Just Some Thoughts

How to Start Weaving for Little Cost

How to Start Weaving on a BudgetMy goal for this blog is to share my knowledge about weaving. It’s an art form that I love so much and when I first wanted to try weaving there weren’t too many resources on it. So as I researched and tried new things I took the time to document what I was doing with step-by-step pictures and instructions. I’m always really excited when someone tells me they were able to learn to weave from my blog, it makes all the time and work I put into it worth it!


For those looking to get into weaving, keep in mind that there are many ways to try it out for not a lot of money. In fact, I think it’s best for most beginner’s to try the least expensive options, just in case they end up not liking it (as if that’s even a possibility). Then if they find they love to weave, they can later make purchases towards tools and such.

When I started weaving, I used an old canvas stretcher frame that my mom had in her basement. This was perfect for starting out, because she wasn’t using it and it was free to me. You can also use a frame as a loom. All you need is a frame that you can remove the glass and backing from, or use canvas stretches like I did. I posted on an easy way to set up your frame loom, so that you can evenly space your warp, and also how to warp a frame loom up. The bonus to using a frame loom, is it’s possible to find a really large frame and make large weaves on it. My canvas stretcher frame is 23” x 30”, which as a loom is pretty large.

If you don’t have a good frame, that’s ok. I also have a post on how to make yourself a loom with cardboard that you probably have around the house. This loom won’t last through too many weaves, but it will definitely get you started. My steps to making a cardboard loom are here.

How to Start Weaving on a BudgetAnd weaving tools, there is some cheap options for tools too. I feel that the most important tool for weaving is your weaving needle. Luckily those aren’t very expensive. On the other hand, I have a wooden weaving comb (tapestry beater) that is really lovely, but also pricey. This is one of those items that you could always splurge on later after you know if you enjoy weaving. There are much more affordable weaving combs and also there are household items that you might have right now that can be used! For example, a fork or a hair comb work really well with pushing weft threads down your warp strings.

Those two tools are what I mostly use when weaving, but I also sometimes use a shed stick to help speed up my weaving time. A shed stick helps you create upper and lower warp threads. The space between the upper and lower warps is called the shed. Passing your weft thread through the shed makes a super quick over/under weave (aka plain weave). You can read more about it here. And of course you could purchase a shed stick, but I like to use a long metal ruler I had at home to create a shed. It works really well and it’s a ruler that I use occasionally to measure, so win-win.

Make cute things with your yarn scraps!Now let’s talk about yarn. My favorite topic! Over the years I have found that I prefer working with natural fibers like cotton and wool. But, that’s not to say that you can’t use acrylic yarns. Acrylic and acrylic/natural blended yarns also work well for weaving and tend to be less expensive then natural yarns. When starting out, use what is available to you. Oh and if you have yarn scraps from left over projects, that’s even better. Weaving is such a flexible art form, that you can weave with yarn scraps.

Here are three weaving tutorials that work really well with yarn scraps:

I hope that helps get more people started! I love weaving and I love sharing that love of weaving even more! If your really new to weaving, you might want to check out my beginner’s guide to weaving for more information. And of course I have tons of tutorials & weaving techniques that I share for free!

Happy Weaving!

Kate


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4 Comments

  • Reply
    Victoria Bergesen
    May 18, 2017 at 6:43 pm

    Good ideas. Ask friends and family who knit or crochet for yarn. Many of them have part skeins left over from projects that they will be happy to part with. They may also have yarns that were not successful for knitting to give you. For example there are some yarns like chenille, or Lion’s Homespun that I don’t enjoy knitting with or wearing, that work in wall hangings. A few years ago novelty yarn were fabulously popular, and many knitters may have some of these to give away. They work well in some wall hangings.

    • Reply
      Kate
      May 23, 2017 at 10:36 am

      Great idea! I think everyone I know that knits or crochets has yarns that they are done using, so that would be a perfect way to find yarns to weave with. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Mall Verleye
    May 19, 2017 at 3:39 am

    Like you I started weaving recently and I love it. I started off with a cardboard box which I cut down to size put little slits in it and away I went, then I made myself a bigger one stronger cardboard, You also said a picture frame that is good as well, but the backing of the frame I find really good, little harder to put the slits into to put my yarns in but with a little patient I got it to what it is now, I am glad I found this blog as it did help me to start weaving at a low cost.
    I am now getting some more of them backings together, bigger once so I can shape them in a pattern shape to make cardigans, tops, sleeves front panels just anything you need to make a shape that I need to make beautiful garments at low cost. Thank you very much to get me into weaving as I love it 😉

    • Reply
      Kate
      May 23, 2017 at 10:38 am

      Thanks for sharing this! That is a great idea to use a cardboard box and I love your idea about making looms to shapes. Let me know how it goes when you weave panels for tops, I’d love to hear if it’s easy or not.

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