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