I Never Met a Meta(weave) I Didn’t Like

If you are a hand weaver, and you have jumped into the river of winding, beaming, threading, sleying, tying on and tying up in order to swim to the shore of  cloth, then I cannot imagine that the notion of “metaweave” doesn’t intrigue you. If something about the interlacement of threads drew you to take the dive into the “you mean you have to put all those strings into those little holes” waters, then how could you resist the idea of taking that interlacement and both using it as the cloth and the “design” of the cloth . Metaweave is the interlacement story writ large.

I am not sure, but I think I coined the term “metaweave”.  I have seen it used by a young artist who re-weaves cut up photographic portraits, but I haven’t seen it used in the way I use it, i.e. to mean an interlacement that creates an image of a different or larger scale interlacement . . . let me know if you have seen it elsewhere.

That said, the idea of making Metaweave cloth has been around forever in woven, printed and knitted textiles – it is a natural thing for people who are working in-depth with cloth to think about magnifying the beauty of the structures they love into larger scale motifs, etc.   Think of all the textiles you have seen that make use of this notion. Plaited twills, cabled patterns that look like basket weaving or braiding, printed textiles that look like large-scale plain weave or printed textiles that look like magnified knit stitches.

I have just posted another deflected doubleweave metaweave towel pattern on Etsy, and I wanted to expand the playground a little with some other structures/motifs. I particularly enjoy drafting it in as many structures as I can think of . . . and digging through my weaving library to see what fab creations I can find. I haven’t even looked at, but I can imagine that is some Meta mania to be found there.


Block DW Twill on 24


New pattern – DefDW Meta towels on 8 shafts


Quigley on 9 shafts




DefDW blanket – body on 8 – border on 16


Bergman on 8


Double Dimity draft from Warp & Weft by Eriksson Gustavsson & Lovallius


Double Dimity – tencel warp/wool weft


Turned Atwater Bronson – #613 from Strickler


DefDW Meta towel I did for Gist yarn


Meta Shadow on 9

DefDW Mega Meta 2/2 Twill

Meta Rep on 9


4-shaft satin on 20

As you can see most of these examples are depictions of plain weave in a variety of other structures from Atwater Bronson to Quigley, etc. I am interested in exploring other combinations . . . various twill are a good possibility, but I wonder if satin would be a recognizable motif for most people . . .

Satin in Summer & Winter on 20

What do you think? I would love to hear about your adventures in the world of “meta”.

  • March 16, 2021


    Thank you for another educational and informative post. I just finished the I Never Met a Meta I didn’t like. That was a fun weave! That was my first Meta, as far as I know.

  • March 16, 2021

    Kathleen Lopes

    I love this blog! Fascinating designs that I will try. Thanks for metaweave!

  • March 17, 2021

    Shirley Bergert

    Just got my Pfizer second shot a few hours ago and am awaiting the 24 hour flu I expect to experience (all the while saying ‘thank you’ to the miracles of modern science and medicine. Instead, however, I got a great boost of inspiration from your blog. Nice…

  • March 19, 2021

    Martha Town

    In the 90’s I was inspired by a Nova program that showed the macroscopic structure of crystals are actually a reflection of their microscopic structure. Based on this, I designed a 16 shaft block twill with four blocks. Each block was a 4 shaft broken twill (microscopic) and I wove the four blocks in a broken twill order (macroscopic).

  • January 17, 2024

    Erika Lewis

    Dear Lisa, I was on a zoom with CW16’sgroup yesterday, and somebody mentioned “meta weaves”. I had never heard of it, and I’m very interested to learn more about it.Where do I find articles or even a book about it?
    ????to you,

  • March 28, 2024


    Hi Lisa,
    I bought your meta weave draft, and was wondering if 8/2 cotton in the warp, 16/2 cotton in the weft would work? But am stuck on what size the tabby should be? I have a lot of 8/2 cotton and didn’t want to invest in the linen yarns you cite in the draft. Will these size yarns work? and please recommend a tabby size. Thank you

      • March 28, 2024


        Thank you Lisa! What about tabby size? I love your drafts and have bought the medallion towels also!