During training, we are often faced with the following situation: While we are still trying to explain some basic features of ArahWeave software for weaving, the customer brings up one of the most complicated fabrics he/she has ever tried (and failed) to reproduce, and suggests we develop that one. Sometimes we give in, trying to prove that such fabrics can also be developed using ArahWeave software. As a result, valuable time is lost and customer ends up being confused with a lot of information, which was not presented in an orderly manner.

We must stress once again: Fabric design is a serious business, and can not be learned in a couple of days. It is possible to learn how to use ArahWeave in a couple of days, but not if you are novice in both weaving and computers. Anyone, who is trying to sell you a CAD, and claims that you can learn it in one day, is either lying, or does not know what is he/she talking about. Or the CAD in question is really so basic, that you can exhaust its capabilities in one day.

ArahWeave enables development of many different kinds of fabrics, and in this tutorial we present a complex gobelin fabric, so customers will be able to look it up and learn it on their own. A good explanation of gobelin construction in textile books is very rare. We are basing the example fabric for this tutorial on section 21.3 of the book Intrecci e strutture dei tessuti, written by Fernando Scanzio and Ugo Pedrazzo, published by Paravia - Texilia, Biella, Italy in 1988, pages 489-494. If you know Italian, we highly recommend this book. If you do not, we recommend that you learn it. You will be able to understand what they sing in the opera ;-)

Jokes aside - It is a very good learning strategy to take a textile schoolbook and study it with the CAD, inserting the weaves and fabrics as you read the book.

First, take a look at the scanned fabric picture. This fabric is constructed of five warp threads (one binding thread and four color effect threads) and three weft threads (one binding thread and two effect threads). Color threads are used to make a desired color effect in the fabric, while binding threads are just used to keep the other threads in place, and to make a compact, durable fabric.

old gobelin fabric

Colorful warp ends, which create effects on fabric surface, are usually wound on the first beam. Binding warp end is usually black, white or neutral gray; it is also thinner than effect threads. It is wound on the second warp beam, using higher tension than other warp ends. You need two warp beams, since warp consumption of binding threads is lower, and we keep it at higher tension. In some cases, two binding warp threads are used.

Weft is usually thicker than warp, so that we can weave faster with lower weft density. Binding weft is an exception, since it is similar to binding warp, that is: thinner and of achromatic color. A filament yarn is often used for binding threads, since it can be semitransparent and thus even less visible. Not to mention the lower yarn price with respect to cotton or wool.

You need to have a jacquard image in proper dimensions with respect to weaving density. You also need to consider, that the image size will be multiplied by number of warp threads (five) and weft threads (three). So you draw a smaller image. We have already described how to draw the jacquard image with ArahPaint in this tutorial. We want to remind you of a special feature in ArahPaint: namely, in ArahPaint you can enter the density of finished fabric with Edit > Set repeat size..., and the Zoom window will display the image in aspect ratio of the finished fabric. Drawing is much easier, if you use this setting..

ArahPaint drawing in density

The color areas of a gobelin image are usually quite small, and this makes the image similar to a cross-stitch or knitting pattern. Since each point is going to be multiplied by 5 in horizontal and by 3 in vertical, it is quite acceptable to have areas of single pixel on this image. In normal damask type of fabric, it would not be a good idea to have such small areas, because we would not multiply the image size during weave insertion, and the areas would be too small for the weave to make a difference. It would be like writing a poem with single character words. But jacquard is similar to art: for every rule, there is a special case, when you need to break it.

ArahPaint jacquard seamless repeat

Here is the picture gobelin fabric pattern for download, so that you do not need to redraw it, if you just want to repeat the exercise. It is not drawn in full repeat - you should be able to finish it on your own, if you want to become a jacquard designer. For gifted people, this is the easy part. For the rest of us, it is next to impossible ;-)

Since we have five warps and three wefts in this fabric, we can start by setting warp and weft pattern. Open ArahWeave and choose Fabric > Thread pattern. Type 1a1b1c1d1e for warp and 1a1b1c for weft. You should also set warp and weft colors as following: warp - black (thin), blue, red orange, green; weft - gray (thin), black, white. Detailed setting of colors and yarns was already explained in this tutorial.

