Today’s post is about honeycomb. The first thing to clear up is what I mean by honeycomb.  In old weaving books, and in UK and Europe, what I am talking about is distorted weft.  In the US it is known as honeycomb, and I am using that terminology because it looks like a honey-bee’s honeycomb to me.  What is known a honeycomb in UK and Europe is known as waffle in the US, because the result looks like a breakfast waffle.   Many of the new books on weaving are coming from the US and are widely known in the international weaving circle, so that is another reason for me to use the US terminology.

Anyway, on to the basics.  The honeycomb is created by using a minimum of two blocks in the threading.  Each of those blocks consists of 2 shafts, and the threading and liftplan looks like this.

As you can see, you only need plain weave to create honeycomb.  The cell that you are not weaving consists of warp floats and weft floats. 

You can use an outline weft, usually twice as thick as your cell weft, to weave plain weave all the way across the warp in between the two different cell positions.  If you lay in the weft with extra curve(by this I mean making the weft curve in an arc when you insert it instead of a diagonal straight line), then when you beat it up (firmly), the yarn starts to bend around the cells you have just woven, curving into the non-woven areas of warp and weft floats.  Then you weave the alternating cell, and repeat the outline 2 picks, again putting extra curve into the thicker yarn.  That will then start to bend around the cells and into the unwoven areas, thereby creating the undulating effect, and hence its UK name of distorted weft.  Also, as you start to weave the second block of cells, they will pack down into the non-woven area below them and form more of a rounded shape than a square block.

This cannot be seen on the drawdown as the rectilinear approach cannot depict what happens in the real world in this instance. 

Here’s what honeycomb looks like.

There is a lot you can do with honeycomb.  You can use as many shafts as you have on your loom so long as you use 2 shafts per cell.  With more shafts, you can play with how and where you place your cells.  I’m just about to include this topic in a seminar at Complex Weavers Seminars, using 10 shafts. 

If you play around with different outline wefts, and different fibre compositions to your cell wefts, you can get many different versions which look completely different from each other. 

I find honeycomb incredibly versatile and fun to use, and I hope you’ll explore it a little….

I’m going to take a short break whilst Complex Weavers Seminars and Convergence are on, and will resume posting some texture blogs later in August.  I hope you’ll join me then.  In the meantime, if you’ve a topic that you would like me to cover, drop me an email :  and let me know!  I’ll do my best to post a blog on it for you!