How to Weave on a Frame Loom




About: I like sewing and crafts,and trying new things. I'm vegetarian and always looking for new recipes. My cat's name is Mirko and likes to be in the centre of things, so you will see him in several of my instr...

Now that I made a simple frame loom I was ready to try it out. This is my first attempt at weaving so I started with something small and simple.  It is made using two weft colours and a simple pattern in the centre.  As I am still in the learning process please feel free to leave comments, suggestions or criticisms; also let me know if I didn't explain things clearly.

I included a glossary to help with the weaving terminology.

Step 1: Materials

Step 2: Warp

To warp a frame loom with a heddle takes a bit of time and practice.  Without the heddle you can just tie the loose thread to the bottom frame and wind the ball of yarn around the frame.  With the heddle you need to feed the thread through the slits and holes of the heddle as you wind it around the frame.  To do the you start with the loose end of yarn feed it through the heddle the far hole of heddle around the top  frame (from the front around). Continue with that thread bring in through the next slit of the heddle around the bottom frame (back to front) then through the next hole of the heddle.  Continue on this way alternating hole/slit along the length of the heddle to the end also wrapping from front to back on the top frame and from back to front on the bottom frame.  Once the warp is wrapped around the frame tie both ends of the yarn securely to the frame, the yarn should be taught and you should be able to move the heddle up and down with enough room to pass the shuttle through.

Step 3: Wrapping the Shuttle

Since I was using two different colours for the weft I wrapped a shuttle for each colour.  Simply wind the yarn between the notches on the shuttle.  Try not to wind to much on since the shuttle needs to be able to pass through the shed.

Step 4: Twining

Twining is used to space out and secure the warp.  Since the warp is wrapped around the frame the thickness of the wood creates a gap or space between the warp threads.  Twining brings together the two layers of warp threads so that the are at the same height.  I used the same colour yarn that I'll be using for the background.  Working from left to right, simply take a length of yarn, loop it around the warp and twist around each warp thread.  As you can see from image 4, the warp threads are now lined up and should be evenly spaced.

Step 5: Weaving

Now we are ready to begin weaving. While weaving, I found that the most comfortable positioning of the loom was to place the front part on my lap and the back legs on a table.

Tie the end of the yarn to the the first warp thread on the left (I'm not sure if you're supposed to do this, but it worked for me). Raise the heddle and pass the shuttle from left to right through the shed, let the weft yarn sit loosely across the warp.  Let go of the heddle and with the beater push down the weft threads towards the end.  Push the heddle downward and pass the shuttle from right to left through the new shed.  Again the yarn should sit loosely on the warp and then push it towards the end with the beater. Continue on in this fashion.

Don't pull too tightly on the yarn as the edges can become uneven.

Step 6: Changing Colour

When you are changing colours or you run out of yarn on the shuttle simply start a new thread where you left off and just leave a small tail out the back. 

Since I wanted a pattern in the centre of the piece. I stared first doing several rows in blue.  At the row that I wanted to start the heart I passed the blue shuttle through only halfway and then pulled it out the back.  From the back I pulled the whiteish yarn through the next warp (still with the heddle raised).  Then continued on the rest of the row with the blue shuttle.   For the next row I again only went partway with blue then pulled it out the back, did two warp threads with the whitish yarn and then continued on the rest of the row with the blue yarn.  I continue on this way for the rest of the heart. (I found a cut-out of the shape was helpful in determining which colour to use).  Basically what I've done is run the blue yarn behind the whitish yarn so if you turn the piece over you see a stretch of blue yarn over the whitish yarn (see image 7).

Step 7: Finishing

To finish, tie off all the loose ends on the weft.  Start cutting the warp yarn two loops at a time from the bottom of the frame giving you four threads.  Tie these in a knot and leave a bit of a fringe, continue cutting and knotting two loops at a time (I found giving the threads a twist helps with tying).  Then do the same for the top end.

Step 8: Glossary

  • warp - The threads that run lengthwise around the frame (also a verb -to wrap the yarn lengthwise around the frame). (image 1)
  • weft  - The yarn that runs from side to side through the warp yarn. (image 2)
  • shed - The separation of alternating warp threads to create a space to pass the weft through. (image 3)
  • heddle - A tool used to separate alternating warp threads creating a shed. (image 4)
  • beater- A tool used to push the weft yarn in place. (image 5)
  • shuttle - A tool in which the weft thread is wrapped and passed through the shed. (image 6)



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    17 Discussions


    2 years ago

    This seems to be an easier project than others on Instructables! Thanks for the detailed instructions and clear photos.

    Now, to get a cat to help me...


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Lovely. I really may try this! For future reference, it's 'taut'. Grammar Nerd : )


    4 years ago on Step 8

    Awesome! I do believe I can learn this craft! Thank you for the detailed instructions. I'm so excited to get started!


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Great instructions! But where did you purchase the loom and the shuttles? I can't find the ones in the picture.

    2 replies

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    I made my own, here are instructions:


    Reply 6 years ago on Step 2

    It depends on the thickness of the yarn and the number of warp strands.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    I found your how to on making your loom and then followed it here to this one. Great jobs, by the way. I will have no problem making my own, but I do have a couple of questions....
    Does the hedle stay put? I mean, is there enough tension on the end pieces of the hedle to keep it up or down and not falling sideways?
    If not, do you then just hold up the hedle with one hand and push the shuttle through with the other, then let it drop and push the shuttle back through?
    The piece is limited by the width of the loom, but what about the length? Is there a way to make something longer?
    I guess I could make several hedles for the same loom for different numbers or guage of weft? from something with say 10 wefts per inch to about 4 wefts per inch?
    Any suggestions on that part?
    This was a pretty cute project for your first attempt! KUDOS!!!

    Keep craftin

    2 replies

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for your comment.

    You move and hold the heddle up and down by hand while you pass the shuttle through.
    Unfortunately with this type of loom the length is limited to the length of the loom . With this loom here you can adjust the length with a post in the back, though it is a bit harder to make.

    You can make different heddles for different guages, I haven't made any other heddles myself but that is definitely a great way to make your loom more versatile.


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you for your quick answer and for the link. I like the simplicity of your design better than the more complicated on in the link, but it did give me an idea. I will just add a simplified roll up bar on the front and back. His instructions are great for those with machines, but I am stuck with a dremel, a drill, and a jigsaw. I will figure out a way to make it work but don't hold your breath for pictures. I already have several parts of the loom that I can use, but this year's Christmas gifts are far from complete. And until they are, I won't be taking on another project. But won't everyone be surprised next year when I have home loomed gifts for them!
    Thank you for your help!
    And about how tight to make the weft, I guess it will just be trial and error to start with.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Having become severely visually impaired in the last 2 years, this and the preceding instructable both look like things I can do even with my limited sight. I think as soon as I return home from this most recent surgery I'll have to attempt them both =)

    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I really enjoyed this project it was very interesting to learn about weaving and building a loom, hope you enjoy it too. Good luck with your surgery.