Weaving for Beginners: A Guide
Want to have a go at weaving? Here's all you need to know about getting started from Angela, our weaving expert, and creator of our super popular beginner's weaving kits!
Weaving for Beginners: A Guide
What You Need
You don't need much to get started with weaving, but these are the bare essentials
- A weaving loom
- A comb
- A shuttle
- Various yarns
What you choose to weave with is up to you, but typically you would use knitting/crochet yarn in various thicknesses, as well as thicker textiles such as merino wool roving. You can also include scraps of fabric, ribbon and other textiles you have around if you want. It's all about different textures and colours that marry together to create something visually exciting!
Setting up your loom
Before you can start your weaving, you need to prepare your loom. To do this, you need to string up or 'warp' your loom, using something like cotton twine or similar. You can use thinner yarns but you need to make sure this yarn is strong as the tension is what holds your weaving together as you go.
Wind the warp thread (cotton twine) around the first block on the loom. You may use the metal rods in the end grooves of the loom to provide support for the edges of the weaving, to prevent them pulling together.
String the warp threads up and down in the grooves of the blocks at the top and the bottom of the loom, working across until the frame is full. You can do this twice to produce a tighter weave. Wind the warp thread a few times around the end block on the loom and secure it. Now you're ready to go!
Adding yarn to your weaving
Now you're ready to start the process of weaving! You need to select the yarn you'd like to use first, and wrap this round the centre grooves of the shuttle a few times. Then, gentle insert the shuttle in under the first warp thread on the right side of the loom. Gently push the end of the shuttle over the top of the next thread, and carry on like this going over and under alternately until you reach the other side, pulling the loose end of your yarn through from one side to the other.
Use the comb to push this row up to the top, and then continue, this time going left to right, with the same yarn until you reach the other side. Push up with comb again so it sits snug to your other row of weaving. Continue to build as big a block as you like. If you're using the metal rods, at the end of each row wrap the weft thread around the metal rod to keep the weaving from pulling together.
Switch yarns as you want to, create different widths of rows with different yarn types. Alternate whether you start over or under the yarn at the start to create rows with different patterns, or experiment with doing every two rows.
When weaving with merino wool, you can add an exciting structure in the weaving by pulling a bit up in the wool's fibers.
If you want to add extra decoration for a little bit more fun, you can create tassels at the bottom. Cut wool to desired length and pull between warp threads and knot - we used 30cm lengths to make a 15cm fringe.
You can also create big fluffy pompoms using chunky yarn and a pompom maker, tying the ends onto the warp threads wherever you want them to sit.
For extra detail, tie in bits of ribbon or lace to your tassels too, and unravel some strands of yarn for a bit of curly cuteness!
When the woven section is completed, tie all the yarn ends together and secure/hide them as well as possible within the weaving – you can use a yarn needle to do this.
Lift off the warp threads at the top and repeat this procedure at the bottom. Cut open the loops at the top and tie the threads together with a knot in pairs. Remove the rods if used by unscrewing the bottom and pulling out. Hang this woven piece onto a branch or piece of driftwood.
Try it yourself!