Tag Archives: learn to weave

Cardboard Loom: aa040201

You don’t need expensive equipment to weave. A flat piece of cardboard or a cardboard box can easily turn into a loom that you can weave mug rugs, placemats or intricate tapestries on. This is a great project for kids or for teaching beginners to weave.

cardboard loom tapestry

To make a simple loom from a cardboard box, find a good sturdy box. (A shoebox might not be strong enough.)

With a sharp knife, cut the flaps off the top of the box. Then using a ruler mark off the
“sett” for the loom at the top edges of the box. If you are going to be using thicker yarns, you can mark use a sett of 4 epi (ends per inch). Make a mark each 1/4 inch along 2 For narrower setts you could use 5 or 6
epi.
With a sharp knife cut a 1/4″ – 1/2″ slit at each of the markings.
cardboard box loom

Use a sturdy cotton or linen yarn for the warp (the lengthwise threads of the woven piece). Secure the end of the warp thread to your cardboard loom with a piece of tape.
Begin to wrap the warp thread around the loom, placing a thread in each slit at the top of the box edge. Continue to wrap the warp around the box.

Tighten any loose threads to an even tension. Then secure the other end of the warp with another piece of tape.

Your warp of your cardboard loom is now threaded and you are ready to begin to weave.

How to weave on your Cardboard Loom

cardboard loom

A Header is woven at the beginning of a project. This can be woven of any type of scrap yarn as usually the header is removed once the project is finished. Try to use a similar weight of yarn as what will be used in the actual piece. The Header helps to align the warp into place, allows you to check for threading errors and gives a good edge for beating the weft into place.

cardboard box loom

Beating the Weft

On a larger floor or table loom, you will have a reed and beater that will beat the weft into place. With Tapestry looms, the weft is usually beaten with a hand held beater. For this small cardboard box loom you can use a fork.

After each row of weft or pick, use the tines of the fork to beat or gently press the weft into place evenly across the loom.

cardboard box loom

Weaving the Weft with Tabby

Use a knitting needle or a small stick to pick up the warp threads. In Tabby or Plain weave, every other warp thread is picked up, so the weft travels over and under each thread.

Rest the knitting needle on the edge of the box to hold the raised threads in place, while you draw the weft thread through the open shed.

For the next row, pick up the alternate warp threads with the knitting needle and weave the weft thread across.

cardboard box loom

On cardboard looms, or simple frame looms, the warp threads are hand manipulated. On larger looms with more harnesses, this task is more automated. The warp yarns are threaded through individual heddles in the harnesses. By raising a harness or shaft, this raises all the heddles that are on the shaft.

For example, on a 4-shaft table or floor loom, the warp yarn is threaded through the 4 shafts or harnesses. For this simple Tabby weave, the first warp thread goes through the first heddle of the first harness.
The 2nd warp thread goes through the first heddle of the second shaft.
The 3rd warp thread goes through the first heddle of the 3rd shaft.
The 4th warp thread goes through the first heddle of the 4th shaft. In a Draft Plan, the threading would look like this:

tabby weave draft

Weaving Weft in Twill

Another type of common pattern in weaving is Twill. The weft threads go over 2 and under 2 warp threads. On the following row, the next 2 threads are picked up and the following 2 warp threads are lowered. This results in a diagonal design running either to the right or left depending on the direction that you are weaving.

Weaving Twill

weave twill

If you number the warp threads: 1,2,3,4 (repeat)

Row 1

Pick up threads 1 and 2, skip over threads 3 and 4, pick up 1 and 2, skip 3, 4 (repeat).

Pass the weft yarn through the open shed.

Row 2

On the 2nd row, move over 1 warp thread from the previous row, and pick up the next 2 threads and lower the following 2.
Skip warp thread 1

Pick up warp threads 2 and 3

Skip threads 4 and 1

Pick up threads 2 and 3

Skip threads 4 and 1Repeat to the end, and pass the weft thread through the open shed.

Row 3

Skip warp threads 1 and 2

Pick up threads 3 and 4

Repeat to the end of the row and pass the weft thread through the open shed.

Row 4

Pick up warp thread 1

Skip threads 2 and 3

Pick up threads 4 and 1

Skip threads 2 and 3

Pick up threads 4 and 1

Repeat this sequence to the end of the row and pass the weft thread through the open shed.

Twill Variations

Twill is a very versatile weave structure, and you will find many variations in twill design. By changing the direction of the pickup, the diagonals will change to the right or to the left. Twills are also woven by varying the number of warp threads that are picked up or lowered.

twill

Twill Draft

Weaving Clasped Weft

In addition to using twill, tabby or other types of weave structures, an easy way to add interest to your weaving is to use different colored weft yarns. Clasped weft is a technique that uses 2 different colored weft threads in the same row of weaving.

Although this technique is being shown on a cardboard loom, the clasped weft technique can be done on larger looms as well, using 2 shuttles.

