Third Weaving Project – A Trivet using Twill Weave (Maka ‘O’eno)


The two most basic weaves generally found in Hawaii lauhala weaving are check plait (maka moena) and twill (maka ‘o’eno). Our first two projects used the check weave. Now it’s time to try another style, twill. Twill weave is often found on higher quality Hawaiian hats, sometimes interspersed with even more complicated weaving patterns. Like check weave, twill appears to have been around nearly as long as people have woven items for personal use.

In this project we’ll make another “pocket” trivet and put cardboard inside for additional insulation. Here’s what the finished project will look like:

Figure 1.  Finished trivet using twill weave

We’ll begin by using the same general approach as Project 1 and Project 2. That is, we put down tape and put the eight koana on the tape. But this time several things will be a little different. First, instead of putting the middle of the koana on the edge of the tape, we’ll measure 2″ back from the middle fold, fold the koana and put that fold on the edge of the tape. Second, we’ll do all the first part of the weaving (all eight cross strips) without changing the position of the tape. Third, we’ll weave upward instead of downward because I think it will be easier to see the twill weave pattern that way.

Beginning the Weaving Process

OK, so the picture below shows all eight vertical koana in place with both the top and bottom tapes. The ruler is on top of the tape to shield it from the water spray so that it won’t become soft.

Figure 2.  The eight koana are lined up 2″ off center; the tape is covered with the ruler to reduce softening from the misting of the koana.

We now fold down two pairs of koana as shown below.

Figure 3.  The first folding of pairs of koana to begin the twill weave

And then place the first horizontal koana and fold down two pairs again.

Figure 4.  The first row koana is in place and two pairs of vertical koana folded down.

Now fold down two of the koana and then fold two others up.

Figure 5.  Two vertical koana are folded down against the tape/ruler edge

Figure 6.  Two more vertical koana are folded up away from the tape/ruler edge. Now the twill pattern emerges. See photo below for more detail.

At this point we have initiated the twill sequence. This type of twill pattern repeats in columns of four. You will hear weavers saying “Two up, two down” and looking at the photo below you can see now what they mean. There are two “steps” and two “columns” in the sequence. When you add another row, you must maintain that pattern. Here’s the next row.

Figure 7.  The black circle shows the basic four koana twill pattern of “two down, two up” with a pair of “steps” adjacent to a pair of “columns”.

Compare the two pictures immediately above carefully. The bottom “step” has been folded up to become a column. The former top “step” becomes the bottom “step”. The column next to the step has been folded down to become the top “step”. The sequence continues shifting to the right as you keep adding rows as shown below.

Figure 8.  As more rows are added, the basic twill unit moves to the right.

Figure 9.  Fourth row.

Figure 10.  Fifth row.

Until you have finished all eight rows and are ready to pin the corners. Carefully cutting the tape in the center with a single edge razor blade allows easy removal.

Figure 11.  All eight rows woven, clips at the corners and the tape cut in the middle ready for removal.

Starting the Other Side and Creating the Pocket

To begin the pocket, we first fold two pairs of koana down as before and fold the right hand horizontal koana over.

Figure 12.  Starting the pocket with two pairs of koana up and two down

Then as before we initiate the twill sequence.

Figure 13.  first part of twill pattern beginning

Figure 14.  Second part of first row. Can you begin to see the twill pattern?

Figure 15.  Second row woven in. Twill pattern clearly emerges.

You can now see the two up, two down (steps and columns) pattern when the second row is completed. Now continue the weaving until you have filled in eight rows. Then weave all the right hand koana to the left.

Figure 16.  All eight rows woven in to top and from right to left; Clips adjusted to new koana thickness

Then trim the ends.

                           Figure 17.  Ends of right to left woven koana trimmed off at left edge

And weave all the left hand koana to the right.

Figure 18.  Left to right koana woven in on bottom layer

Cut a square of cardboard that’s 1/4″ smaller in both directions and round the corners.

Figure 19.  Shaped cardboard insulation. It’s 1/4″ smaller all around

Insert carefully into the pocket making sure that there is no interference among opposing koana.

                                                      Figure 20.  Inserting cardboard into pocket

Closing the Pocket

At this point it’s time to begin closing up the pocket. I begin from the top with the sides. The easiest thing to do is to clip off the ends of the bottom koana like you did early when you wove from left to right. See figure below

Figure 21.  Closing the pocket from the top beginning with the outer edges

Some of the koana will extend beyond the bottom edge. You can continue weaving on the front side if you wish or clip where they extend from underneath a koana pair.
Now continue weaving with the rest of the koana until you have the thickness of the trivet that you wish.

Figure 22.  Koana woven from bottom side around to top. Time to trim off these loose ends.

Trim the ends as neatly as you can either with a pair of small scissors or a single edge razor blade. Below is the finished trivet.

Figure 23.  The finished twill trivet. It will look like a little pillow because of the insert and many layers…

This has been a exercise in learning how to begin and continue the twill weave. Since you now know how to do both the check and twill weaves you can make a larger trivet with check on one side and twill on the other if you wish or any combination of check and twill on a single side.