(105) Flote Work

Flote werk, as it is named in many old manuscripts, is a favorite weave structure that came to be called overshot in the early 20th century. The weave, which is much more than what weavers call four-shaft float work today, comprises any structure that requires a tabby binder thread. Shafts required can be as many as are feasible on a treadle loom.

Class will begin with an exploration of how to read the old drafts and participants will get several to analyze. We will then move on to study the early 19th century structure named summer-and-winter; tied float work, also known as ‘star work;’ and some other float work weaves, including the odd New England one shuttle work with warp, weft, and tabby the same yarn.

As reading historic four-shaft float work drafts perplexes most weavers today, my goals are to enable students to read those drafts and to expand the knowledge of the other weaves that are included in the term float work (i.e., requires a tabby binder). The class is planned with almost more class time than weaving. There will be copious handouts since each participant will receive and analyze several drafts, but will have handouts for all drafts studied. Computers are encouraged and graph paper is required.

There will be at least one loom in each weave structure and weaving time will be included so that everyone has the opportunity to weave a sample of each float work style.

Note: Not every participant will need to bring a loom.


Marjie Thompson

Experience Level:

All Levels

Maximum Class Size:


Materials fee:

$25 covers class notebook, page protectors to hold the woven samples, copies of all the drafts, including class analysis ones and all the drafts on the looms, tags to mark each person's weaving, and an extensive bibliography.

Equipment required

4-shaft Loom, 8-shaft Loom, Pre-warped

Student Supplies:

  • A fully-dressed loom. (Instructions to be sent several months before the class) with at least one sample woven.)
  • Usual weaving supplies including weft and tabby yarns, scissors, warp mending equipment, etc.
  • A computer, phone, or tablet with a weaving program is helpful.
  • Graph paper and pencils with erasers.


Dress the loom and weave at least one sample to check for errors and to have one sample woven so that they can move to a different loom immediately.