Weaving Tool Guide: TOP 10 Weaving Tools All Weavers Should Own Guide (with Pictures)
Let’s start weaving- but first here are the tools that you will need!
During my weaving experience, I have narrowed down to the top 10 tools that I need for weaving. These tools have helped me prepare and create designs on my loom. I hope that this list will guide you in selecting the tools for your first weaving project!
There are various types of looms to choose from, and based on the project you are creating or your skill level you can choose the right loom for you. Currently, I am using a wooden frame loom and a cardboard loom. (You can find tutorials with pictures for building a wooden frame loom here and a cardboard loom here.)
Below a few looms are listed that you can learn starting from any level, but I recommend those who are just learning to weave, to learn weaving basics with a frame loom.
Looms for Beginners
These looms are simple and help beginner weavers learn the basics of a loom. The weaver is in control of moving the yarns and tightening any lose yarns by hand.
Here are a few frame looms for beginners you can find on Amazon:
Lap Loom (a smaller size frame loom)
Frame looms vary in size from a lap loom to a few feet wide and high. Frame looms tend to come with out the alternating shaft functions- which is perfect for beginners learning weaving basics.
Looms for Advanced Beginners
The biggest difference between using beginner level and more advanced level looms is the amount of functions.
Tapestry looms can vary in degree of skill level. There are smaller tapestry looms (such frame looms) good for beginners, while others are just as complex as 4 heddle looms.
Rigid heddle loom
with a stand
The most popular type of warp yarn used is cotton yarn. It is durable and it can hold the weft yarns in place well.
There are a variety of warp yarn color, ply, and texture. Depending on your project, you may want the warp yarns exposed or not. The exposed warp yarn can add to the design of the woven piece.
Thicker warp yarns require more pressure and weft yarns to be covered. For a comparison on yarn types, check out this blog post.
A loom comb is used to control the density of the yarns by beating yarns down on the loom. Loom combs come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and weight. If the warp yarns are spaced out farther apart, then I recommend a comb with teeth that are wider apart. If the warp yarns are closer together, I recommend a comb with teeth that are closer together.
My favorite loom comb at the moment is my kitchen fork- it is weighted and the teeth of the fork are spaced out well. The kitchen fork has a heavy handle, which I have found quiet handy ( however any kitchen fork can work). When I am working on something bigger, then I use a wide tooth comb. You too can use the supplies at your home to weave.
Want more information about loom combs? I wrote a post on everything you need to know about loom combs here.
Tapestry needles are blunt needles used to weave yarn through warp yarns carefully without damaging the yarns. They vary in size and material- most commonly tapestry needles are made from metal or plastic, and more recently wood. I like to mix up the types of needles- to me, they feel different when woven through the warp yarns. The plastic needles have a bit of drag to them, while metal glides easier through the yarns. With time, you can find what works best for you.
The needle increases in size the smaller the number is. Tapestry needles also range in length- I prefer to use a longer needle when there are more warp yarns, but a shorter needle for more intricate work.
Tapestry needles vary in size and shape. Longer tapestry needles move easily behind lots of yarns. Shorter ones create details. Curved tapestry needles can ease weaving.
For more information about tapestry needles, in the blog post What is a tapestry needle?I cover even more about them!You can also earn how to use a tapestry needle in 3 weaving patterns here, in this basic weaving pattern post.
A shed stick simplifies weaving by creating an opening between the warp yarns for the weaving yarns to pass through. A shed stick is usually made from a flat and smooth piece of wood- similar to the dimension of a ruler. The shed stick can be of any length, however it should be 1 to 2 inches longer than the width of the warp yarns. Above is the shed stick I use… made of cardboard. Now, I wouldn’t recommend this for the long term, because it can break, but it is useful and works well.
6.Yarn Bobbin or Shuttle
Weft yarns are wrapped around yarn bobbing or shuttles to keep them organized while weaving. Bobbins range in size and material, but are usually small in order to move through the warp yarns quickly. I tend to make my own bobbin or shuttles from paper (learn how to make an affordable one in this post here). What is a weaving shuttle? is a post that includes even more information!
There are many kinds, you have to find which are best for your weaving needs.
7.Scissors or shears
While weaving, a cutting tool is necessary for cutting warp and weft yarns. I use regular craft scissors with large tips, which can get in the way or not fit behind my weaving so well. Therefore, it is suggestible that if you have larger, regular scissors, that you have another cutting tool that is finer and more precise for delicate projects.
Welcome to the fun part- choosing yarns to weave! My number one rule when choosing yarn is : just have fun! There are a variety of natural and acrylic yarns to pick from and use. Yarns can be manipulated into patterns and weaving techniques to create wonderful woven images.
Tip 1: Thinner yarns take longer to build up and create color and an image, while thicker yarns take up more space and are woven faster.
Tip 2: You can weave anything: paper, plastic, leaves, stems,.. the lists goes on and on. Just give it a try and see what happens.
If you have more questions about the types of yarns, in my blog post, Comparing Types of Yarn, I explain the various types of yarns and things to consider before using the yarns.
A measuring tool, such as a ruler or tape measure, keeps track of the width and weaving edges. I have found that keeping a ruler at hand helps me keep track of the edges and weave the edges consistently. A measuring tool also finds the ends per inch (EPI) of the yarn you are weaving with. This indicates to weavers how much yarn is needed.You can use any size measuring tool, but you may want one that is more flexible, or transparent- this is up to you.
10. Notepad / Sketchpad
Even if you are not the best illustrator or designer or just starting a creative journey, a notepad or a sketch pad will be your best ally while weaving. Perhaps its just the artist in me, but visualizing a project in its before, during and after stages, helps create a cohesive piece. A notepad or sketch pad can also be used to jot down notes of the weaving pattern, create a color or texture scheme with yarns and color, and write down other project ideas that you get while weaving.
I prefer to use a smaller sketchpad that I can keep near by when weaving or carry around when I have an idea.
I also enjoy using these sketchbooks to keep track of my project progress. Making a plan helps me weave more consistently and efficiently. You can learn more about weaving more efficiently in the 6 Tips to Weaving Faster and completing projects post.
As your experience weaving continues to develop, you will accumulate your own skills and tools that work best for you. There isn’t a perfect way to weave nor is there any one perfect tool to use. The best tool for you might just be laying around your home in a cabinet or in a discard pile somewhere. I encourage you to take these ideas and experiment what works best for you.
Here I have listed the TOP 10 tools for weaving. Above in the toolbar is the website resource page with even more ideas and a list that will be updated often.
Thank you for visiting my site. I hope that this information will help you prepare for your first (or next) weaving project!