If you’ve seen my woven art before, you know I like to use the pile weave from time to time. For those that are new to weaving, the pile weave is woven loops. It’s one of my favorite ways to add texture and dimension to my weaves. I especially love how flexible the loops are. I like to create organic shapes with the loops and add flat weaves next to it to really define the dimensional difference.
Here is an example of one of my favorite weaves where I combined plain weave, twill weave, and the pile weave. It’s also fun to make the loops with the different yarn weights, they looks so different! I used a pencil roving for the fluffy loops next to worsted weight yarns. They really contrast well.
I find that using a pick up stick to make the loops is the easiest for beginners. This also will help you get a uniform loop length, if that is what you are aiming for. If you don’t want the loops to be uniform in size, then just adjust them as you go.
When making the pile weave, it’s really important to have support rows, because the loops are very loose in the warp threads, so you need the support rows to pack down the loops.
step 2| Weave a plain weave row that you want to make into loops
I like to use more then one thread when making the pile weave, because it makes it bushier, but use as much thread as makes sense for your design.
step 3| Take your pick-up stick and pick up your weft that crosses over the warp by wrapping them around the stick as shown and then pull the whole stick down to your support row. I’m using a dowel rod here, but I’ve found a knitting needle with some slip to it works better.
step 4| While your “stitches” are on the pick-up stick, weave another plain weave row. In my original post I didn’t leave the loops on the pick-up stick, and since I recommend you do because it makes it so much easier when weaving the next row.
step 6| I repeat the above steps and create two or three rows of loops, then weave a plain weave row and push it down against all my loop rows to lock them in. You can continue making loops as your design requires.
I also have an old stop-motion video that I made of the process. I’m not sure if this video is the most helpful, but it is at least a little helpful and kind of funny (so win-win?).
Feel free to ask me questions in the comments below. The pile weave seems to be one of those weaving techniques that are hard at first, but really easy once you get the hang of it. Oh and don’t forget, I recently shared how to add beads to a pile weave here! You know, for some extra flair.
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