This structure, with its
characteristically intricate patterns, has been used primarily for decorative
borders--both on flatweaves and on the skirts of knotted-pile objects. It is not
actually an 'end finish,' however.
In a complementary-weft weave, weft yarns of contrasting colors are used in
pairs, and each weft complements the action of the other exactly. If a light weft
passes over four warps and under two, its dark-colored companion follows, passing under
four warps and over two. The sequences are changed to vary the patterns: some
wefts might go over and under 3 warps, or they might go over 5 and under 1, but they are
always used in complementary pairs. All wefts are allowed enough ease to cover the warps
completely, making this a weft-faced weave.
When only two colors are used, the back and front faces are similar. The
interlacement pattern is the same on both; the position of the colors is merely
switched. Small X's, for example, may be light on one face and dark on the other.
Typical patterns are very small: little triangles, diamonds and rosettes
predominate. The blocky Qashqa'i so-called 'domino' border features one of the more
complex motifs. Perhaps someone can send us an example of that.
The only real confusion in identifying this structure sometimes occurs when twill and
pointed twill designs are articulated with this method. If those have thin ground wefts
hidden underneath, they are brocaded instead. We will gather twill examples on a