Design your own twill, with the new Twill Generator

There are a lot of fabulous twill drafts out there, but how do you create something that is truly your own?

In the past, a weaver would sit down with some graph paper and start sketching. It takes significant time to fill in the threading, tie up and treadling, then fill in a repeat or two in a drawdown.

If they weren’t happy with it, they simply started all over again. No WONDER people didn’t make a lot of “new” twill designs!

Thankfully we have computers, and programs (like the Draft Editor, at that make this process a LOT faster.

If you want to create a design from scratch you can use design software,  design one repeat and then copy/paste it, but that still takes a while. Even more so if you want to advance the repeat, mirror it, or you want to compare several options to see what you like best.

The Handweaving Academy has a solution: our brand new Twill Generator. This handy tool speeds up design creation and lets you audition threadings without having to click each individual warp end and weft pick into existence. Once that’s done, you can consider the results and as many variations as you like in the weaving software of your choice.

Here’s a fun draft created using the Twill Generator:

Generating twills without a particular use in mind can be fun – but that’s not all the Twill Generator is good for. To see how powerful it can be, let’s look at all of the factors that you can play with to design your very own twill!

The first and (hopefully easiest!) choice that you make is how many shafts you want to work with. The Twill Generator can handle anywhere from 3 to 64 shafts, so it can be used by weavers no matter what loom they have – whether it’s a multi-shaft computer-driven loom or a rigid heddle loom.

The Generator automatically selects an appropriate tie up, but you can easily change this to suit your own preferences.

Once you are happy with the tie-up, take a look at what the default settings give you in the threading. This is quickly changed, in a myriad of ways.

Is the generated twill too pointy? Too choppy? Too boring or too busy?

If it’s okay but not perfect, with one click, you can make a new one with similar characteristics. Regenerating the threading a few times will give you a sense for the “flavor” of the current combination.

You can regenerate to your hearts’ content, or you can start customizing things.

You can quickly change the distance between reversals, add positive or negative advances to each repeat, mirror points, break your twill lines, or tweak the length of the repeats for easier or more complicated threading. It’s easy!

With only four clicks, I started with a repeat

Then added a second repeat

Then I mirrored those repeats

Then I wanted to try adding some breaks in the twill lines

Each time you generate a new design, the generator allows you to download the .wif file for that particular draft, which you can save, and open later (or right away!) in your favourite weaving software to play with even more.

This means that with just a few more clicks, I could open the drawdowns for these threading/tie up combinations (the images below all have the same tie up, but it would be fun to play with that too!) and see what I had created.

One extra “snazzy” feature of the Generator is that it keeps track of the total number of warp ends for each design. This means that if you need to keep this number in a particular range, you can quickly adjust the settings to be sure you get the number of ends you want for your design.

Once you have your design saved in .wif form, you can open up any weaving software and add in borders, colour, and different treadlings to achieve the design that you were looking for.

The Generator is a lot of fun! If you’d like to join us down the rabbit hole of randomly generated twills, join the Academy. Just subscribe for a month and explore! We’ve got a money-back guarantee, so there’s absolutely no risk.

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From the Course Catalog:

What is a Twill? – This course will give you a deeper understanding of the properties of a twill, and what the commonly used terms mean.

Designing in the Tie-Up – This class shows you how changing the tie up changes the weave, and how to change it to get the designs that you want.

From the Weavers Toolbox: