I was recently asked about how to make a nice finish on your weave without tying off your warp ends (more on finishing here). This is an especially important question if you’re working with a notched loom that leaves you with nice warp loops to hang your weave from, but this can be used as a finish technique if you’re cutting your weave off a frame loom too.
Let’s say you’ve decided to hang your weave without tying off your warp ends. A possible issue that comes up is your weft may slip up the warp and make your finish look a little sloppy. Here is an example of what I’m talking about:It’s not the end of the world, but for those who would like a cleaner finish without tying all those ends, you can use a hem stitch to secure your weave and still keep your warp loops to hang from.
To start the hem stitch, you should have at least one plain woven row of weft. I recommend weaving your whole project and then adding a plain woven row with a tail long enough to do the hem stitch across your weave. This way your warp threads will be a consistent tightness across your weave, whereas if you started with the hem stitch your warp threads would be pulled in too tightly. Just make sure to leave yourself enough room to add a row and the hem stitch.Starting the hem stitch
- Have at least one woven row of plain weave.
- Bring the yarn tail under and around at least 2 warp threads (it can be more if you are using a large number of warp ends per inch).
- Bring your yarn tail through the loop you just made and pull tight so that the warp threads are brought together.
- Bring the yarn from your loop around the warp threads behind and then through the back of your weave next to the warp threads you just “tied”. I recommend bringing your thread through the top of at least 2 weft rows, as I did in the picture, but you can bring it through more weft rows if you want to accentuate the look of the hem stitch.
^^ This is the same step as the middle picture previous, it shows how the weft loops around the warps then is brought under and up through the top of the 2 weft rows
- Now that you have pulled your weft from behind to the front of your weave, continue by wrapping the weft around the front of the next 2 warp threads and circle all the way around so that your thread ends on the front of the warp threads where you started, creating a loop.
- Repeat the pattern of bringing your yarn from the loop around the warp threads behind and then through the back of your weave next to the warp threads you just “tied”. Remember to keep a tight tension.
- Loop around your last 2 warp threads as you have been previously
- This time pull your thread through the loop you just created and pull tight so that a simple knot is formed.
- Bring your thread to the back of your tapestry and weave in your yarn end
Now you’re done!
I tried the hem stitch when I first started weaving, but then just continued tying my warp threads off to secure my weaves, but after trying the hem stitch again, I think I might continue with this since it seems a little quicker then tying all those warp threads. And if you’re a little confused, here is a picture with my poor excuse of illustrated arrows to show how the hem stitch thread is moving around the warp and plain woven rows. Hopefully this won’t confuse people more (yikes!)
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