Clasp Weft Technique

Advancing the Warp

Are you getting near the end of the box and don’t have room to weave anymore? You don’t have to quit yet, as you still have lots of warp left, wrapped around the box.

box loom weaving

box loom

Slide a knitting needle or other stick under the warp threads at the beginning of your woven piece.

  • Lift up gently on the needle and remove the warp threads from the notches of the box.
  • Gently pull on the warp threads and slide the project forward on the loom, leaving the top end of the warp threads in the other notches.
  • Adjust the tension on the warp threads if necessary, securing them with tape.
  • You are now ready to continue weaving.

Weave a Circle

Although I haven’t done so in this sample project that I wove, you could keep weaving all around the box, creating a complete circle.

Finishing

box loom tapestry

Once you have woven the length of project that you wish to have, cut the warp off the loom, leaving a 2 – 3 inch length of warp at each end for the fringe.

Group 2 or 3 warp ends together and secure with an overhand knot.

Here are some other ideas for weaving with cardboard looms.
2nd Grade Cardboard Loom
These kids in Grade 2 made looms from a flat piece of cardboard and wove some very colorful pieces.
Yarn Weaving
7th Graders wove circular tapestries on paper plates.
Simple Loom Weaving
A lesson plan for weaving on a cardboard loom and learning about the Hispanic and Navajo traditions of weaving in New Mexico.
Childs Elementary School
An inspiring gallery of woven works done by students using different colors and textures of yarns.
Photo Album
Grade 7 and 8 students of Page Middle School wove some pouches on their cardboard looms.
5th Grade Art
5th graders are studying about the arts and crafts of various cultures. They have woven medicine bags on cardboard looms, made ceramic whistles and Aboriginal dot paintings.

Spears Loom
How to weave tapestry on a child’s Spears weaving loom.

Double Hole Rigid Heddle
Add beads to your weaving project.

Beginner Weaving Books

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

Hands on Rigid Heddle Weaving
Wonderful projects and plain-weave variations, this user-friendly guide covers choosing, setting up, and weaving on a rigid heddle loom.
UK: Hands on Rigid Heddle

The Woven Bag: 30+ Projects from Small Looms (Writers Digest Guides)
Each bag is created using small looms, such as potholder looms, frame looms and knotted mesh looms.
UK: The Woven Bag

[sc name=”medianet300x250″]
[sc name=”Amazon-Bottom”]

McMorran Balance: aa022800

Have you ever purchased a cone of yarn and don’t know how much yarn you really have? It’s easy to find out, by using a handy tool called a McMorran balance. The McMorran balance is a scale that allows you to determine the yardage of a particular yarn. It consists of a rectangular plastic box and a balancing arm. The arm has been calibrated to calculate the yards per lb. of a particular yarn. Metric versions of McMorran balances can also be purchased.
To use it, follow the steps outlined below:

McMorran balance

Place the McMorran balance on a level surface, such as on the edge of a table.

Set the pins of the small balancing arm into the small notches on the top of the box.

McMorran balance

Lay a length of yarn in the notch of the balance, allowing the yarn to hang down towards the floor.

McMorran Balance
McMorran Balance

Using scissors start to trim the length of yarn, cutting about 1/2 inch at a time, until the balancing arm is level.

McMorran Balance

When the arm is level, remove the length of yarn from the balance. Measure the length of yarn against a ruler.

McMorran balance

  • Multiply the measurement x 100.
  • This measurement gives you the number of yards per lb. of yarn (ypp)
  • e.g. 8.4 inches x 100 =840 ypp

If you are measuring bumpy, slub or a handspun yarn, the measurement may not be accurate due to inconsistencies in the yarn but it will give you an approximate estimate. I use the McMorran balance to calculate how many yards of yarn are left on a cone.

For example, if using the McMorran balance, I know that the yarn is 840
ypp, I then weigh the cone of yarn, e.g. 12 oz. (.75 lb) – the cone has 840 x .75 = 630 yards of yarn left. I also find the McMorran balance to be very useful when
handspinning, to check the consistency of the yarn that I am spinning.

A few places to find a McMorran balance:
Halcyon Yarns
The Woolery

Handweaving

Double Width Weaving
Ladder Hem Stitch
How to Make a Twisted Fringe
How to Finish Chenille
How to Wash a Wool Blanket

Weaving Books: Beginner Weaving

Favorite Scandinavian Projects to Weave: 45 Stylish Designs for the Modern Home
A collection of 45 different furnishing textiles: colorful blankets, fanciful table runners, classic curtains, and embroidered hand towels.
UK: Favorite Scandinavian Projects to Weave

Rug Weaving Techniques: Beyond the Basics
Concise instructions and explanatory diagrams techniques for plain weave, twill and block weaves.
UK: Rug Weaving Techniques

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..

