Category Archives: Ethnic Textiles

About traditional and ethnic weaving techniques.

Verulamium Spindles and Looms: aa062304

Verulamium was a Roman city near St. Albans. Today, the Verulamium museum has an impressive collection of artifacts found in the area, including many spinning and weaving tools.

Excavations at Folly Lane
Sewing needles
Loom Weights
Warp weighted looms


Wool combs
roman wool comb

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St. Albans, historical and picturesque. With an account of the Roman city of Verulamium … Illustrated by Frederic G. Kitton.

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Sewing needles






Spindle Spinning
Ethnic Weaving


Verulamium: The Roman City of St Albans
Verulamium Since the Romans

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Book Store: Coast Salish books

Salish Weaving

Salish Weaving: Primitive and Modern, As Practised by the Salish Indians of South West British Columbia
An early history of weaving, preparation of materials, native dyes and dyeing, the loom, the warp, the weaves and Salish designs.

Working with Wool: A Coast Salish Legacy and the Cowichan Sweater
Cowichan sweaters, with their distinctive bands of design and untreated, handspun wool, have been a British Columbia icon since the early years of the twentieth century, but few people know the full story behind the garment.

Contemporary Coast Salish Art
By carving, weaving, and painting their stories into ceremonial and utilitarian objects, Coast Salish artists render tangible the words and ideas that have been the architecture of this remarkable Pacific Northwest Coast culture.

Coast Salish: Coast Salish governments, Coast Salish peoples, Cowichan knitting, Salish weaving, Squamish Nation, Douglas Treaties
Coast Salish refers to a cultural or ethnographic designation of a subgroup of the First Nations in British Columbia, Canada and Native American cultures in Washington, and Oregon in the United States who speak one of the Coast Salish languages.
UK: Coast Salish

Contemporary Coast Salish Art
By carving, weaving, and painting their stories into ceremonial and utilitarian objects, Coast Salish artists render tangible the words and ideas that have been the architecture of this remarkable Pacific Northwest Coast culture steeped in the ritual and beauty of storytelling and mythology.
UK: Contemporary Coast Salish Art

S’abadeb, The Gifts: Pacific Coast Salish Art and Artists
Sculpture in wood, stone, and bone – including monumental house posts – as well as expertly crafted basketry, woven regalia, and works in glass, print media, and painting showcase a sweeping artistic tradition and its contemporary vibrant manifestations.
UK: S’abadeb, The Gifts

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Bookstore: Navajo Weaving books

Navajo and Hopi Weaving Techniques Mary Pendleton, a long-time skilled weaver who relocated to Arizona in 1958, explains both techniques in an easily understandable, step-by-step process with abundant close-up photos to illustrate the lessons. With sample patterns, Pendleton takes you, row by row, through the weaving of a rug, a belt and a sash.

Navaho Weaving: Its Technic and History (Native American) Detailed and comprehensive study of the techniques of primitive weaving, from the building of the loom with materials at hand to the cleaning, carding and handling the raw wool from the sheared sheep .

The Goat in the Rug Geraldine is a goat, and Glenmae, a Navajo weaver. One day, Glenmae decides to weave Geraldine into a rug.

Blanket Weaving in the Southwest A masterful classification scheme for southwestern textiles—and a book that establishes an essential baseline for understanding craft production.

One Hundred Years of Navajo Rugs Designed for the general reader, museum goer, or collector, it offers a guide to identifying and dating rugs by means of weaving materials. Wool quality, the author explains, is the single most important clue to the date of a rug’s manufacture. Rodee also provides historical background on the great Navajo weavers and especially on the traders who bought rugs from the Navajo

. Working With the Wool: How to Weave a Navajo Rug This book has systematic instructions on what materials are needed to build a loom from scratch, Then instructions on how to set it up, Then instructions on beginning weaving, Then how to design the Navaho way.

Tension and Harmony : The Navajo Rug (Plateau Magazine, Volume 52, Number 4) Navajo Weaving Way Detailed charts and illustrations help the weaver find her way step-by-step through the making of a first sampler and through several more advanced techniques.

Weaving a Navajo BlanketThis book conducts readers through the process, introducing the materials and methods of the Navajo style and commenting on history, patterns, symbolism, and other related matters.
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Rigid Heddle Band Weaving: Beaivi video

Here is a YouTube video demonstrating how to weave using the Beaivi weaving loom – A Sami-style 2 hole rigid heddle.