ArahWeave edit thread pattern

We are now at the stage, when we need to draw the weaves for gobelin fabric. Select Weave > Edit. In Edit weave toolbox click on gobelin 07 1K to delete contents of weave editor. Then you have to set the dimensions of the weave. Since our fabric is composed of five warps and three wefts, and the size of weave for one warp and one weft is four by four, the size of composite weave is 5 warps x 4 = 20 and 3 wefts x 4 = 12. Select Change > Dimensions. In the Change dimensions dialog box write the dimensions of the weave which you will draw (20x12). You can also change dimensions with mouse if you click on arrows or use wheel mouse on the numbers.

ArahWeave weaving dimensions

We are using fifteen different weaves (color effects) in this fabric. Weave combinations between individual warp and weft threads for each color in jacquard design are shown in table below. Black warp and gray weft are binding threads. At the bottom of the table, there is also a weave profile for each weave, so you can compare the table and profile, while trying to figure out the logic behind the weaves. The profile is vertical, and top of the fabric is on the right hand side.
Yes, the table looks intimidating. But it is really not that complicated. For starters, it is good to examine the profile. Let us look at the first weave (rosa). We have thick white weft on top, and thick black weft on the back. The thin gray binding weft is always in the middle, and it ties the red effect warp to the top, in conjunction with thin black warp. The green and blue warps are in the middle, doing nothing, and yellow warp is tied with black weft to the back face. The construction of the first 12 weaves is all basically equal, just the positions and number of threads are changing. For example, pairs rosa-rosso, verdino-verdone, azzurro-blu, giallino-ocra, are just combination of one effect warp (red, green, blue) and alternating white with black weft, to make light and dark version of each color effect. Ocra, arancio, viola, verde and verde freddo put two effect threads on top, to make additional color combinations.
Now we examine the exceptions: Nero is again equal to others, just that there is no effect warp on top - it is a full black weft float. This weave can not be used for larger areas - it is only used as an outline. This leaves us with the two real exceptions: celeste and carta. They are white and black weft versions of plain weave with thin binding warp. Why didn't we make other color variations in this way? Because only the combination with thin black warp enables us to use the high weft density. This is an important part of gobelin weave construction - you must think of the surface density and of space you have at disposal. For this reason, you can not put three warps on top or on the back.
The roles of threads in gobelin weaves are structurally different (effect and binding), so you can not generate additional weaves just by shifting the weave left or right, up or down, like we has suggested in this tutorial. You may shift the weave around, but you must keep the binding threads at its original positions.

WeftWarp rosa rosso verdino verdone azzurro blu giallino ocra arancio viola verde verde
celeste nero carta
C Black weft up warp twill weft up warp twill weft up warp twill weft up warp twill warp twill warp twill warp twill warp twill plain weave warp twill warp up
Blue weft up warp up weft up warp up warp up warp up weft up warp up weft twill warp up warp up warp up weft up warp up warp up
Red warp up warp up weft up weft twill weft up weft twill weft up weft twill warp up warp up weft twill weft twill weft up weft twill weft twill
Yellow weft up weft twill weft up weft twill weft up weft twill warp up warp up warp up weft twill warp up warp up weft up weft twill weft twill
Green weft up warp up warp up warp up weft up warp up weft up warp up warp up warp up warp up warp up weft up warp up weft twill
B Black warp twill weft up warp twill weft up warp twill weft up warp twill weft up weft up weft up weft up weft up warp up weft up plain weave
Blue warp up weft up warp up weft up warp up warp up warp up weft up weft up warp up weft up warp up warp up weft up weft up
Red warp up warp up weft twill weft up weft twill weft up weft twill weft up warp up warp up weft up weft up weft twill weft up weft up
Yellow weft twill weft up weft twill weft up weft twill weft up warp up warp up warp up weft up warp up weft up warp up weft up weft up
Green warp up weft up warp up warp up warp up weft up warp up weft up weft up weft up warp up warp up warp up weft up weft up
A Black warp up warp up warp up warp up warp up warp up warp up warp up warp up warp up warp up warp up warp up warp up warp up
Blue weft up weft up weft up weft up weft up weft up weft up weft up weft up weft up weft up weft up weft up weft up weft up
Red weft up weft up weft up weft up weft up weft up weft up weft up weft up weft up weft up weft up weft up weft up weft up
Yellow weft up weft up weft up weft up weft up weft up weft up weft up weft up weft up weft up weft up weft up weft up weft up
Green weft up weft up weft up weft up weft up weft up weft up weft up weft up weft up weft up weft up weft up weft up weft up
Profile rosa rosso verdino verdone azzurro blu giallino ocra arancio viola verde verde freddo celeste nero carta

