads (see picture below). Both warp and weft floats are created by how the pickup stick is placed behind the heddle. For the warp float, the pickup stick is turned on its side behind the heddle and for the weft float the pickup stick is turned on its edge behind the heddle.

These woven items are just the beginning of my exploration of the various combinations and textures created by a pickup stick and one heddle. I look forward to learning more about the different weaving techniques on a rigid heddle loom and how to combine them with some knit or crochet stitch patterns.