If you don’t have any knowledge in weaving, don’t worry. I will teach you all basic steps, so after this tutorial you will be able to make your own beautiful piece of art.
Let’s get to know a little bit of weaving terminology first.
Step 2: Getting to Know All Useful Terms
Loom - is a frame, which serves you as a base for warp, it gives support and tension for your work. There are different kind of looms, but this tutorial will cover only lap/stand loom, since they are pretty much the same.
Warp - is a thread which is strung over your loom vertically and serves as a base for your weaving. It is very important to use a good quality thread (usually cotton), it shouldn’t be stretchy or thick or fluffy (you can experiment with those ones later). I sell looms already with warp thread so you can see how it is made and what kind of yarn it is better to start with.
Weft thread - this is the thread which goes horizontally between the warp threads. This is the main thread you use for your weaving, which creates design.
Shuttle/needle - these are useful instruments for weaving, but honestly, you can start weaving without any instruments at all - just a loom and yarns. But if you have them - great! Just play around and see if it is comfortable for you to use them. If it is not very comfy, leave them alone and try making a knot at the end of the weft thread.
Materials used in weaving can vary; it is up to your imagination. Most popular are: merino wool, cotton threads, different kind of effect yarn (silk/velvet/tshirt yarn), different ribbons and laces.
You will also need something to hang your weaving on - it can be wooden dowel found on the beach or in the park, metal pipe from your closest construction store, or wooden frames and even embroidery hoops.
Step 3: Loom Preparation
So how and where should you start? I will teach you how to warp your loom (if you purchase one of my looms, it will be already done by me, but you will surely want to make some more weavings, right?)
Just follow these easy steps:
1. Take cotton thread and make a loop knot in the end
2. Take your loom, put this loop on the very left tab
3. Go down to the bottom tab, make a round around it
4. Go up and continue till the last tab
5. Tie off your warp in a knot when done
The main trick here - hold your warp in tension while you are doing these steps because all warp threads must have the same strong tension.
Hooray, your base is all set, let’s start weaving!
Some people weave upside down, but I prefer to start from the bottom. Please read some tips before you start learning basic techniques.
Step 4: Tips & Tricks
Tip1: cut a piece of cardboard in the same length or longer as your loom and put it as a weft thread at the bottom. This way it will be easier for you to finish the work later.
Tip2: usually we want to have tassels at the bottom of the weaving, before starting to make them, take some yarns in matching colors and make few rows of plain weave. It will be easier for you to finish the work later as well.
Tip3: when you change direction of your weft thread going to the opposite side, leave it a bit loose, this way your weaving will have straight sides. It comes with practice only, don’t worry if weaving will be a bit uneven on the sides.
Tip4: leave a little bit of free space above your finished work. It will be easier for you to take off the weaving later.
Tip5: all thread ends must be left on the back side of the work. No need to make a knot, just leave it about 10cm in length, you will get rid of it late
Step 5: Basic Weaving Techniques
Plain weave - this is the process when you pull weft thread over the first warp thread, then under the second warp thread, over the third, under the fourth and so on till the last warp thread. On the next pass back you need to make everything opposite.
Soumak weave (braid) - pull the weft thread from behind to up and over the top of the next two warps. (this way the tail will stay at the back of your work). Loop your weft thread up and around the second warp, so the weft comes back out over the top of the second warp. Pass the weft over the second and third warp. Loom up and around the third warp, so your thread come back over the top of the third warp. If you want to create a braid look, all you have to do is complete your row of soumak stitches, then go back the other way making soumak stitches following the same steps in reverse side.
Rya knot - or tassels - place yarn strands over the warp threads. Bring both sides behind your warp threads so the ends meet in the middle. After you added your row of rya knots, I recommend weaving at least two rows of plain weave to stabilize the knots.
Step 6: Beginning the Main Part
Step1: take a weft thread and make few rows of plain weave before we start making tassels
Step2: cut the yarn for rya knots (better take longer ones, you can always cut it off when the weaving is done). You will need each piece to be twice longer as desired tassels. Don’t worry if length is not identical, you will cut it in the end.
Step3: Tie one row of rya knots
Step4: Make another half row of rya knots using any effect yarns. For the other half of the row we will use contrast bulky yarn in plain weave technique. The only difference is that you leave it looser than plain weave.
Step5: Using different yarns we are making two rows of soumak weave. Yarns were very thin, that is why I took 3 threads at once
Step6: Making some rows of plain weave using effect yarn
Step7: Make some rows of round tassels using cotton thread in plain weave technique (same as we used in Step4). You can make it in the same length, I prefer different for the better effect. Make these tassels from different yarns
Step8: Say hello to merino wool! Everyone loves that fluffy clouds make of this yarn, but not everyone knows that it is soooo easy to make them. This is just random technique - the base is from plain weave but you skip random number of warp threads. Make it as fluffy and big as you want :)
Step9: Using plain weave technique I finished the weaving. Used double thread here to make it look better
Step10: Almost done! Take a look at your work and decide if it needs more rows or more clouds or more care.)
Step 7: Finishing Touches
Great job! You have made your first weaving on this loom. It wasn’t that hard, right? :) Can’t wait to start another one? Before that, we need to learn how to take your beautiful work off the loom.
It all comes with practice, no worries if you mess it up for the first time. So here are the steps:
1. Put away that piece of cardboard you’ve put in the very beginning
2. Cut off every second warp thread in the bottom, making knots of them. Don’t put your strength into the knot. Work gently. It is better to be a little bit looser than tighter
3. Repeat on the upper side
4. Repeat bottom side tying all the rest threads
5. Repeat upper side tying all the rest threads
Super! You have taken off your work (which looks like a total mess) now it is time to clean the back side:) just weave in all loose ends using crochet hook and cut it. Hope you have already chosen appropriate wooden dowel or metal pipe for your weaving. Just needle or crochet yarn and any kind of yarns, make loops through the upper side of weaving and hanging. Actually, this is up to your imagination how to hang in.