Beginner Weaving Lessons

Back to Basics || How to Weave in New Threads

How to Weave in New Thread | The Weaving LoomI get asked the question of how to weave in new threads a lot, so I wanted to share with those of you who are newer to weaving and unsure how to weave in a new thread. I had covered this for circular weaving, but was surprised I didn’t cover this for normal weaving yet. Well here it is:

My simplest answer to this question is just add the new thread next to the previously woven thread. This is the same for whether you’re weaving in a new color or continuing the same color after your thread ran out. And if you didn’t realize already you can weave in one spot of your warp threads, then weave in a completely different spot and later fill in the empty warp threads. Weaving is really flexible and that is one of the many reasons why I love it.  Don’t be afraid to experiment with how you weave, it will help figure out what works best for you and will lead you to your own style quicker.

How to Weave in New Thread | The Weaving LoomIn these pictures I have woven a few different parts of my weave and now I want to add a yellow yarn next to the middle section of white I have already woven. I weave the yellow thread in, continuing the over/under pattern from the white thread and leave a 2 – 3 inch tail in the back of the weave. This yellow thread is thicker then my white thread, so the plain weave pattern won’t match up perfectly in all rows and that is ok.  I just like to try to continue the pattern as much as possible to lock in my weft threads. If you’re weaving a really thick yarn next to a thinner yarn, don’t worry about matching the over/under pattern (or whatever pattern you’re weaving in), just add the threads in the best way possible.

How to Weave in New Thread | The Weaving LoomAfter I have woven all the rows I wanted to in yellow, then I leave another 2 – 3 inch tail in the back of the weave. Flipping the weave over you can see that the two colors just sit next to each other. I then take my yarn tail and pull it through the back of the same yellow woven area to secure it. Later when I fill in my empty warp threads, the structure of my weave will keep these wefts next to each other and the space between the white and yellow won’t show.

Let’s say you were to weave a large square of the white color and a large square of the yellow color next to each other, with both colors stopping at the same warp threads for 5 or more rows. This will definitely create a space, even when you weave across all the warps above and below these two square blocks. If you want the space as part of your design, then great you’re done. If you don’t want a space showing then read here for two ways I have eliminated gaps in my weaves.

How to Weave in New Thread | The Weaving LoomHere, in this above picture, is the back of one of my more colorful weaves. Each color is woven next to the other. As you can see I’ve made organic shapes that increase and decrease over a few rows. Since I don’t have a huge vertical block of a color, I don’t have to do anything special to secure my wefts. The same goes for when you weave a triangle, you usually won’t see spaces between your triangle and the surrounding colors because of the increase and decrease of the weft along the warps. However, there are exceptions to this. For example if your warps have a large space between then, or if you are weaving the triangle with two rows for each increase, etc.

I also have some other back to basic posts that can be helpful:

If you’re new to weaving and are struggling with some concept or even if you’re not a beginner and have a question, let me know in the comments below and I’ll help if I can.

Happy Weaving!

Kate

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10 Comments

  • Reply
    Barbara
    April 23, 2016 at 8:44 am

    Oh my gosh, Kate, you read my mind. I really needed help here. And I think I get what you are teaching. I had ends all over the sides and I just stopped for a while because the thought of pulling all of those ends in later was discouraging; it’s enough I have that with knitting. But I realize I was intentionally ending my work AT the ends so it would be neat in the middle (drat that perfectionism :-). But I think you are saying, just end wherever you run out of yarn and start a new piece, which yarn end will get caught up in the back with new yarn being woven over it so you wob’t have to weave it in, yes? I’m anxious to pull out my piece again to try this. Thanks always for sharing and getting our fingers moving again :-). Best, Barbara

    • Reply
      Kate
      April 23, 2016 at 2:23 pm

      Hi Barbara, I actually do pull my ends through the back after I’m done, but I hope that doesn’t discourage you. If you would rather weave over the ends as you go, then by all means do it that way. And you definitely don’t have finish your threads at the end of the warp strings, finish them where ever you want 🙂

  • Reply
    Diane Ostdiek
    April 25, 2016 at 10:10 am

    Thank you, I have been reading your blog each time it comes out and it is so helpful. I have never taken a weaving class and have just been starting to do some mixed media weaving but had no clue how to solve some challenges I have encountered. Your blog has been most helpful and has given me new ideas on directions I could take my creations.

    • Reply
      Kate
      April 25, 2016 at 2:54 pm

      Hi Diane, thank you for your kind words. I love mixed media art, I’m sure you’re making some great art 🙂

  • Reply
    Kimberly Moduno
    June 20, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    Hey there! Thanks for all the tips and tricks.

    I thought this page would answer my question but it hasn’t. I have been playing around with adding shapes and patterns with different colors in my weavings. I tend to gravitate towards geometric shapes. However, sometimes where the shapes meet, when I weave above them the “over, under, over, under” doesn’t match up. Like in the pictures above where the white and yellow threads meet, if you were to weave above those (lets say from right to left), when you got to the white, the new thread on top would follow the white under the weft, then over, then so on until the end of the weft threads and the weft threads would show through. Hoping I’m making sense. I guess the wefts where the colors meet messes up any weaving you do on top of that because it throws the weave off by one. Have you ever ran into this problem?

    • Reply
      Kate
      June 21, 2016 at 9:21 am

      Yes, I know what you mean. I don’t worry about the threads not matching too much, unless the new thread I’m weaving with is much thicker and shows the warp threads a lot. If you’d rather the over under be continued in the correct pattern, you could always add a row just above the shape that doesn’t match and then weave across both, if that makes sense. But again, I don’t worry about this too much, especially when adding shapes with different thickness of wefts, otherwise you could drive yourself crazy. I hope this helps!

  • Reply
    Teresa
    November 22, 2016 at 1:11 am

    When changing weft thread, where do you tie the yarn to the loom to begin a new row? Or do you not tie to the loom? Very new to weaving 🙂

    • Reply
      Kate
      November 29, 2016 at 3:23 pm

      Hi, I don’t tie the weft thread when starting a new row. If I’m starting a new yarn, then I leave a 3-4 inch yarn tail in the back of the weave, that I tuck in later. If I’m weaving a new row with the same yarn, then I just loop around the end warp thread and continue weaving as before. If you would rather not have threads to weave in, then you can use the weaver’s knot technique that ties the threads together so that you can continue to weave with different yarns. http://www.theweavingloom.com/weaving-techniques-making-yarn-with-scraps/

  • Reply
    Stormy
    November 25, 2016 at 9:30 pm

    I just startes weaving. Today. I have a child’s loom I picked up at a local thrift store a while back thinking I would get around to it at some point. The tapestry beater, heddle, and shuttle were all in the little case with it. Yay me! Today, I decided, was the day! I very quickly found your blog and have been reading different posts all day as I have been playing around with my new “toy”. Thank you for having such wonderfully clear descriptions! I wish I had read about what to do with those tails earlier, but now I know for later! As it is, i’m just going to weave them all in now. Thanks again! I’m looking forward to reading more from you 🙂

    • Reply
      Kate
      November 29, 2016 at 4:25 pm

      Yay! I’m so happy to hear you’re enjoying weaving and I could help 🙂

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