[sc name=”medianet300x250″]

Handmade Adjustable Floor Rag Rug Twining Loom 48" x 27.5"

$100.00
End Date: Monday Dec-2-2019 4:30:45 PST
Buy It Now for only: $100.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Antique Vintage Nilus Leclerc Loom Tension Box Warp Weaving Wood

$109.99
End Date: Saturday Dec-14-2019 5:45:28 PST
Buy It Now for only: $109.99
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Used Nilus LeClerc Table Loom Model MEDICO # S-22-4-73-00

$325.00
End Date: Sunday Dec-15-2019 9:09:52 PST
Buy It Now for only: $325.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

[sc name=”Amazon-Bottom”]

Beginner Weaving – Tying Warp: aa110599

When the warp has been evenly wound on to the back beam, you are almost ready to weave. All
that remains is tying on to the front apron rod and checking your tension.

The warp threads are tied to the front apron rod in about 1 inch sections. Bring the bout
of threads over the rod, split the bundle in two, and tie a single overhand knot and tighten
the tension. Repeat this all the way across the warp threads.

front beam knot

Once all the threads have been tied, run your hand lightly across the threads. You should be
able to feel for loose spots – if any of the threads have an uneven tension. Again tighten all
the threads, adjusting any that are loose.

warp tension

Once you feel that the tension is even, then tie a second overhand knot on each thread to
secure them in place.

The next step is to go under your loom and tie the pedals according to the tieup plan in your

draft.

tie warp to loom

Then release the brake and advance the warp forward so that the rod is over the breast beam.
Put the brake back on, and tighten the tension on your loom. You are ready to weave!

Using a contrasting weft color, weave a header – a couple of inches of both tabby and your
pattern. Check for crossed threads and errors in threading. If there are any, you will have to
untie those threads, make the necessary threading corrections, and retie.

weave header

Congratulations! You are done and your warp is ready to go! Happy weaving!

Step 1. Choose your project and yarns.

Step 2. Determine the sett of your cloth, or how many threads per inch the fabric will be.

Step 3. Choose the correct Reed

Step 4. Calculate the Yarn requirements.

Step 5. Wind the Warp using a warping board or warping mill.

Step 6. Remove the warp chains and place them on the loom.

Step 7. Sley the Reed.

Step 8. Thread the heddles, following the draft plan.

Step 9. Wind the warp onto the back beam

Step 10. Tie the warp ends to the front beam.

Congratulations! Now you a ready to Weave!
[sc name=”medianet300x250″]

Handmade Adjustable Floor Rag Rug Twining Loom 48" x 27.5"

$100.00
End Date: Monday Dec-2-2019 4:30:45 PST
Buy It Now for only: $100.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Antique Vintage Nilus Leclerc Loom Tension Box Warp Weaving Wood

$109.99
End Date: Saturday Dec-14-2019 5:45:28 PST
Buy It Now for only: $109.99
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Used Nilus LeClerc Table Loom Model MEDICO # S-22-4-73-00

$325.00
End Date: Sunday Dec-15-2019 9:09:52 PST
Buy It Now for only: $325.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

[sc name=”Amazon-Bottom”]

Beginner Weaving – How to Warp: aa031600

There are lots of different ways to warp a loom. If you use another method, that’s great! The objective is to find a method that is most comfortable and easy to use for you. I will describe a method that I use when warping from Front-to-Back.

weaving loom

Step 1 – Choose Your Project and Yarns

First, you will need to determine how wide and long you want your project to be and what type of yarn you will be using. For beginners, it is advisable to choose a pre-determined pattern so that some of the calculations will be done for you already. Some weaving patterns and projects are listed on our site. There are also many handweaving books and magazines on the market. Handwoven is a great source for ideas. Check with your local library, take a class through a local weaving guild or the many hand picked books we suggest via Amazon. And of course, if you have questions, stop by our Facebook Page where we will all be happy to help you get started.

Step 2. Determine the sett of your cloth, or how many threads per inch the fabric will be.

Step 3. Choose the correct Reed

Step 4. Calculate the Yarn requirements.

Step 5. Wind the Warp using a warping board or warping mill.

Step 6. Remove the warp chains and place them on the loom.

Step 7. Sley the Reed.

Step 8. Thread the heddles, following the draft plan.

Step 9. Wind the warp onto the back beam

Step 10. Tie the warp ends to the front beam.

Congratulations! Now you a ready to Weave!

[sc name=”medianet300x250″]

Handmade Adjustable Floor Rag Rug Twining Loom 48" x 27.5"

$100.00
End Date: Monday Dec-2-2019 4:30:45 PST
Buy It Now for only: $100.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Antique Vintage Nilus Leclerc Loom Tension Box Warp Weaving Wood

$109.99
End Date: Saturday Dec-14-2019 5:45:28 PST
Buy It Now for only: $109.99
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Used Nilus LeClerc Table Loom Model MEDICO # S-22-4-73-00

$325.00
End Date: Sunday Dec-15-2019 9:09:52 PST
Buy It Now for only: $325.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

[sc name=”Amazon-Bottom”]