This post is my collaboration with The Unusual Pear to provide pictures to her weaving instructions. If you don’t have a loom from The Unusual Pear, no worries, you can still benefit from these beginner instructions (especially Rainie’s awesomely easy soumak trick, seriously you need to check this time-saving method out!) This post is jam-packed, so get cozy and ready to weave!
***Oh and if you have a circle loom from The Unusual Pear, click here for a post on that.***
WARP – the lengthwise threads of the weaving
To Warp Your Loom
- Tie your warp thread around the first bottom left tooth of the loom.
- Tie a double knot to secure and then weave in and out of the teeth along the top and bottom of the loom on the front side only. Make sure to keep a firm tension with your warp as you do this.
- Secure the end of the warp around the last tooth on the bottom right of the loom by tying another double knot.
- Check your tension by placing your hand on the warp threads – it should be firm, not loose – adjust if needed.
WEFT – the crosswise threads of the weaving
I recommend weaving from the top to bottom of the loom. This means you will have perfect hanging loops at the top when you remove the weaving. Leave a minimum of 10cm (4in) of remaining warp at the bottom of your weaving, this extra room will help when it comes time to take your weaving off the loom – use a piece of thin cardboard as a guide if needed.
TABBY / PLAIN WEAVE
This is a basic over and under technique. As you begin weaving, it is important to remember not to pull your weft thread too tight, otherwise your weaving will end up looking like an hourglass. I recommend not pulling your yarn straight through, rather, as the picture shows, make an arch and beat the yarn down.
ANGLES & CURVES
With this technique you either lose or add a warp thread on each pass, depending which angle you are making. When you weave on the opposite side, you meet your passes again, adding or losing a warp thread.
Note From Kate | As you can see below, I am steadily building an angle, by weaving one less warp thread at a time.
RYA KNOTS / SHAG / TASSELS
- Cut yarn into lengths
- take 2-4 strands at a time (more if you want it extra shaggy) and lay them over the top of two warp threads
- Loop around the outer sides then down and out through the middle
- Hold in place with 1-2 rows of plain weave to secure your rya and continue this technique to build thicker layers of shag
Note from Kate | For quicker rya knot production, check out my post here
ADDING A NEW THREAD
- Allow the new thread to overlap the old thread for around 4-5cm (1.5-2in)
- The cut ends can be tucked back into the weaving using your tapestry needle
- Turn your loom around, take the cut end of the weft and thread it up through the same colour weft you have already woven
Note from Kate | For this example I used two different colored wefts to better demonstrate the thread change. When you do this with same colored thread, the change will be less visible in your weave.
- Cut a long piece of yarn
- Loop it around the first or last warp thread (first in my case as I am weaving left to right). Pictures 1 & 2 below.
- Spread the two pieces of yarn, take the cut ends and thread them through the middle and under the next warp thread and out through the middle again (always through the middle!) Pictures 3, 4, 5 below
- Repeat!!!! Pictures 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 below
Note from Kate | In my example, I have woven a section to the left (dark grey) and then added my soumak weave to show that you can start a soumak weave even in the middle of your warp. For those who like a video of this process, check out this video that Rainie put on her Instagram.
FINISHING / TAKING YOUR WEAVING OFF THE LOOM TO HANG
- You should have a minimum of 10cm (4in) exposed warp at the bottom of your weaving – cut the warp threads at the very bottom of the weaving, bit by bit (it makes it easier to tie the knots if some of it is still on the loom) and tie the warp threads together two or four at a time – this will secure your weaving. The loose warp ends can be cut short or woven back into the weaving – it can also be used as fringe.
- Use a piece of wooden dowel or a foraged stick to hang your weaving. Weave the dowel / stick through the loops at the top of the weaving – just like the tabby / plain weave you started with
^^Here is another weave I made, that shows the versatility of these looms ^^
^^You can warp them on fewer tabs if you want and weave all the way down to around 10cm (4in) from the bottom^^
Note from Kate | Once the bottom warp strings are cut, you will be able to easily pull the loops off the top tabs. Since my loops are larger then my dowel rod, I twisted my loops a few times so that they secured the top of my weave, then put my dowel rod through the loops. You can make your loops smaller while weaving if you wove closer to the top tabs. You could even use the Hem Stitch weave to secure the top of your weave.
- Hang up your very own hand woven wall hanging and start all over again.
Congratulations on your first weave and many more to come! Keep up to date with my weaving tutorials that work on any lap loom, by signing up for my email list below!
I received the mini bamboo loom as a gift from The Unusual Pear. All opinions are my own and I only accept and recommend products that I personally like and use.