It would be quite difficult to draw composite weave directly into weave editor. Instead of this choose Change > Edit decomposed. Type 5 in Warp layout, and 3 in Weft layout. The weave is now divided into 15 fields, which represent weave combinations between each warp and weft. The grid of selected field is colored red. Use left mouse button for drawing black points (warp up), and right mouse button to erase them. Now simply read the above table and copy elementary blocks (warp/weft twill, warp/weft up, plain weave) to its proper places. You can copy or exchange selected weave as in other part of the program: copy to another field with right mouse button, exchange with middle button. You can draw the weave points in any of the two windows - the changes will be immediately updated to all parts of the program.

Just one note on the weave profile in the weave editor - you may have noticed that it is quite different from the profile at the bottom of the weave table. The profile in the table has been drawn by hand, and usually represents weaver's intent, as a first step in design of a new weave. You see that weft threads are clearly positioned at the top, bottom or middle, according to their desired role. The profile in weave editor is generated by ArahWeave, and the program has no idea of binding thread and things like that. It just draws the profile according to the position into which threads are pushed by the weave. For reasons of clarity, each thread has its own position, so green and blue warp run one on top of the other, although they would run in parallel in the real fabric. You can also see that the gray binding weft is on the top (not in the middle), together with thick black weft. But the real fabric is also like that. So you see that the weaver's profile from the weave table looks more understandable, but can also be deceiving.

ArahWeave jacquard gobelin fabric

Below is a sample printout of decomposed weave. Besides the weave from the editor above, we have added two other weaves, so you can look it up in the weave table above, and check if you understand it properly. Or better still - open ArahWeave and draw them by yourself.

gobelin 10 12K
ArahWeave printed weave
gobelin 12 12K

After you have drawn and saved the weaves, you can check the color effect of weaves in the browse window. You can reach it through Edit weave window be selecting Files > Browse. The Color button in the right lower corner should be on, and you should set the correct density of the fabric (Thread pattern > Density), and View of fabric should be set to Simulation 3 or higer..

ArahWeave different colors in weave structure

Now choose Weave > Jacquard conversion, and load the image in Jacquard conversion window by selecting Images > Load image.
The picture size is 100 by 88 pixels. It is displayed on title bar of Jacquard conversion window, along with image filename, number of colors, and current zoom level. We need to to change the resulting weave size after weave insertion according to number of warp (x5) and weft (x3) threads. Enter the multiplied values at the bottom of the Jacquard conversion window for warp (5x100=500) and for weft (3x88=264) or just simply click on x5 for warp and x3 for weft.
Now we need to load a jacquard weave for every color in the image (Choose weaves > Load weave...). You can select weaves from the file selection box. In this case it is even better to use the Browse window (Choose weaves > Browse).

ArahWeave jacquard conversion

If you press the Color toggle button in this window, you can also see the weave simulation of the weave which you have chosen for each color, even before you apply the weaves to the image. Isn't that cool?

ArahWeave jacquard conversion

By pressing the OK button in the left lower corner, you will get the jacquard weave based on color image and weave selection.

ArahWeave jacquard weave

Before preparing a jacquard floppy for weaving, we must correct the long float errors.
In Edit weave window choose Change > Float. A window with separate graphical report of float length for warp, weft, face and back of the fabric will pop up. You may need to resize the window to see all the data. If there is enough space, program will display the exact number of floats of length 1, length 2, length 3, etc. To see how many floats are longer than 8, just click on 8, and program will sum up the total number of long floats and display them in red in the relative top right corner. Besides, it will also display the length of float over 8 threads in mm, according to current density setting. By clicking on the float report, you set the length of acceptable float. To see the location of errors, click on toggle button Mark, and weft long floats will be marked in red, while warp float errors will be marked in cyan. Only the errors on the face of the fabric will be shown. To see the long floats on the back side, negate the weave, or Reverse the fabric. Long float errors will be shown both in weave window and in main fabric display window, if the view mode is Weave or Integer.

ArahWeave float correction

Then click on the Fix floats face and back and program will remove all floats longer then the selected threshold value. You will get the report about correction of long floats. If you will set reasonable long float limits, all the long floats will be removed automatically.

