What is a WIF? 

A wif is a weaving information file created by a weaving software program that holds drafts for weaving projects, in text file format. 


What are weaving software programs? 

Weaving software programs allow users to design and modify drafts and view drawdowns. Those drafts can be saved in a program’s proprietary file format or in WIF format. 


Why are WIFs useful? 

WIFs are useful because they are in a generic file format rather than a proprietary file format, which means they can be opened by most weaving software programs. WIFs are easily manipulated to show the user how changes in elements of a draft (such as the threading, tie-up, treadling, colors, or thread size) will change the appearance of the woven cloth. WIFs are also used to drive computer-assisted dobby looms. One of nicest things about using WIFs and weaving software is all the different ways you can print out a draft, which is helpful during threading, tie-up, and treadling.  


Do you have to own weaving software to open a WIF? 

Most of the weaving software companies offer a free trial program download. Generally that means you can open a WIF but not print or save it unless you purchase a license.  There are many weaving software programs to choose from, including (in alphabetical order): ArahWeave, Fiberworks PCW, Patternland, PixeLoom, ProWeave, WeaveDesign, WeaveDraft, Weaveit, WeavePoint, and Wif2Tiff. There may be others. We encourage you to ask your weaving friends what they use and do some investigating of your own. 


How do you use a WIF from Long Thread Media? 

  1. Start with a download of the WIF from handwovenmagazine.com/wif-library 
  2. Open a weaving software program or trial program. 
  3. Use File/Open to open the WIF. 

OK, it’s open, now what? Start clicking! That’s the best way to learn. Your changes won’t be saved unless you click File/Save, and they won’t be saved at all if you are using a trial program. If you need help, check if the software you are using has a help button, or if the company’s website has a WIF manual. You can also search for information about WIFs on the internet. The resource listed below is a more detailed introduction to WIFs. Most of all, have fun with your WIFs.  They are a wonderful tool that many weavers love. 

If you have any questions, please reach out to [email protected]