Choosing a loom and learning to weave is the first step on a journey that can be simple, as in using a frame loom, or complex as in using a multiple harness or tapestry loom that can take up a whole room with its size. To start, try learning to weave on a frame loom that looks just like a picture frame. It has four sides and can be used for making small projects while you get your technique down.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- 2 1 x 2 x 12 pieces of wood
- 2 1 x 2 x 8 pieces of wood
- Finishing nails
- Cotton yarn for warp
- Yarn for weft
- Wooden ruler (3 or more)
- Hair pick or plastic comb
Nail the four pieces of wood together to form a rectangle.
Use your ruler to measure as you tap-in finishing nails about 1/8-inch apart along the top edge, just deep enough to make sure they are firmly in place. Repeat on the bottom, making sure you have the nails lined up.
Take the warp yarn (the warp is the base layer of yarn you will be weaving across) and tie one end onto the first finishing nail, then wrap it to the opposite nail on the bottom of the loom frame. Pull it snug but not super tight.
Wrap the yarn around each nail, return it to the top, wrap, move to the next nail over, string it to the bottom. Repeat this until you have evenly vertical lines of warp from the top to the bottom of the loom for the width of the project you desire. These threads are called the "warp". The "weft" is the term for the yarn you will now weave across the warp.
Take one of your wooden rulers and wrap the yarn around it along the long way until you have a good bit wound. You have now created a tool called a "shuttle".
Leave about 2 inches of yarn free and take the end of the ruler and weave it through the warp, every other string, until you reach the other end.
Beat the weft yarn to within 1.5 inches of the bottom of the loom using a ruler threaded through on alternate warp threads to push the weft downwards. You can also use your pick or comb to help with this.
Push the ruler you just used to beat the weft downward to the top of the loom, leaving it in the warp. Now turn it on end so that it separates the warp threads, leaving air space between them. This is called the "shed".
Unwind some yarn from the shuttle, turn the shuttle and stick it through the shed, weaving it back across the warp. When you pull the yarn through, do not pull so tightly that they pull the warp inward. When you beat this thread down it should meet the first one. You will notice it will either tighten and pull the warp in, be too loose or sit just right. Adjust your tension on the weft thread as needed.
Take the ruler out, thread it on alternate weft strings, beat the last weft down, slide it to the top of the loom, turn it upright and repeat the weaving sequences. Repeat this process until you have reached the top, leaving at least 1.5 inches of bare warp. Cut the warp at the nails.
Bundle about three strings of warp and tie an overhand knot close to the weft. You have now created your first weaving.
Tips and warnings
- Once you get a feel for this simple weave, you can begin more complex structures and even lace weaves. Try changing colours as you work until you get proficient in doing that. Do not be afraid to experiment with textured weft yarns. There are more complex looms that you can buy or make once you have mastered this simple frame loom that can be used to make pot holders, tea warmers, drink coasters and bracelets, watch bands or hair tie-backs.
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