Handweaving – Butterflies: bl-bfly

Instructions for How to wind a butterfly for weaving tapestries

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On larger looms, the weft thread is usually wound onto a bobbin or shutte, however, on this small cardboard box loom, a shuttle would be too big use. Instead, you can wind the weft thread into small skein or “butterfly”. Butterflies are often used in tapestry weaving as well.

butterfly

  • To start winding the butterfly, place the end of the yarn between your index and first finger.
  • Wrap the yarn around your thumb, forming a loop.

  • Then wrap the yarn around your little finger, and back around your thumb, forming a figure 8.
  • Continue back and forth, wrapping the yarn between your thumb and your little finger, forming figure 8’s.
  • This forms a “cross” in the middle of the 2 loops of yarn that are around your thumb and little fingers.
  • When you have wound sufficient yarn,
  • (usually 10 – 15 revolutions)
  • break the end of the yarn.
  • Then wrap the end of the yarn around the center of the 2 loops (at the cross) a few times.
  • At the last wrap, slip the end of the yarn through this loop and pull the end until it is snug.

To weave with the butterfly, you can pull gently on the starting end and it should slip out of the butterfly.

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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