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When To Swatch

Once you start swatching you continues see new opportunities to swatch. Here is a short list of when I consider swatching and instances where I find it give me less information. 

Instances Where I Consider Swatching

  • Testing color combinations
  • Exploring color theory as it relates to weaving
  • Testing finishing considerations
  • Testing yarn substitutions
  • Testing mixed warps for sett, color, and finishing
  • I’m on the fence about sett, 10 or 12? 8 or 10?
  • Testing various color combinations and setts in structures other than plain weave
  • I have a limited amount of a particular yarn and I want to be sure my idea will work before scaling up
  • Adapting a pattern to suit my needs

Instances That Swatching Gives Me Less Information

  • Pooling variegated yarns since the repeats are dependent on the warp length, but I can swatch for color interactions
  • Some structures, such as doubleweave, can’t be swatched on a frame loom. You can swatch for the sett and color interaction of each layer. Sampling in the structure can be done on the rigid-heddle loom itself. 
  • You aren’t going to mimic the exact tension on a frame loom that you can achieve on a rigid-heddle where the braking device gives you a boost, but you can get very close.
  • *Frame loom weaving is essentially threading on a straight draw. If you are picking up a pattern on a point, broken, or other such threading, you may have floats on the back that won’t be present in the fabric when you use these draws on your rigid-heddle loom.

To shop the loom line, visit To see a comparison on Swatch Maker Loom features, visit

Liz Gipson Widgets
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