ArahWeave float correction

In many cases, a trained weaver will be able to tell if the fabric is correct or not, just by looking at the weave colored in warp and weft colors (what we call Integer view). Well, gobelin is not one of such cases. Anyone who still thinks that simulation is just a toy for people, who do not understand weaving, may continue to run back and forth between the loom and the CAD.

ArahWeave gobelin fabric

Users of ArahWeave will be pretty sure what are they going to get, by selecting View > Simulation in the main fabric window. There are 8 quality levels of the Simulation; higher number means higher quality.

ArahWeave gobelin fabric simulation

Note that we were not trying to match the colors of the fabric picture at the top of this tutorial, since it is based on a scanned photo from a book. From this point on, it is easy to save the weave in the jacquard format, like it is explained at the end of this tutorial. This one is already too long, so we are not going to repeat it here.

Any final words? First, we congratulate you, since you have read it to this point. We are even happier, if you understood it, and have learned something new. Probably you agree with us, that jacquard fabrics should be more expensive, since so much knowledge is needed to design them.
If you examine other gobelin fabrics, you will find out, that their construction is remarkably similar to the principles, presented in this tutorial. The fact, that gobelin weave construction was developed several centuries ago, proves, that people are not getting any smarter. We just have better tools now. In many aspects, weaving is similar to programming: people wrote better programs, when they needed to punch cards in order to program a computer, since they were actually thinking before writing a program. Now we write the program during thinking about the problem, and we are satisfied as soon as something appears to be working. We will not mirror this metaphor into weaving, so we will not insult anyone. Take this as a challenge and try to develop a really novel weave construction, using the knowledge you have gained here.

Color shading is an advanced feature of ArahWeave software for weaving, which enables you to weave any color image into a fabric with roughly the same colors, without any color reduction. So you can go directly from scanning to weaving, without any image editing. You may adjust image contrast, hue, or any other operations, which you do on a photo in order to make it look good.

For this example we have scanned the famous Van Gogh's painting Landscape with olive trees.
scaned image

Open ArahWeave, choose Files > Browse...
ArahWeave browse window

... and load the color shading fabric template file. This file is not present in the demo version of the program. You get it with a paid version of ArahWeave software, or we can e-mail it to you on request, if you have a valid support contract.

In this color shading template fabric file, we use black and white yarn in the warp, and six colors in the weft.
ArahWeave thread pattern

During color shading jacquard conversion, the program chooses (or makes) the most appropriate weave, with respects to yarn colors in the fabric. For more accurate color rendering you can change warp and weft colors into colors, which are actually present in the image. The algorithm for automatic weave generation is flexible, and is not limited to 2 warp 3 weft systems, or to one particular weave type (satin, twill), neither to these particular warp and weft colors. For changing colors choose Fabric > Colors.... From Edit colors window load PANTONE for fashion and home-paper®, and copy colors, which you want to use to warp and weft.
ArahWeave Pantone color palette

In the following step, we will set the weaving density of the finished fabric, by selecting Fabric > Density. You only need to enter warp and weft density, other fields are not important in this case. If you are not sure what density will you use, just enter the closest approximation. In our case, we are using 48 threads per cm in warp, and 72 threads per cm in weft. Your density will probably be different.
ArahWeave weaving density

Now we need to open the jacquard conversion window, do it by selecting Weave > Jacquard conversion....

Load the color image, which you want to weave by selecting Images > Browse. The picture must be in full color 24 bits per pixel, for example in JPEG image format.
ArahWeave jacquard conversion

Below the image, you see the basic weaves used for color shading. Program displays 256 spaces for weaves, but only the first weaves, which are filled in, are actually used. Most users do not have the knowledge needed to make new color shading weaves, so you should leave the weaves as they are.

