Loom Shaped Clothing

“Loom-shaped clothing is apparel made from separate pieces which are shaped as they are woven. Most often these pieces are rectangles or squares. There is no cutting involved, except to separate the pieces after they have been removed from the loom and processed. It is the manner in which the pieces are folded and assembled which forms them into a comfortable garment.
Needless to say, a loom-shaped garment will not be comfortable if it is not the correct size. We mature into different proportions and shapes. Before dressing the loom, it is important to know the finished measurements of the assembled garment. These measurements may be taken from an existing blouse or jacket which fits the weaver’s prospective wearer. These are the measurements you need when figuring shrinkage percentages for your warp and weft fibers, plus a general seam allowance of ¼” (.64cm).
True measurements can only be known through sampling. If the knowledge is already at hand for the weaver, that is to say when the warp-wise and weft-wise shrinkages obtained in that particular weaver’s washer and dryer, using the same fiber(s), obviously a sample need not be made. However, anytime a new fiber is to be woven, a sample should be made and processed to determine both width and length shrinkage percentages. The finished web must be processed the same as the sample. Because hot water and dryer temperatures vary from household to household, the woven sample should be processed with the same laundry equipment used to finish the final garment web.
The happy side to sampling is keeping records which can be referred to for future projects. For example only, if previously you dressed 2/8 shetland at 12 ends per inch, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes, agitated for 6 minutes, rinsed cold, dried 5 minutes on perma-press, resulting in 30% weft shrinkage and 12% warp shrinkage, you wouldn’t have to make another sample to attain a like fabric unless you changed laundry equipment or purchased a new hot water heater. The sample should be attached to the record sheet.
Key points to consider for comfort are:

(1) generally a woven neck depth of 3″ (7.62cm) is sufficient, and gussets woven of the same fiber allow for a comfortable fitted neck. Generally a gusset which measures 5½” x 5″ (14cm x 12.7cm) will fit into the neck and its placement adjusted until the neck feels comfortable.

(2) if appropriate for a particular loom-shaped pattern, the armhole opening at back should be about 2″ (5.08cm) longer than the front armhole opening. This can alleviate that distressing, disappointing event of having a jacket or blouse hike up in back.
For a successful blue print to make a fashionable garment, some goals to work toward are….(1) Keep it Simple, (2) Contrast, (3) Dominance and (4) Embellishment.


Good design is simple design, brought about using the elements of hue, value, shape, line and texture. While that sounds like a lot of elements, when they are choreographed into a single garment one cannot help but have a smashing garment.


is needed to relieve monotony and is the spark which holds the style together. Contrast can be achieved within the web and with embellishments as a final application.

Dominance, or Repetition:

Obtained in several ways, such as repeating identical or closely similar colors with different textures. Dominance is most easily recognized in any art form with the repetition of any texture, hue, value (degree of lightness or darkness), line or shape. Generally, lighter tones are perceived as less formal and darker tones appear more elegant, conservative and formal. The addition of iridescent fibers to lighter or darker colors appear to make them appear more formal. Last, but by no means least, stylish loom-shaped clothing is assured when one takes the extra time to add that “finishing touch that means so much” in assembling and embellishing; these are tasks done at leisure in the evening when dishes are done and it is time to kick back.
(c)2000, Gloria Vaughn Hann

Copyrighted. The author has written a book titled A Weaver’s Pattern Book of Loom Shaped Clothing.

A Weaver’s Pattern Book of Loom Shaped Clothing

Loom Shaped Clothing
THE ANWG website includes a diagram of how loom-shaped clothing is designed.

Weaving Books

Key to Weaving: A Textbook of Hand-Weaving Techniques and Pattern Drafts for the Beginning Weaver
A definitive guide to handloom weaving: step-by-step instructions, intricacies of color, fiber and how to use them effectively.
UK: Key to Weaving

Weaving Made Easy: 17 Projects Using a Simple Loom
The small, portable rigid heddle loom can be used to easily produce loose, drape-friendly fabric as well as dense, sturdy material.
UK: Weaving Made Easy

.. more Handweaving books..

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This page last edited on July 20, 2013


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