So, I’ve mentioned plain, or tabby, weave before. Don’t let the term “plain” fool you because you can do a lot with plain weave!
A good place to start when messing about with it, is to use colour. You can have multiple colours in your weft. You can have multiple colours in your warp. You can do both!
Depending on the alternation of colours you will get plaids, tartans, stripes, houndstooth and even some funky optical illusions. For example, here is a pattern called log cabin, which is about the coolest thing I’ve seen in plain weave so far:
All this pattern is, is plain weave done with warp and weft threads that alternate between light and dark colours. Really!
(I’m itching to try it.)
But this is one of the amazing things about weaving; the colours of the warp and the weft mix to make new colours, or to make patterns.
So, just using colour, you can do stripes, strips and checker board patterns. You can do streaks, splotches or gradients using variegated yarns (just like in knitting).
And, while this isn’t a pattern, this cloth shows another result of changing thread colours… Just by having a different coloured warp to weft, you can create wonderful effects like you see in shot silk, where the cloth changes from one colour to another as the light hits it. (This is my favourite fabric.)
Trust me, there will be a lot more to be said about colour and colour in patterns at a future point!