You need to enter the number of your pattern hooks in warp, for example 1800. Click the Density button and the computer will automatically calculate number of wefts (picks), which will keep the proportion of the image, based on fabric density. Program will fill in the value of 2100 in the weft field, as you click on the Density button.
You have five options for fine tuning of the final result:

  • Random: this toggle button gives you choice of two different dithering algorithms, which give the impression of increased number of color levels. You can try both to see which works best for you.
  • Reinforce: with reinforce turned on, the program changes the length of floats of warp and weft in the "original" weaves to achieve color accuracy. This only works for certain types of color shading weaves. You should leave the setting which was present in the template.
  • Flat to flat: sometimes you want the text labels or borders in color shading to remain unaffected by the noise, which is usually added to the picture to achieve a smooth shading. If the Flat to flat button is turned on, the program will search for areas of flat color in the true color image and will not apply any dithering noise in that area.
  • Noise: with this option you can make smoother color transition between shades. The value goes from 0 to 99, experiment with it until you find a good compromise between smooth rendering and loss of detail.
  • Warp / weft color ratio: you can specify the relative importance of warp and weft effect in the calculation of color shading weaves, expressed as %. Default value is 50, that means that the importance of warp is equivalent to that of the weft. By changing it, you can make the final fabric image more or less saturated, if you have black and white warp and colors in the weft.

ArahWeave software for weaving jacquard and dobby

Click the OK button and ArahWeave software will make the transformation. After few seconds, you have the resulting weave.
ArahWeave edit weave

Before preparing the file for weaving, we must correct the float errors. Usually you will have considerable number of long floats after color shading conversion.
In the Edit weave window choose Change > Float. A window with separate graphical report of float length for warp, weft, face and back of the fabric will pop up. You may need to resize the window to see all the data. If there is enough space, program will display the exact number of floats of length 1, length 2, length 3, etc. To see how many floats are longer than let say 20, just click on 20, and program will sum up the total number of long floats and display them in red in the relative top right corner. Besides, it will also display what the length of float over 20 threads in mm, according to current density setting. By clicking on the float report, you set the length of acceptable float. To see the location of errors, click on toggle button Mark, and weft long floats will be marked in red, while warp float errors will be marked in cyan. Only the errors on face of the fabric will be shown. To see the long floats on the back side, negate the weave, or Reverse the fabric. Long float errors will be shown both in weave window and in main fabric display window, if you use Weave or Integer view mode..
ArahWeave correct float

Then in the Edit weave window choose Change > Fix float face and back and program will remove all floats longer then selected ones. Correction of long floats has very little influence on the fabric appearance in the case of color shading. You will get the report about correction of long floats. If you will set meaningful long float limits, all the long floats will be removed automatically.
ArahWeave correct float

If you will use this function many times, you do not need to use the float control window at all. The long float limits are already set in the fabric template file, so all you need is press h on the keyboard to fix the floats, and you are done.

To view the simulation of fabric on the screen, select View > Simulation 4; higher value of simulation number means better quality of the simulation, but also slower simulation calculation time. By clicking on the desired number in the Zoom menu, you will enter desired zoom mode. Value 1:1 means 100%, 2:1 stands for 200% etc. You can also set zoom in Fabric > Density to any value between 5 and 1600%. The current zoom factor is also displayed in the main window's title.
ArahWeave fabric simulation

Here is fabric simulation at 100% zoom.
ArahWeave fabric simulation

Ideally, you will want to weave color shading pictures at maximum number of hooks available on your jacquard. The fabric in this tutorial uses just 1800 hooks, but if you have a jumbo jacquard with 9600 or 12000 hooks, you will be able to render the image with much more detail.

We have developed several different fabric constructions for color shading. In this tutorial, we have presented a 2 warp 6 weft construction, but we also have normal tapestry with 6 warps and 3 wefts, rotated tapestry with 3 warps and 6 wefts, 1 warp and 6 wefts, 5 warps and 3 wefts, etc. You can also make your own color shading constructions, if you understand weaves really well. The construction of custom color shading template files will be explained in a separate tutorial.

First you have to make the image for the label. Label will contain the logo with the name of the company. You can scan the business card to get the logo of the company. Load the scanned image in ArahPaint software. Then press the rectangular selection icon ArahPaint icon and select the area of the logo with mouse. Then activate function Image > Crop to selection.
scan picture

First you have to convert the image mode to indexed color mode by choosing Colors > Covert > 24->8. Then reduce number ob colors to 3. Choose Color > Reduce number of colors. By holding the Shift key on keyboard, the mouse pointer will turn into a color picker tool. Click inside the red, white and black area in the image, to select these three colors and press OK. Make sure all the pixels in the letters are black and all the pixels in the circle are red, otherwise manually correct them.
ArahPaint reduce colors

Than rotate the image for 90 degrees. The label is going to be woven vertically.

image resize


The size of the image should be calculated with respect of warp and weft density. Go to View > Repeat dimensions and enter the correct density. In our case it is 90 ends/cm in warp and 50 picks/cm in weft.

fabric density


We would like that the number of warps in our label (without selvedges) is 144 threads. That means the width of the image is 144 px. Go to Image > Resize image, enter 144 as new width and click on the density button. The program will calculate the height according to the fabric density, it is 391. Correct the number so that it is divisible with the number of wefts you intend to use. We will use three wefts, so the correct number is 390 px in height.


