Digital Overshot Weaving


Materials: Cotton, Wool, Linen

Mathematically analyzing overshot weaving techniques in order to make computer generated patterns of this endangered technique. Research on the Appalachian region and the only Shakers to ever practice Overshot.

As part of my research, I had a fellowship at Pleasant Hill Shaker Village, the only Shaker village to ever practice overshot.  I analyzed the textiles and read the weavers logs in order to ascertain the development of the practice and create rules to ensure that my project would remain true to the historic technique.

Using typical overshot threading patterns, I varied the treadling pattern.  This proof of concept showed that it was possible to add randomizers and differentials to create new patterns.

After gathering many weaver’s overshot definitions and analyzing fabrics, I created code that produces novel patterns for weaving.  In the case of overshot, the threading pattern is created by using a simplified pattern, or “block diagram”, which is expanded to threading patterns and also used for the treadling.

The code was used to create a grid of weaving options that combines four generative threading patterns and four generative treadling patterns.  I wove options from threading #2 (2nd column).

Watch the code in action...