Two Scarves in Scrumptious Supplementary Warp Weaving

What a joy it was to weave these two scarves in Supplementary Warp technique.


The idea for these came from seeing a similar piece on Pinterest, with a link back to the blog of “gangewifre-dot-blogspot-dot-com”, who, in turn, was inspired by the weaving of artist Juanita Giardin.  Circles within circles as ideas are passed on from one weaver to the next, and to the next in a craft that has endured for thousands of years.  Examples of supplementary warp fabrics can be found across many times, places and cultures, from as early as  5th century Southeast Asia, pre-Hispanic Peru and Ecuador, 18th century Europe and Scandinavia to modern times.  Contemporary weavers have an abundance of yarns and colours to choose from, keeping everything fresh and exciting.  Mine are woven in richly-coloured Tencel, with the supplementary colours on top of a black and white ground.

In supplementary warp technique, the extra pattern-making threads float over and under a ground warp, usually plain weave. What a wonderful way to add a decorative element to an otherwise unadorned piece.  The plain weave ground is threaded on shafts 1 and 2, and the extra pattern warps are independently threaded on the remaining shafts.  The extra shafts are lifted for a while, allowing the pattern threads to float over the ground, then, as the shafts are lowered, they interlace through the cloth and continue to float underneath.  The over and under, over and under rhythm continues, making beautiful dots and dashes of colour.  Different patterns can be made, depending on how many independent shafts are available.  For an eight-shaft loom, like I have, there are six independent shafts.  The scarves I wove have a 24-pick repeat, and so are more easily accomplished on a table loom.

The hard, slow work is in designing and setting up the loom.  After that, the weaving itself progresses quite quickly.  Woven in 2/8 Tencel, the scarves are soft and silky.  I wove the red scarf first, and then I pulled out the red and gold threads, replacing them with blue and silver for the second scarf.

I am so motivated to continue exploring this technique.


About spinweaverbarbara

I have been steadily weaving since 1980. I enjoy sharing and passing on my learning.
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8 Responses to Two Scarves in Scrumptious Supplementary Warp Weaving

  1. Lynne Russell says:

    I continue to so impressed with your weaving skills. I’m looking forward to to seeing where you’re going to with your exploring.

  2. Barbara, your post has me wanting to try supplementary warp, since you have woven beautiful scarfs. Did you use an additional beam to help with differences in take up?

  3. Barbara Mitchell says:

    Hi Barb, I didn’t use an additional beam because it was a short warp, and |I cut off and re-tied for the second scarf.

  4. Hello, I’m flattered to see these copies of my designs. I now have an archive of my weaving in process on Instagram. @juanitagirardinhandwovens. should anyone be interested in seeing the work of the creator of this pattern. I also would like to say that while it is flattering to see this, and I do understand that copying is a way to learn, I hope that weavers will actually move on to use their own designs in their experiments with supplemental warps ,as I am a living and working artist and without permission, copying is theft. Please contact me through my email or Instagram if you have any technical questions about the technique, I interpreted it for 25 years into my own language and it has much to offer for creating your own individual language.

    • Thanks for the feedback, Juanita. I have been an admirer of yours for many years, watching your weaving journey, and still I didn’t realize this was an exact copy of your work. It was, of course, a one-off, just trying to figure out how this supplementary warp process works, and then moving out from there on a different path. I encourage all my readers to visit your site because your work is truly stunning.

  5. Vibeke Halden says:

    Very, very nice!
    Is it possible to get a draft and more information about tie up, treadling, treadling.
    If so, I will be so HAPPY!!!

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