Class announcement–BROCADE

20 September 2014

This is a class I will be teaching in Lebanon, OH in October.

Continuous brocade on plain weave with embroidery floss.  Double faced.

Continuous brocade on plain weave with embroidery floss. Double faced.


BROCADE I: Supplemental weft added to a plain weave ground

Part I: Continuous Weft

Brocaded textile from Croatia

Brocaded cotton textile from Croatia

Brocade is a supplementary weft technique used around the world. Sometimes confused with embroidery, but done as you weave the cloth not afterwards. The brocade is a decorative weft added to a sound structure, usually plain weave, to make the cloth more pleasing to the eye. Different places and times have used other words- inlay, overlay, Halvgobelang, Dukagang, Boutonné. Brocade is the basis of Theo Moorman technique, and weaving transparencies.

Chinese silk brocades are the height of luxury. The Central American elaborate brocades , often seen in Huipils, are still being woven today on backstrap looms. The ancient Maya and their descents liberally use brocade in their striking textiles. There are many ways to do this and we will explore some common ones used in The Americas. Some techniques are totally weaver controlled, others are a combination of weaver and loom controlled.The motifs can be geometric or figurative. You can add one color or hundreds. We will, for this study, use plain weave for the underlying structure. In four sessions we will only cover the basics of continuous supplementary weft; how to make the pattern thread disappear and appear, flat and raised brocade, different systems of tie-downs, using a pick up stick or heddles for tie-downs, working with a cartoon— we have plenty to keep us busy for four sessions.

In Part I we will explore continuous supplementary weft, that is the supplementary weft goes from selvage to selvage just like the ground weft. Part II will be discontinuous supplementary weft and Part III wrapped supplementary weft.

I recently read that in the ancient Maya sacred book, The Popol Vuh, the words “to plant” and “to brocade” are synonymous. So to those of you that can weave plain weave, your cloth is ready to be planted and bloom!

Simple inlay on plain weave.

Simple inlay on plain weave.

Instructor: Karren K. Brito

When: Thursday evenings, 6:30-8pm 2, 9,16, 23 October 2014

Where: Otterbein Lebanon, Creative Arts Center, Weaving Room

Cost: $100 instructional fee. No materials are included in this fee. Materials can be purchased from instructor, if needed.

Requirements: You must have a loom that can weave balanced plain weave (rigid heddle or harness loom are both fine). You do not have to bring the loom to class, just what you have woven. You need to be able to warp your loom and weave a balanced plain weave.

You will probably need a few extra shuttles, small amounts of different yarns for the brocade weft and a pick up stick.

After you register for the class you will receive instructions for warping your loom and a bibliography. There will be weekly weaving assignments. Limit 6 .


There is some flexibility in the hours to accommodate work schedules, just ask.
For questions or to register for the class you can contact me by email,

 or you can call me 937.767.8961.

Bottom: inlay-overlay Top: a two color variation

Bottom: inlay-overlay
Top: a two color variation

Tweft added to a balanced plain weave ground


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: