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.
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:
- Sheets or thread
Setting Up The Warp
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.
Making Up The Warp
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.
Putting The Warp On The Loom
- Cross sticks
- Cardboard warp sticks
- Raddle kit with ties and ring clips
- Cotton string
- Rubber bands
- Heavy book
Below are two videos, part 1 and part 2 of how to put the warp on your loom.
Part 1 - The Warp
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.
What Type of Thread Should I Use?
When making a rug use old sheets to make a stronger project. Use yarn or thread for table runners or fabric.
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:)
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