9 Steps to Start Weaving | Instructions
You have all your weaving tools and yarns ready to start weaving, but wait!- there are a few important steps to take before you start weaving. There are a few steps that you must take before weaving a design, such as adding warp to the loom, tightening the warp, adding warps spacers and weaving a strong base section. In this tutorial learn how to start weaving the right way!
Another helpful tutorial to get you started in weaving is How to Weave? | Weaving for Beginners. Learn all about DIY looms, weaving tools, beginner patterns and how to weave.
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In this tutorial you will learn:
- How to start a weaving
- How to warp a loom
- How to use twining to start weaving
- How to create a strong weaving base
- Why warp waste is important in weaving
- Cotton yarn (length: 6 inches longer than the width of your loom)
- Wool yarn (for weaving)
- Long tapestry needle
- Short thin tapestry needle
- Warp string
- Painter’s tape
- Weaving comb, or fork
Step 1: Add warp to the loom
Create a simple slip knot and attach the loop to the loom’s nail ( or tab, depending on the loom you are using). Loop the warp from the top to the bottom of the loom in the desired section. For a further tutorial on adding warp to the loom, or dressing the loom, read the tutorials, How to Weave? , How to Make a Simple Weaving Loom , How to Make a Cardboard Loom?.
Step 2: Retighten the warp
When you are finished, wrap the warp string around the loom nail a few times ( this is only to secure the end in place). Next place a strip of painter’s tape over the bottom and top nails. The tape will hold the warp in place as you tighten it.
Then string by string retighten the warp. I like to call it a “pulley method”- tight the warp string by pulling it up and then pull the next string down. It is important in this step to be aware of the direction of the warp on the loom. Once you have reached the end of the section remove any slack of the warp. Finally, tie the warp end with a knot around the final loom nail.
Step 3: Attach warp spacers to the right side of the loom
One inch above the bottom nail row tie a cotton string- it will be the warp spacer. This string should be slightly longer than the width of your loom. You will tie this yarn on both sides of the loom, so measure the amount that fits your loom’s dimensions.
One reason to use “warp spacer” is that it is used to create distance between the loom nails or tabs. In this tutorial there is a distance of one inch between the two sections. Another reason why warp spacers are important is that this one inch warp will be used later to secure the weaving ends. This one inch warp will not be used in the design of the weaving, so it is called “warp waste”. When weaving a tapestry or woven wall hanging I recommend reserving at least one inch of warp for the finishing weaving process. Learn more about finishing weaving in this tutorial, 7 Ways to Finish Weaving.
Step 4: Weave warp spacers through the warp
Use the plain weave pattern to weave the warp spacer through the warp. In this tutorial every pair of warp strings are gathered. This is to give the weaving a low density, however if you want to weave with a higher density, weave every other warp string.
Learn how to weave with the plain weave, or tabby weave, pattern in this tutorial, Plain Weave Pattern: Basic Weaving Pattern for Beginners.
Step 5: Tie the warp spacers to the left side of the loom
Once you have reached the other side of the loom tie the string to the other side of the loom. Tie the warp spacer one inch above the loom nails below. The string should remain taut and tied carefully to the loom.
Repeat steps 2 to 4 with two more warp spacers. Use a tapestry comb or fork to beat the warp spacers down in place. All yarns should start at the one inch mark as the first warp spacer. The warp spacers should also follow the plain weave pattern.
Step 6: Space out the warp.
After weaving each row of warp spacers manually space out the yarns. All strings should be evenly spaced. You can repeat this step as you add each row of warp spacers.
Another reason for adding warp spacers is that they help the warp space out evenly. When you start weaving it can take the warp some time to straighten out, especially when weaving with a higher density.
Step 7: Weave one to two rows of twining.
Weave a row of twining to start the weaving base. Twining is a weaving technique used to wear structure and texture in a woven design, however it can also be used to secure weaving. Starting a weaving is not only about designing, but also about weaving a secure base so that when you finish weaving the ends do not fall apart. Weaving a row or two of twining will keep the weft rows from falling out when you finish weaving.
Step 8: Weave five rows of plain weave
Weaving a few rows of plain weave, or tabby weave pattern, will reinforce the row of twining and help prevent the weaving from falling apart. This will also complete creating a strong weaving base to start weaving.
Step 9: Weave your design
Now that the weaving base is complete start weaving your design.
From here you can add a row or two of long or short rya knots to add fringe to the base of your weaving. Alternatively you can use other weaving texture techniques such as soumak or pile weave. Learn simple beginner-friendly weaving patterns in this tutorial, 6 Beginner Weaving Patterns.
In this tutorial you learned how to start weaving and the importance of creating a strong weaving base to secure weaving ends. Using these techniques will help you better secure weaving when you finish weaving and also help you start weaving your woven wall hanging or tapestry on the loom.
Thank you for reading!