Weaving Techniques

Weaving Techniques || The Pile Weave (Loop Weave)

Pile Weave | The Weaving Loom

If you’ve seen my work, you may have noticed that I love weaving loops. I really like the soft texture that they give weaves. They also give a more organic feel to my weaves.

So if you’re wondering how to make these loops in your own weaves, it’s actually pretty easy! One key item you need is a circular stick to create your loops on. I use a dowel rod for this, but a knitting needle would work really well too. The thickness of the stick you use will determine the size of your loops.

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You can put your loops anywhere in your weave, and these steps will work whether you’re weaving top-down or bottom-up.

Pile Weave | The Weaving Loom

To start weave some support rows before you put in your loops. I recommend having at least 2 rows for this, but those rows can be of soumak, plain weave or whatever as long as they aren’t loose. I wouldn’t recommend putting loops right on top of rya knots, because rya knots will separate your warp threads and you’re loops will not hold their shape. If you want loops on top of rya knots, then add 2 very thin rows (like fingering weight yarn, or even your warp thread) of plain weave that will be hidden under the loops you make.

Ok, so once you have your support rows in weave a plain weave in the area that you want your loops. Next take your dowel rod and pick up your “stitches” by wrapping them around the rod as shown. I do this higher in my warp so that I have space to easily pull on the weft threads to pick them up.

Pile Weave | The Weaving Loom

After all my row is on the dowel rod, I pull the dowel rod down on my warp so that it brings the loops down to the support rows. Next gently remove the rod so that you leave behind a row of loops. Weave another plain weave row above your loops, making sure not to pull the weft too much otherwise you’ll start to lose the loops you just made. Again pick up your “stitches” around the rod. Pull them down on the warp and gently remove the rod. Continue in this pattern until you have made all the loops you want.

Last weave a support row of plain weave and take your tapestry beater (or use your hands) and smash that support row down into your loops. You want to really smash the loop rows down so that your weave doesn’t get super loose once you cut it off the loom. If you find that when you really smash the loops down the warp that they take up less space then you wanted, then add more loop rows. I don’t recommend using a tapestry beater on the loop rows directly because in my experience they don’t hold their place and you risk messing up your loops, so it’s not worth it.

Pile Weave | The Weaving Loom

I also wanted to mention that for my example I’m making loops with just two yarn threads so that it is easy to see, but I usually use four strands of worsted weight to make my loops thicker. The number of strands and the yarn weight you use is really up to you, so as always I encourage you to experiment and discover what combinations you like.

I’ve made a stop motion video on the process for those who are interested.  You can find that video here.

So that isn’t as hard as it may appear. Have you tried adding loops to your weaves before? And if so, have you tried adding them in different loop sizes?

Happy Weaving!



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  • Kate
    July 12, 2015 at 7:06 am

    Hi, love this look but can’t quite understand the instructions… Any chance of a video?

    • Kate
      July 12, 2015 at 10:34 am

      Hi Kate, I don’t have any experience with making videos but I can give it a try. I understand that sometimes videos are the best way to explain stuff like this, so hopefully I can get something together that works! Not sure how long it will take me, but I’ll reply back here if I can get a video together.


    • Kate
      September 1, 2015 at 2:23 pm

      Hi Kate, If you’re still intereted, I just put up (on 9/1) a stop motion video of the loop weave steps that I think might help. Sorry it took me so long, but I was struggling with making a video recording that was good and showed the steps without my hands getting in the way. I felt like this stop motion was the best option.

  • the day I learned to weave.
    December 13, 2015 at 9:04 pm

    […] was some pink yarn to work with. Favorite! I tried my hand at basic tabby, Rya knots (love) and loops. We also learned how to Soumak which I didn’t do during the class but I did try later at […]

  • Shannon
    January 27, 2016 at 7:02 am

    Your explanation of this technique is sooo helpful! Thanks so much!!

    • Kate
      January 27, 2016 at 8:24 am

      Hi Shannon, you’re very welcome 🙂

  • diane Prostko
    January 30, 2016 at 8:30 pm

    Hi Kate, Just did my third hanging and I just love this article. I can’t wait to try this. Thank you.

    • Kate
      January 31, 2016 at 1:26 pm

      Hi Diane, that’s great! I’m so glad you’re enjoying weaving 🙂

  • Amber Christensen
    February 27, 2016 at 5:57 pm

    I am SO glad I found your blog 😀 I am new to weaving and so anxious and excited to learn all these techniques! I am going to start circular weavings (they are drawing my attention the most).. Is there a way to do this technique on a circular weave? Using the straight dowel on a circular weave doesn’t seem like it would work.. But i could totally be wrong!
    Thank you!!

    • Kate
      February 27, 2016 at 6:09 pm

      Hi Amber, I actually was wondering if the pile weave could work on a circular weave. I haven’t tried it yet, but I think it would work best towards the middle where the warp threads are tightest. Further out in the circle wouldn’t hold the loops. As far as the dowel rod, I think it would still work, but you’d have to move it around a lot. There might be a better option, like something curved you could use, but like I said I haven’t gotten that far yet 🙂 If you weave the loops on a circular weave, let me know how it goes!

  • Jody
    March 12, 2016 at 12:07 pm

    How would you add 3 different colors alternating each color?

    • Kate
      March 12, 2016 at 6:57 pm

      Hi Jody, can you give me a little more detail? In what way do you want the colors alternate? Like stripes?

  • Jo / The Desert Echo
    March 16, 2016 at 9:17 pm

    Thanks so much for this! In New to weaving and find all your tutorials on different techniques so great!

  • Vera langhout
    September 20, 2016 at 5:38 am

    Dear kate,
    What is the difference between sumak en plain weaving?
    Sorry if my english is not good, i am dutch.
    Gr vera