Beginner weaver guide
The perfect start for beginners learning how to weave on a frame loom.
Here are the objectives of this guide:
Build a loom
Creating your own DIY loom helps build a greater understanding of the loom’s functions
Perfect the building blocks to weaving your first project
begin to design
Learn how to add and use colors, shapes and form and exercise that creativity muslce!
weaving with a modern flAre
Weaving has been an essential art form that has spanned and developed throughout centuries. Today weaving can be used to create and develop interior experiences and push fashion boundaries.
This weaving guide is a collection of written and video tutorials that I have created. They will kick start your weaving journey and give you the basic essential weaving knowledge, including terminology and techniques. You can find even more resources in the Fibers and Design website and on our social media.
Weaving is great fun and it allows you to create with traditional skills. I created these written and video tutorials to help get you started on your fiber journey!
– Gina Dargan, creator of fibers and design
basic terminology and knowledge
Weft vs. Warp
There are two sets of yarn on the loom: the warp and the weft.
The warp is the yarn wrapped on the loom vertically. These yarns are usually strong and hold the woven design in place.
Learn about what are the best warp yarns here:
The weft is the yarn that is woven between the warp horizntially. Thee yarns are used to create a design.
Learn more about the differences between the warp and weft here:
There are a few basic weaving tools that all weavers should have.
- tapestry needle
- shed stick
- loom comb
- frame loom
There are also a few more essential tools ( even some that you can make yourself!) Learn more here in my TOP 10 list:
YArn for weaving
There are a variety of yarns and material that can be used for weaving. If you can manage the material on a loom form and weave them together, then use it.
There are various types of yarn to use for weaving. I like to categorize them into four main groups:
- Man-made yarn (i.e. polyester, acrylic)
- Natural yarn (from plants (i.e. bamboo, jute, and cotton) and animals (i.e. wool, cashmere)
- Blended yarn (a mix of man-made and natural yarn)
- Ethical and Ecofriendly yarn (the production of this yarn considers and protects the wellbeing of the animals and those creating the product)
As a weaver, you can decide what kinds of yarn are better for your project and lifestyle. You can find more information about yarn types here:
Dressing the loom
“Dressing the loom” is a phrase used to describe the process of putting warp onto the loom. It is usually a very long process that is important to do correctly to insure the integrity of the weaving.
preparing the loom
Before you dress the loom, there are three areas to plan to create structured design and a good weaving experience.
Before adding the warp to the loom, you should decide how far apart to space the warp.
Find out more about density and warp spacing:
Diy frame looms
A frame loom is a basic loom structure used for weaving. It can be created from a variety of materials and of sizes, such as wood, cardboard, pipes, and so on. Here are two tutorials that you can follow to build you own:
Do you have some left over cardboard packaging? Don’t throw it away, instead build a loom. Follow the full tutorial here.
There are 6 basic patterns that you can build from and manipulate to great various designs. Learn more below:
Plain weave, also known as tabby weave, creates a checkerboard pattern, which is created by alternating warp threads while adding the weft yarns.
Twill weave pattern creates a diagonal pattern. Before starting, weave a few rows or plain weave to create a base for the pattern.
Rya knots create a fringe. This fringe can be added to the end of the weave, which extend the weave design. Fringe can also be added within the body of the weave. This adds volume and texture to the weave.
Learn how to connect weft yarns or create separate sections with slits in these written and video tutorials.
Warp interlocking is a crated by locking two weft yarns around a shared warp yarn.
Weft inter locking is created by locking two weft yarns around each other.
Now that you have a good understanding about weaving techniques, here are a few techniques for weaving shapes and images.
Weaving an image on the loom can be created free hand or with a sketched plan, or also known as a tapestry cartoon. By drawing a simple line drawing and placing it behind the warp you can easily follow its map of the weaving.
New to design?
no worries, i got your covered:
Check out these two sections for tips for building your first designs.
Now that you have finished weaving, it is time to remove the weaving from the loom and display it. There are so many ways to show your work!
Thank you for checking out the Beginner Weaver Guide!
If you have any questions, please send me a message using the form below.
Also subscribe to the Fibers and Design newsletter to recieve updates of resources available and news!
– Gina Dargan, creator of fibers and design
Have any questions about weaving or suggestions for a tutorials? I would love to hear from you! Leave me a message in the form.