Tag Archives: paper yarn

Paper Yarn Placemats

This pattern is woven in tabby but use different types of yarns giving an interesting effect. The placemats and table runner are woven using 22/2 cottolin for warp. This is woven in a thick/thin rep weave, using paper yarn and hemp single ply tow yarn as the weft. You can substitute the hemp with a single ply linen yarn, a cotton yarn or the same type of cottolin that you used in the warp.

This pattern will make 4 placemats and 1 table runner.


Warp: 22/2 cottolin, 3160 ypp
>Warp Length: 6 yards
Black – 40 ends
Navy – 180 ends
Black – 40 ends
Sett: 20 epi
Width in Reed: 13 inches
placemat weaving draft


For the edges of each placemat, weave 2 inches of tabby using the 22/2 cottolin yarn.
The placemat is woven in tabby using 2 shuttles alternating shots of:
Paper yarn – 430 ypp (White)
6/1 Hemp – 1800 ypp (various colours)
Weft: 16 ppi
To weave with paper yarn, the yarn must be damp. Wind the yarn onto a bobbin. Fill a bowl of water and soak the bobbin for a few minutes to wet the yarn. Wipe the bobbin with a dry wash cloth to remove the excess water.

Placemat Pattern length: 16 inches
For these placemats, I used a different colour of hemp weft for each placemat, so that each one is slightly different, but complementary.

Table Runner Pattern length:

30 inches
The table runner was woven with varied stripes of colour: red, green, blue, yellow.


Cut the hem between each placemat, and sew.

Care and Washing

It is best not to wash paper placemats in the washing machine. Rather, they can be wiped clean with a damp cloth, or can be gently handwashed.

Yarn Sources

Borgs VavgarnerA great source for linen and paper yarns from Sweden.

Kromski Harp Forte Rigid Heddle Loom  24Inch, GREAT CONDITION!

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Vintage Structo gray metal loom 8 harness 8" weaving width

End Date: Tuesday Apr-17-2018 16:00:43 PDT
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Ashford 10" SampleIt Loom - FREE Shipping

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Paper Yarn Weaving: aa111502

I had the opportunity to take a seminar with Pirkko Karvonen, on weaving with paper

I wove the paper vases pictured above, using the technique described by Pirkko.  The warp
was a 3 ply hemp, and the coloured weft was paper yarn, alternating with a weft of 6 ply

Paper yarns have been used in Finland, Sweden and Japan to make textiles, clothing
fabrics, placemats, rugs and other decorative items. Once paper yarn has been woven, it
retains its strength and can be cleaned by wiping with a damp cloth.  Paper yarn is low in
dust and is a good alternative for those with allergies and environmental health
problems. Paper yarn is best used as weft.  When you weave with it, dampen the paper yarn before
you weave with it.  Try to weave all the paper yarn that you have dampened that day.  If
you are interrupted, you can put the damp paper yarn into a plastic bag to keep it moist
and use it the following day.  If you leave it damp for too long, it may mildew or start to
fall apart.  When I wove with the paper yarn, I wound it onto a bobbin and then dipped the
bobbin in a small dish of water, before I wove with it.

Pirkko Karvonen
Holding a flower made with paper yarn.

A Japanese vest handwoven with silk and paper yarn.

The Japanese vest was woven with a silk warp. The special paper used as warp in the
vest was folded and cut into narrow strips(about 2 cm wide), almost to the edge of the
paper. This cutting technique is similar to that used for cutting rag rugs.
(Sakiori) The paper is dampened and wrapped in a towel. Let the
damp paper rest overnight. The next day,when the paper is opened up, it produces a long
narrow strip. The narrow strip of paper is then rolled on cement or a smooth surface to
produce a spun yarn. The edges of the paper are rolled between the fingers to smooth them.
The selvage edges will show up as slubs in the weft of the fabric.

Searching for Myself
Pirkko Karvonen has made significant contributions to the textile community in Canada.
Her work exhibits the ethnic traditions of Finland.

Star and the Birch Tree
A fibre tapestry depicting a snowy winter in Finland under Russian rule.

Karvonen Films
Pirkko and her husband Albert also produce wildlife and nature documentaries.

Where to Find Paper Yarn

Borgs Vavgarner
Paper yarns from Sweden, in a nice selection of colours.

Textura Trading
Manila linen and Shifu paper yarns.

Habu Textiles
A very unique assortment for the yarn connoisseur: raw silks, bamboo, hand-tied ramies,
cashmere, paper, naturally gold silks, handspun silks/cottons, silk stainless steel and
much more.

An Italian producer of paper yarns.

Paper Yarn Flowers
A how-to project for making paper yarn flowers.

DIY – Paper Yarn Lampshades
A project for making lampshades with paper yarn.

Ritva Puotila weaves rugs, carpets, table runners and accessories with paper yarns.

Hemp Rep Placemats

Japanese Paper Weaving

Paper Yarn

What is Kraft Paper

Papermaking: paper

Paper from Polypores
How to make handmade paper using polypores or fungi.

paper466.jpg, 7209 bytes

Paper Yarn Weaving
Paper Yarn weaving with Pirkko Karvonen at Convergence 2002.

Japanese Paper Weaving
The art of weaving with paper yarns in Japan.

Paper Wall Hanging
A woven wall hanging project using Christmas wrapping paper.

Paper Yarn Placemat
A weaving project for making placemats with paper yarn and hemp.

You Tube – Japanese Paper making

Papermaking Books

Papermaking with Garden Plants & Common Weeds
Illustrated step-by-step instructions, make it easy to blend and shape a variety of organic papers from such common plants as hosta, milkweed, and thistledown, as well as the more unusual pineapple, yucca, and seaweed
UK: Papermaking with Garden Plants

The Complete Book of Papermaking
How to fashion a sheet of paper, step by step.
UK: Complete Book of Papermaking

Japanese Papermaking: Traditions, Tools, Techniques
Every aspect of papermaking is explained in depth, including cultivation of paper mulberry in the West, weaving the flexible mold surface (su), and evaluation of the finished paper.
UK: Japanese Papermaking

The Papermaker’s Companion: The Ultimate Guide to Making and Using Handmade Paper
Instructions for both Western-style (European) and Eastern-style (Japanese) papers are covered. Some projects are included, but the emphasis is on processes and techniques.
UK: Papermakers Companion

Kindle Version
UK: Hand Papermaking Manual