This Sami loom can be purchased from Stoorstalka.

Weaving Draft
The weaving draft for this Sami band:

A pickup weaving pattern for a Sami 2 Hole Rigid Heddle loom, worked over 9 pattern threads.

      Please note:


    The pattern draft has been turned on its side so that it fits better on the page.


To read the draft, the background pattern threads are threaded alternately through the bottom set of holes and the slots.
e.g. in this pattern starting from the right side, there are 2 green threads, 4 white, 2 red, 2 blue, 4 red and so on. Thread the first green yarn through the first slot on the right, the next green through the bottom hole, the next white through the following slot, next white through the next bottom hole etc. Continue following the pattern and warp the loom across.

Once you have completed threading the background threads, then thread the white pattern threads (9) centering them into the middle of the warp and thread them through the top holes.


    Beaivi (or Päivi in Finnish) is the Sami name for the Sun or Sun deity. In Sami myth, she travels with her daughter Beaivi-nieida through the sky in an enclosure covered by reindeer bones, bringing green plants back to the winter earth for the reindeer to eat. She was also called upon to restore the mental health of those who went insane because of the continual darkness of the long winter.

Sami Band Weaving
How to warp the Saami Beaivi Loom

Sami 2 Hole Weaving Reed

My Saami Heritage

Sami Gallery
A wonderful gallery of Inari Sami Duodji

Saami Beaivi Loom Weaving Workshops

Beginner Saami Pickup Band Weaving Learn the basics of how to weave pickup using a Beaivi double hole rigid heddle loom.

Beavi 2 Hole Weaving Reed
Beavi 2 Hole Weaving Reed

You can now purchase these Sami band weaving reeds through my Etsy shop.

Ravelry Discussion

Looms To Go Discussion Group

Band Weaving Books
Weaving Patterned Bands: How to Create and Design with 5, 7, and 9 Pattern Threads
Norwegian Pick-Up Bandweaving
Weaving Bands: Woven bands / Table Bands / Plaited Bands / Insertion Bands

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Navajo Rugs

Navajo Symbols
What do Native American symbols mean? Clouds, stars, arrows, bears, eagles, snakes.

Navajo Rug Weaving Styles
A guide to traditional, regional and non-regional Navajo Rug Styles.

Navajo Weaving
The Museum of Natural History in Boulder Colorado features an exhibit of Navajo textiles.

 Navajo design

The Horse Song
The Horse Song tapestry by Roy Kady. 

Navajo Beading Pattern
A free beadwork pattern for making a beaded medicine bag.

Crochet Navajo Patterns
Navajo afghan patterns to crochet.

Navajo Sunrise
A free quilting pattern for a bargello style quilt.

Handwoven Navajo Rugs

Navajo and Hopi Clip Art Images
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Navajo Weaving Patterns

Weaving a Navajo Blanket

Navajo Weaving Way
Navajo Weaving Way, the path from fleece to rug.

Weaving The Navajo Way, How To Create Rugs, Miniatures and More!
This book provides step-by-step instructions to weave full-size and miniature Navajo style rugs as well as detailed instructions for using the C. Cactus Flower Miniature Loom.
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Craft Galleries South America: galleriessa

Weaving in the Andes
A woven journey to Peru.

Zapotec Rugs
The Zapotec have a long tradition of weaving in their culture.

One World
A commercial site that specializes in textiles from the Andean regions of Bolivia.

Maya Textiles
A visual essay of Mayan textiles that combines Mayan weaving, photography and text to present the culture and history of the people.

Mayan Hair Sashes
Colourful photos of Mayan backstrap weaving in Jacaltenango, Guatemala.

Olga Fisch Folklore
Olga Fisch, a Hungarian artist, recognized the vast potential of the folk artisans of Ecuador. The rug making process is described and the colourful rugs and tapestries show the creative talent of these textile artists.

Patagonia Gifts
Artisan Mapuche weavings and wall hangings spun on traditional spinning wheels (rueca) and dyed with vegetable dyes.

Endangered Threads
Educational documentaries recording endangered indigenous art forms, especially those in imminent threat of disappearing due to global economic expansion and the resulting homogenization of cultures.

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Antique Wooden Spinning Wheel Great Old Item!!

$149.99 (0 Bids)
End Date: Saturday Feb-22-2020 17:08:08 PST
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Rare Vintage Made In Holland Louet S10 Wooden Spinning Wheel Clothing Spool

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Fiber Wool Combs Carders Spinning Wheel

End Date: Thursday Feb-27-2020 0:00:01 PST
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What is color all about? This new magazine explores the depths of color and meaning in textiles around the world.

