Ladder Hem Stitch

How to make a ladder hem stitch finish on your handwoven

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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.

ladder hem stitch

  • 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.

Ladder hem stitch

  • 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.

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Table of Setts

Hand Weaving Books
Weaving on a Little Loom (Everything you need to know to get started with weaving, includes 5 simple projects

The Key to Weaving: A Textbook of Hand Weaving for the Beginning Weaver
The Weaver’s Companion (The Companion Series)
Learning to Weave
The Big Book of Weaving: Handweaving in the Swedish Tradition: Techniques, Patterns, Designs and Materials
The Handweaver’s Pattern Directory
A Weaver’s Book of 8-Shaft Patterns: From the Friends of Handwoven
Krokbragd: How to Design & Weave
Doubleweave: On Four to Eight Shafts
Double Weave: Theory and Practice<
Magic of Doubleweave: The Best of Weaver’s (Best of Weaver’s series)
Weaving In the Arts: Widening the Learning Circle

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Author: Paivi Suomi

I've had an interest in weaving, looms, yarns and textiles since I was a small child. I learned to knit, crochet, sew, do needlepoint at my mother's knee. My grandmother was a Saami from northern Norway. I am very interested in studying more about tradtional Saami and Finnish style weaving and handicrafts. Paivi Suomi