Threading Directions or Warp Alignment?

Tablet weavers often talk about threading directions and tablet directions (I prefer "warp alignment" rather than tablet directions) when describing patterns. Respectively, these terms refer to how the threads pass through the tablets and how the tablets appear when the warp is viewed from above. I generally use warp alignment as a / tablet will cause threads to lie / when turned forwards and \ when turned backwards. A \ threaded tablet will cause threads to lie \ when turned forwards and / when turned backwards.
A diagram showing the position of the threads as they pass through a tablet in the S and Z directions

A diagram showing how warp alignment relates to the way the tablets appear when viewed from above

All of the threading diagrams produced by Tablet Weaving Draft Designer show both threading direction (the letters at the bottom of the diagram) and warp alignment (the slant of the ovals in the diagram).

A threading diagram for 36 4-holed tablets showing warp alignment and threading direction
An example threading diagram

You can change the threading direction or warp alignment of a tablet by flipping it. If you find that you have a large amount of twist built up behind the tablets, you can use this technique to change their threading direction/ warp alignment, then continue weaving as before to weave out the twist.

A diagram showing how pushing the edges of the tablet in opposite directions will change its threading

The threading directions in the above diagram are shown by the letters and the warp alignments are shown by the slant of the tablets.

I've also recorded a video of how I flip a tablet to change its threading direction here:


  1. Just started tablet weaving a couple of days ago and initially got myself in a total confusion with different conventions and terminology. Spent a couple of days working samples to see how it all worked whether stacking tablets left to right, right to left, threading the tablets and turning etc. So that I could understand effects on warp slant direction and pattern effects. Found your fantastic blog this morning and it's just fantastic. Thank you so much for sharing your expertise - amazing.

    1. Thank you for your lovely comment; it really made my day. I'm glad I could help you with your weaving. If you're interested, there's a fairly active Tablet Weaving forum over on Ravelry ( with lots more advice and resources.

  2. I'm beginner with only 4 patterns made so far. Your tool is absolutely amazing and I also spend hours designing my own simple patterns. I want to try to weave one of them. I know what S, Z means and how to thread the tablets, but are the letters facing left or right side of the weaver?

  3. The letters usually face towards the right, with the blank side of the tablets to the left. Hope that helps.

    1. Thanks! I made a mistake yesterday, threading them with letters to the left - and the pattern appered on the bottom side of the work. :) That was not a big surprise - I flipped all the work and continued. (I work with no loom, just the threads attached to a piece of wood with a long hole, which is attached to my belt - so flipping was easy.)

  4. Another brand new tablet weaver here. My learning adventure started by watching a bunch of videos, until I thought I could have a try. When I threaded my tablets I realized about half of them said "S threads from the front" and the other half "S threads from the back." Talk about confused! Your explanation here is the absolute best.

    I did manage to muddle through; had a lot of problems but learned a lot! I wasn't sure I wanted to try it again, until I found your blog. Thank you so much for taking the time to explain.