Weaving Techniques

Weaving Techniques || The Hem Stitch

Hem Stitch Finish | The Weaving LoomI 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:Hem Stitch Finish | The Weaving LoomIt’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.Hem Stitch Finish | The Weaving LoomStarting 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.

Hem Stitch Finish | The Weaving LoomMaking the hem stitch across your weave

  • 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.

Hem Stitch Finish | The Weaving Loom

^^ 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.

Hem Stitch Finish | The Weaving LoomFinishing the hem stitch

  • 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!)Hem Stitch Finish | The Weaving Loom

If you’re already tried the hem stitch, do you have a preference between tying off your warps or doing a hem stitch? Do you find one to be a nicer finish then the other?The Weaving Loom blog for weavers

I’ve added some links at the top of the blog to make it more convenient for all you great readers (whoop-whoop!!). There is a link to my shop, so you can treat yourself to something pretty. A quick link resource page that contains all my weaving technique posts. And last, but not least, a link to all the video tutorials I have made. I hope you enjoy!

Happy Weaving!


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  • Megan
    October 17, 2015 at 6:43 pm

    I love reading all your tutorials. As a beginner weaver, I would like to frame the weave instead of hanging the weave. Can you advise how to finish off the weave for framing? I was told to do start and end with a row of double hitch knot and braid it off? I bit confused with the braiding bit or do I do a hem stitch and weave in the the warp ends?

    • Kate
      October 18, 2015 at 9:36 am

      Hi Megan! Weaves that are framed look so beautiful. You could do a lot of different things to finish the edges. The main goal is that you want to secure your weave so that it doesn’t fall apart. The hem stitch and double hitch knot would work and give you a little fringe with the warp threads, if that is what you want. For both of those you could also knot the warp threads after the hem or double hitch to make your weave extra secure. You don’t have to braid it if that isn’t the look you’re going for. A braid, much like putting a knot in the warp threads would help hold your weft in place because it secures the warp threads. Another option is to double knot your warp threads together and weave them in the back, I have a post on how to do this at http://www.theweavingloom.com/how-to-finish-a-weave/
      This way of finishing your edges will leave you with no fringe, which might be the look you’re going for.
      I hope this helps!

  • Maria Wiley
    June 20, 2016 at 6:10 am

    I love your blog…I’ve just started weaving and macrame….and this is just so helpful. Thank you!!!

    • Kate
      June 21, 2016 at 9:17 am

      Thanks! I’m so happy it has helped you 🙂

  • Royalspider26
    July 19, 2016 at 3:45 pm

    I do Weaving for some days now, but i hadn’t found yet how To finish properly.
    Thank you for your explaination, it is coeur now for me!
    Next: chevron waving!

    • Kate
      July 19, 2016 at 6:58 pm

      Oh good! I’m happy to help 🙂

  • janet
    January 20, 2017 at 3:16 am

    Thank you so much for this website and all the information. i appreciate it very much.

    • Kate
      January 22, 2017 at 12:55 pm

      Thank you, I’m so happy to hear it helps!