This is how our image of the label looks. It is ready for jacquard conversion.
making a label with ArahWeave software for weaving


Open ArahWeave CAD software for weaving. Choose Weave > Jacquard conversion. A new window will open. Load the image from Images > Browse.. From the bottom left corner select Extra wefts as the type of the conversion. Set System to 3 since we will use three different wefts in this label: one for the ground, and two for extra wefts. Set Skip face to 3. This means that the program will not insert a weave points if the point would be closer than three threads to the inner border of the extra weft effect, in our case black letters and red circle. Set Skip back to 2. This means that weave points will not be inserted if the points are closer than two points to the outer border of the letters or circle. Set Clear length to 5. This means that weave points will not be inserted where the length of the warp effect is less than 5. We will get cleaner effects this way.
Now you have to load a proper weave for each weft: for ground weft use plain weave, for three extra wefts use Satin 8. For attachment wefts on the back side of the label you can use Satin 32. To enter weaves, double click inside the weave area and use shortcuts to insert weaves (2 = plain weave, 8 = satin 8). To make a satin 32, first enter a satin 8 and than enlarge it by pressing CTRL + 2.
label with ArahWeave

After you have loaded all weaves and set all the parameters, press OK and you will get the jacquard weave. Program will multiply the weft size by 3, but will be smart enough not to insert weaves where they are not necessary. For this reason, we need to remove the unneeded wefts, which are floating across the full width of the fabric. Press the button Remove extra warps/wefts. At this point you will arrive at the final size of weave. The program automatically writes the correct weft pattern and puts the regulator on the right positions.

label with ArahWeave

Now you have to prepare your sample for weaving. In Weave > Save cards for production you have to insert the layout according to your jacquard and loom. Be sure to set the correct number of hooks and Weft bytes with regulator on correct bit, according to the specifications of your loom.

To get the simulation, you have to enable Set weaving density > Density from technical data and you have to set the correct parameters in Thread pattern > Consumption.

ArahWeave fabric simulation

The fabric used in this tutorial is courtesy of Lanificio di Sordevolo, and was woven for Bogner.

Most weavers would like to see a fabric simulation before weaving. Some are commission weavers, and do not have a CAD, or have one with a very limited simulation capacity. All they have is a jacquard file, which they need to weave. In this tutorial, we will teach you, how to make a fabric simulation from the jacquard cards. It even works in the demo version of ArahWeave, and you can save the fabric simulation as JPEG image. So download a demo and give it a try!

You can load the card into ArahWeave from Card browser (Weave > Load cards), which diplays card files as image thumbnails, or simply drag and drop the file icon from file mager to ArahWeave icon on your Desktop.

If you still use floppy disk, insert floppy and choose Weave > Read Jacquard floppy. When computer finishes reading the files from the floppy, ArahWeave will ask you to insert the next floppy. If the file is only on one floppy, or you have read in all the floppies, click Cancel, and file selection box will appear. You can see that the name of file is sample.jc5 and we can conclude that it is written in Stäubli jc5 format. Select the file, and ArahWeave will automatically detect the file format and load it.

fabric simulation from jacquard cards

With double click you load the file, and select Weave > Edit to view it in the weave editor. Now you have jacquard data read in ArahWeave as the weave. The software can read and correctly write the weft change pattern; you just have to specify the position of the weft change on the hooks. In Weave editor choose Jacquard > Guess weft change. Type the Position (starting point of weft change hooks) and Length (number of weft change hooks) in the Guess weft change dialog box, and click OK. It is easy to read the number of warp/weft position which you are interested in, since it is interactively displayed on the right top edge of the weave editor, as you move the mouse.
ArahWeave reading jacquard cards

You can notice changed weft pattern at the left side of the weave editor, after it has been read from the cards.
Next to the weft change, there is the regulator (warp motion) information. Choose Jacquard > Guess regulator, enter the Position of the regulator hook (25), and click OK.
fabric simulation from jacquard cards

