Ladder Hem Stitch Finishing Technique

This edging finish is great for handwoven towels, table runners or blanket throws.

Weave 4 inches of tabby at the beginning of your project. You might wish to use a lighter weight weft yarn for this, as it will become a folded edge on your finished article.


  • Using either the same yarn as your weft, or a contrasting yarn, thread a length onto a tapestry needle.
  • Work from the right warp edge, sewing to the left.
  • Open the shed and weave in the end of the yarn.
  • Decide how many warp threads you will use for the "ladders" of the hemstitch.
  • In this example, I am using 4 warp ends.
  • Place the needle under the next 4 warp ends, and pull the yarn through.
  • Bring the needle over the group of 4 threads and around back to the edge of the warp.
  • This will form a loop around the warp threads.
  • Bring the needle back underneath the warp,
  • Go down 3 weft picks and and over 4 warp threads
  • You should be directly under the left side of the group of warp threads.
  • Bring the needle back up through the warp
  • Place the needle directly above the warp threads and repeat the steps above
  • Work your way across the length of the warp.
  • Weave a shot or 2 of a thicker cotton or linen yarn across the web
  • This forms the height of the ladder, and will be later removed.
  • Similarly to the procedure described above, you will now sew the top portion of the ladder hem.
  • Work from the right edge to the left
  • Thread the tapestry needle with another length of yarn
  • Pass the needle under the first group of 4 warp threads and bring it over, forming a loop.
  • Count up 3 weft shots, directly above the left side of the warp group.
    Bring your needle under the warp and up through the warp.
  • Pull the yarn through and tighten the loop.
  • Repeat, working your way across the warp.

You are now ready to weave!

Once your project is woven, repeat the above steps to complete the other edge of the article. Finish by weaving another 4 inch hem allowance in tabby.

Remove the woven article from the loom.Zigzag sew the edges at the end of the warp before washing.Pull out the weft yarn that was used as the ladder spacer.


ladder hem stitch
ladder hem stitch
After washing, trim the edges along the zigzag seam, and fold over the 4" hem allowance, to the edge of the ladder stitch. Hand hem the edge neatly.



More about Weaving:

Weaving Information
Weaving drafts and patterns
Ladder hem stitch - updated page

Weaving Looms


AllFiberArts Facebook Group
Join our new Facebook Group
Beading, Crochet, Jewelry, Knitting, Quilting, Sewing and Craft
Etsy Ambassador
Join Etsy and receive 40 free listings