Owning a loom is useful as many household items can be weaved on one - anything from rugs to fabric. Some of the countless things you can make at home include:
Looms have been useful for thousands of years. They went hand in hand with the spinning of fibers. After wool or cotton was spun, it was weaved into a fabric. This trade likely began in the Middle East.
The Celtic people mastered this craft with their elaborate family
tartans. Another noteworthy group who made lovely things are the Navajo.
Long ago, you simply couldn’t buy things the way you can now. There wasn’t a fabric store or a Macy’s that you could purchase tablecloths. If you wanted a table runner you had to make it.
We were given a homemade foot treadle floor loom. We weren't sure what it was when it was given to us, but we are always happy to learn a new craft so we studied and learned how to use it.
We really are newbies but have gathered the basic information we found the most helpful in our loom journey.
All you need to get started is:
The warp is the vertical pattern of string with which the horizontal is interweaved. This warp must be laced out in a particular order a specific number of times. No fancy frame is necessary. We make our warp in the grass using dowels as pegs. It works great.
Below is a video of how to make up the warp. Bookmark this page so you can come back each time you make up a warp. As a point of reference she begins instruction at 1:05.
Key points: Begin at the top. Go over, under and around - zigzag across for the required length.
Then over, under and around back up making the figure eight.
Repeat backwards and forwards for the required number of threads.
Below are two videos, part 1 and part 2 of how to put the warp on your loom.
Put your feet on peddles one and three. With thick salvage yarn run it between the tunnel-like strings. Switch feet to peddles two and four. Run the yarn through. Switch back to peddles one and three. Do this until the threads are not in a V shape.
Load your shuttle with old sheets or thread depending on your project and continue this back and forth with the shuttle and alternating your feet.
Switch feet to peddles two and four. Run the sheet through. Switch back to peddles one and three.
When the project gets too big to run through reel it in and keep going till the project is long enough for your taste.
Well, there you go. You have made your first cloth or rug. You should be so proud of yourself. Weaving on a loom isn't the easiest craft for beginners, but you have got to start somewhere. Maybe you are on your way to becoming an expert.
Please share your projects below. We love to see your pictures and tips or questions:)
Do you have a handmade project you'd like to tell us about? Well we want to hear about it!
Feel free to give your tips and alterations as well as ask questions.
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Mary Bowen is a founding member of industriousfamily.com. Not only is she our resident artist but she is also a choir director, GAPS dessert guru, Angora lover, and director at San Genesio Entertainment. Always cheerful and optimistic, Mary loves sharing her gifts with others. She has walked the Chartes pilgrimages twice and hopes to go as often as is realistic. Her first movie, Outlaws of Ravenhurst premiered in 2018.
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