Handeye Magazine

A small sampling of the latest issue:

The Black of Ghana – West African funeral Couture

“A woman with a bowl of lalle, henna, covered Eurama’s head in a thick past, dyeing her hair a deep black, a vanity now meant to signal the depth of mourning. The mourners formed a somber but spectacular band of decorated blackness, like a flock of exquisit ravens. Their clothes were, down to the last man and woman, ornamented with Adinkra motifs, or subtle layers of design work, deepending the tonal drama of mourning.”

Red – Powerful Protection

In Macedonian folk culture are white, black and shades of red.
“Red has been essential since the earliest human expression of colored mineral pigment on cave walls. It is the color of vitality, fertility and power, associated with both the life giving and dagnerous properties of blood, fire and the sun.”

From Waste to Wardrobe

Old natural dye recipes can turn food waste into color.
“Avocados are a rainbow of pink. Without a mordant the pit all by itself blooms bright pink and other tones. With iron added, the bath runs to rich mauve-grey.,,the high tannin content can turn red on exposure to air. Avocado pit was used in the days of the Spanish conquistadores, to create red ink used in important colonial documents.”

Saffron Robes – Walking Towards Enlightenment

“The Buddha taught his first disciples to make their robes from discarded pieces of cloth found in garbage heaps and cremation grounds. The scraps were sewn together withought patern into a large rectangle, and then the cloth was dyed using plants, leaves, bark, roots, flowers, fruits and sometimes turmeric and perhaps saffron.”

Yellow Gold – Ashanti Royal Cloth

“As far back as 3000 BC a man called Ota Karaban learned the art of weaving by watching a spider weave its web…over the centuries the art was refined to the intricate and labour-intensive strip-weaving technique that emerges from the odd-looking contraptions known as single-heddle looms all over West Africa.
..In Ashanti symbolism, nothing is haphazard..the gleaming yellow base of color of these royal cloths hold the most symbolism. Yellow represents not only the gold of royalty and its associated values of walth and preciousness, but also the vertility and vitality of the yolk of an egg.”

Indigo Blue – Nigeria

“Wearing clothing dyed with indigo represents many things. People in a happy relationship wear indigo clothing to show their love for each other. Also when someone dies we use indigo cloth to show how much the person is going to be missed. The husband or wife, whichever is still living, wears indigo for at least 8 days after the death.
Indigo also identifies who you are. People know what tribe a person belongs to by the designs on the indigo cloth – it is like an ID card.
Indigo is found all over the world, but in Nigeria it comes from a plant we call elu..We collect Elu leaves during the rainy season. They have to be young leaves. We put the leaves in a wood mortar and pound them very fine. After we pound the leaves we prepare water for the dye vat by mixing cocoa ash into it. After we let it settle, we strain the ash from the water and mix it with the pounded elu leaves. The ash adds alkaline to the indio pot – which unleashes the dye substance in the leaves. In Nigeria we use cocoa ash but if you do not have cocoa ash you can use wood ash. The leaves and water sit in the pot for at least seven days. Every morning it must be stirred. By seven days it starts to smell, which is a sign that it is ready to be used.”

Handye Magazine
Subscribe to Handeye Magazine.
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Handiscola Project: aa021504

Instructions for weaving baskets with birch bark (in .pdf format). The English translation begins on Page 11.

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Handiscola was an EU project that brought together participants from European countries to learn and increase appreciation for traditional handicrafts.

Ribbon Plaiting

The downloadable .pdf file includes instructions for making mittens, a hat, a scarf, socks and a pouch for your mobile phone. And even has instructions for making a bone needle from a leg of an animal.

Instructions are given for making a bag, a ball and flat felt work.

Instructions for basic embroidery stitches and some lovely floral motifs.

Rug Weaving
History and details for how to weave a wool rya rug. Some of the other Handiscola projects included:



One Log Boat

Wood Carving

The above .pdf documents are translated into several languages (English, Estonian, Greek, Hungarian and Latvian). I suggest that you browse through the complete documents before printing as good photos and images are scattered throughout the pages. Then print out just the pages that you need in your language.

The above links don’t seem to be active any more – so I have included copies of the pdf files here:

Birch Bark Basketry
Book Binding
Log Boatmaking
Ribbon Plaiting
Rya Rugs
Wood Carving

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