The weaving software writes the regulator pattern in the Regulator field, and displays it in the Information window.
ArahWeave reading jacquard cards

Then you should remove the empty hooks, selvedges and weft change, since you will need just the weave for fabric simulation. Choose Jacquard > Remove extra warps/wefts. The weaving software will remove empty hooks. Then choose Jacquard > Remove selvedges. Selvedges will be removed, but also any short repeating pattern in the full height of the weave. Simple weft change patterns like the one in our example will also be removed as a consequence. Otherwise you should remove it manually by moving the weave to the left to the first pattern hook, and changing the weave size appropriately.
ArahWeave reading jacquard cards

The Information window shows the number of removed hooks.
ArahWeave reading jacquard cards

We have reached one of the milestones, since weave editor contains just the jacquard weave. To get the correct simulation, you also need to set colors, yarn size, density and warp pattern, while weft pattern has been already written by ArahWeave.
Select Fabric > Yarns to set yarn size and twists in yarn editor. Note that you must first click on the yarn, which you want to edit; selected yarn is indicated by a black and white rectangle. In the picture, warp yarn A is selected. If your yarns have the same properties (besides color), your can copy yarn properties to other colors by pointing to the desired yarn and clicking the right mouse button.
ArahWeave reading jacquard cards

Choose the appropriate colors in Fabric > Colors. In the area above letters with warp and weft yarn indication, we have loaded PANTONE® FASHION + HOME Color System colors. Use left mouse button to select the desired color, and right to copy it to the yarn.
ArahWeave reading jacquard cards

Then you should edit the warp pattern. In the main window choose Fabric > Thread pattern. In the Edit warp and weft pattern dialog box type the warp pattern. The warp pattern is 1A 1B for our example - it means that two different warp threads (ends) are repeated across the full fabric width. Then click OK. You will get the fabric in real colors, but not the correct density - the Integer view mode just shows the weave in warp/weft colors. One pixel (point on the screen) is used to simulate one thread. If you choose a bigger zoom (200%, 300%) two or more pixels are used for one thread.
ArahWeave reading jacquard cards

To set the correct density of warp and weft, select Fabric > Density and type in your values. If you have set the fabric technical data (width, number of threads...), then just check the Density from technical data check box. You have to use Density from technical data, if the fabric is using regulator or denting, to achieve variable density, otherwise the fabric will be simulated just with one density.
ArahWeave reading jacquard cards

To get simulation of the fabric, choose one of the Simulation views.
ArahWeave fabric simulation

The last step is printing of the fabric simulation on the paper. Choose Files > Print fabric to printer. In the dialog box set the Print size, select whether you want to have Title, Density, Warp/weft pattern and Yarns on the printout and click OK.
Arah Weave weaving software

The printed simulation would look something like this.
ArahWeave printed fabric simulation

How to make a fabric simulation from a jacquard floppy: The Fast Way

To avoid manual steps, you can choose a different way, but you will need to create the loom layout file. Choose Weave > Save cards for productions from the main ArahWeave window. First you need to enter the whole number of hooks (2688). To choose the the type of the field (hooks function), click the field button (it is labeled Empty hook by default) and select the function (type) from the drop down menu. In the Length field enter the number of hooks for that function. You can have up to 45 equal fields, into which you can enter your loom layout: the type of the field, and its length (number of hooks).
For the sample from this tutorial, the loom layout looks like this:
ArahWeave jacquard cards

Then choose Change > Extract data using loom layout from the Save cards for production window. If the settings are correct, you get all the extraction steps from the above with one mouse click. Now you can continue directly with settings of the simulation parameters.

If you have more cards, which correspond to the same loom layout, you can use the Automatic extract function from the Change menu.
ArahWeave weaving software

When you load a jacquard card file from the Card browser, ArahWeave will automatically extract the weave data from the card. Window Save cards for production does not need to be open. Fix the simulation, save the fabric, and load another card... It can't get much easier than this. Or maybe it can! If you are a normal weaver with limited number of warps, you can previously save all the warps you use, and then load the warp after extracting the cards. So you do not need to set the warp yarns, colors, density, total number of threads in warp, ... every time.

