Cardboard looms are an economical way to introduce weaving techniques to children and adults. Weaving creates a small piece of fabric that can be used many different ways. The finished weaving can be the basis of a coaster, or combined with other pieces of finished weaving and stitched into a bag, place mat, hat or scarf. It also can be used as a wall hanging.
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Cardboard Loom Basics
Start with a piece of heavy cardboard. Cut into a square; a 6-inch-by-6-inch square is manageable for beginners. Cut notches evenly on two opposite sides. The closer they are, the tighter the weave will be. Wrap thick yarn through all the notches to create a weaving base. Tie the end to secure.
Cardboard Loom Stitches
There are several stitches that can be used when using a cardboard loom. You can make a sampler of different stitches. Tabby weave is the basic pattern: over one and then under the next.
A basket weave pattern is made by going over two strands and then going under the next two strands and so on. It does not matter if you start over or under. A twill weave is the way jeans and khakis are created. It consists of going under one and then over two.
Twining makes two-color diagonal stripes. Start by weaving a tabby row stitch and then go back over it the opposite way. If you change the direction of the way you begin, the row will start to form diagonally. This is best seen if you use two different colours.
Cardboard Loom Weaving Supplies
Aside from the piece of cardboard, you will need weaving supplies. Thick yarn is a common choice, but you also can use embroidery thread, string or twine. Fabric scraps can be cut or ripped into strips and used in place of, or in addition to, the yarn. For example, once the loom is full, use a crochet hook to pull fabric strips in and out of the yarn. Beads, feathers and other trims also can be attached to the weaving.
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