Weaving Techniques

Weaving Techniques || Tapering Wool Roving

How to taper your wool roving while weavingSo we’ve gone over a few different ways to soumak your wool roving and today I wanted to talk about the most fun way to weave with your roving. We’re going to talk about tapering while you soumak so that your wool roving goes from large and fluffy bumps to a tighter and smaller bumps.

I love the look of tapered roving and before I ever tired it myself, I thought it’s probably complicated. Once I tried it, I was happily surprised to find out it’s not complicated at all!

My first thought was, I’ll have to pull on the roving to make it thinner, which didn’t turn out to be very easy for me to do. The hard part about roving is it’s just a bunch of fibers put together so messing with it leads to fibers coming out and it looking messy. So my next thought was I’ll just start weaving with it and see what I can do to it while I weave, which is how I realized I was overthinking it from the beginning.

I’m just going to talk about the tapering and not go into the detail of the soumak weave, so if you need a refresher on the soumak check out this post here.

Here is how I tapered my wool roving:

How to taper your wool roving while weavingstep 1|| I knew I wanted to have my roving start out bulky and then taper to smaller at the other end. So I took the middle of my roving piece and put one half over my first end warp and the other half under the first end warp and then over the next warp thread. I then began to soumak both roving ends, passing the roving over 5 warps and then looping around the 5th warp on both sides. I also looped my roving so that I made them slant inward towards each other (see this post for my visual arrows).

step 2|| For these first two bumps, I made sure to fluff them up really large with my hands. Then I went over 5 more warp threads and looped around the 5th. This time I didn’t fluff the bumps I made and let them be slightly smaller.

step 3|| I continued in this way passing three bumps over 5 warps, but making the bumps less fluffy each time. The next three bumps I passed over 4 warps continuing to make them less fluffy. The last few bumps I passed over 3 warps and pulled the roving around the warp thread with more force each time I made a new soumak, so that the roving was smaller and smaller against the warp threads.

If you wanted to taper to small and then soumak back to large bumps, you would then start doing the opposite and add more fluff to the roving and gradually pass over more warp threads.

How to taper your wool roving while weavingLike I said, this turned out to be so much easier then I thought once I started weaving with the roving and playing around with it. I love how from the side you can really see how the roving decreases against the warp threads. I also placed it next to roving that I soumak wove at a more consistent size.

The tapered roving has a really pretty look and adds depth. I’m excited to play around with this more and see what I can make with the different sizes of woven roving next to each other. How do you like to weave up your roving? Do you like to weave all roving and make a really fluffy weave or do you like to pair it with yarn? Is tapering roving something you’ve tried before or have been interesting in trying?

Happy Weaving!


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  • Jean Gogolin
    August 25, 2017 at 10:38 am

    Nice one, Kate! I’m about to start a weaving with the “tails” on one side rather than on the bottom. In other words, the right side will become the top, and I’ll create the hanging loops on that side after I’m done. Not quite sure how this will work until I get into it, but I’m looking forward to playing around! All in shades of blue.

    • Kate
      September 29, 2017 at 4:56 pm

      That sounds really interesting. Will you share a picture when you’re done, I’d love to see it!

  • pat cooper
    August 25, 2017 at 9:12 pm

    I have had some success twisting the roving as I wove it – the more you twist the tighter the weave.

    • Kate
      September 29, 2017 at 4:55 pm

      Thanks, that is a great idea! Does it change the loom of your roving? I should give that a try sometime.