Our bag of tricks is not yet empty, we have special tools for converting 10.000 jacquard files into fabric simulation in automatic way. Yes, we already did it. But we do not want to try your patience any longer, just so that you know who to call, if you would ever need that.

We all know the market went crazy. Making a nice quality fabric is not enough. You need to distinguish yourself from the competition. You must make a fabric that is difficult to copy. That looks special. A weaver must call for help from other professions. In this tutorial, we will use several techniques of finishing on fabric simulation.


You can simulate printing over a woven fabric in ArahWeave. Open ArahWeave and load (or create) a fabric, in which you want to use the overprint function. Choose Fabric > Simulation. In the Simulation window click the Overprint tab.

To load the image (usually the image, that is used for screen printing), click the Browse button, and load the image into Simulation window. The image should be in the indexed (8 bits per pixel) mode.

The software draws the image over fabric, as if it was printed. With Zoom you can control the size of the overprint image. Strength controls the color strength (transparency) of the overprint (at 100% it covers the fabric completely). With transparency you specify the color in the image, which is not printed. On the sample it is white; please note that the counting starts with 0 and not 1 - so the first color in the image is marked as 0 and it is also the most popular color in the image.

The pictures below demonstrates the same image printed at different Strength levels: 100%, 80%, 60%, and 40%.

The option Overprint fabric transparency is useful for simulation of printing over transparent fabrics, like for example curtains. The holes between threads are covered or not depending on the type of dyes. If the option is switched on, the software draws the overprint image on the space between yarns. The image on the left shows overprint without Overprint fabric transparency, while on the right it is switched on.

Printed warp, Ikat, Chiné simulation

The overprint simulation window in the software has some other options, which allow you to simulate even more exotic stuff. First of the three advanced functions in the overprint window gives you the possibility to specify which yarns in the fabric are not printable. This allows simulation of fabrics with printed warp, ikat fabrics (warp, weft, or both), and even fabrics, which are made from yarns with different fiber composition and thus different dye affinity.
The image below illustrates a fabric with unprintable weft color a (actually the whole weft, since there is only one yarn color in the weft), and warp yarn b.

The Ikat option for warp and weft allows you to simulate the overprint image distortion (feathered edges of the pattern), which is characteristic of techniques, where the warp, weft or both are tie-dyed or printed with a pattern before weaving, to create a design on the finished fabric. Ikat is also called kasuri in Japanese.
In ArahWeave's simulation, the value of ikat effect is specified as the number of pixels of the printed image. The higher the value, the bigger the distortion.

A closer look at the previous simulation shows you how does ArahWeave make the chiné simulation. On the sample the ikat value is set to 12 in the warp direction - it means that the borders of print will vary randomly from 0 to 12 pixels.

The Ikat simulation works best in the combination with the Dye absorption function. It determines the absorption of dye over the edges of the printed motifs. This depends on the yarn material (fiber), type of dyes and printing technique. It can be set independently for warp or weft, and it is expressed in tenth of a millimeter.
The left image below shows a simulation with Dye absorption set to 0, while the simulation on the right was generated with Dye absorption set to 35.

Simple warp ikat plaid
The following images shows you the setup for warp ikat, where only the warp yarn with letter c was printed (or dyed / painted) prior to weaving. So all the other yarns are set to be unprintable. As you can see, the appropriate parameters for warp ikat offset and dye absorption were set. These are fully interactive and visual, so you can change them until you get the desired effect.

Simple weft ikat plaid
Weft ikat is more difficult to make, since the start of each pick (weft yarn) must be aligned to the edge of the fabric. Usually, this is impossible in industrial weaving, due to the nature of weft insertion. But a skilled handweaver can do it.

This is the warp and weft pattern for the above fabric simulation.

And these are the settings for the above weft ikat. Only the weft letter d is left unprintable. The other parameters are similar as for the warp ikat, just that they are applied to the weft.

Simulation of embroidery

The Overprint function is also useful for simulation of embroidery. Obviously, ArahWeave is not a CAD intended for the embroidery, so you need to scan your embroidered design (or import the simulation from another CAD). You just need to set the Strength to 100% and Overprint fabric transparency should be on. The picture below shows a simulation of an embroidery over a plaid fabric.

We have made some steps beyond weaving, so the weaver can show to her customers the final look. Actually, several of Arahne's customers are both weavers and printers. So they use their actual print screens to make the simulation, and get the customer's approval prior to "destroying" the fabric.