Weaving Techniques Weaving Tips

Weaving Tip || Back to the Plain Weave Basics

Plain Weave Tip |The Weaving LoomI received a question from a reader asking if she was using the wrong warp thread, because she noticed that when she weaves her warp shows more then what she sees in other people’s weaves. My first question was, was she weaving with a bulky thread.  I asked this because when you weave with bulky threads, there is more area for the warp to cover and it will end up showing more (just check out my chunky grey thread above). But she informed me she was using a worsted size 4 yarn for her weft. To help with this question, I went all the way back to my first weave and sure enough, I had more warp showing using a worsted weight size 4 yarn, compared to now when I weave the warp is almost fully covered.Plain Weave Tip |The Weaving Loom

Plain Weave Tip |The Weaving LoomBoth in my grey and white woven areas of my first weave you can see how the tension of my weft threads is so strong that it’s bringing the warp threads forward so that they show.  These are worsted weight size 4 yarns.  So why does this happen? Well when you’re just starting out and getting the hang of weaving, you tend to pull your weft across the warp threads very tightly, where as the correct way to do it is to lay your weft threads between the warps. You probably have seen this many times, as I did when I was just starting out, but I hope to better explain the importance of using a “wave” technique when weaving. I clearly didn’t understand the importance of it when I was just starting out.

Plain Weave Tip |The Weaving LoomSince the plain weave is just going over and under the warp threads, it is very tempting to just pull the weft straight across. This, however, puts unnecessary tension in your weave and causes the warp threads to pull forward, which is why they are prominent when woven in this way. What I do is pull my weft thread across my weave but up, about an inch, above my already woven rows creating a “wave”. I then take my tapestry needle (or you could use your tapestry beater) and I push down part of the wave a few warps over and create a smaller wave that I smooth down. If I were to push the wave down right at the next warp and then the next, I would end up getting uneven tension. So if I push the wave down a few warps over this better spreads the tension of the weft. I continue pushing down my weft a few warp threads over and then smoothing the weft down all the way across the row I have woven.  As you can see I’m more laying my weft threads over my warp threads, instead of pulling them and my warp threads are better covered to the point where you barely see them.

If you’re looking for even more warp coverage, check out my post on the weft facing weave technique.

As always, I love helping out with weaving questions when I can so please leave me a comment or send me an email.

Happy Weaving!

Kate

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6 Comments

  • Reply
    Susie
    July 7, 2016 at 9:30 pm

    Hi,
    I’ve just come across your website, by following a link from Pinterest. I just wanted to take the time to say how informative, helpful and easy to follow your tutorials are. As a beginner, I’m feeling a lot more confident about tackling some of the ideas I have. Thank you.

    • Reply
      Kate
      July 8, 2016 at 6:25 am

      Yay! Thanks for reaching out and I’m so happy you’re finding the tutorials helpful!

  • Reply
    Ashley
    July 17, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    I am so happy to find your site! Glad to see other lap loom weavers out there! Thank you so much for this post! I bought a really nice lap loom last year from a seller on Amazon. I used it and noticed my salvage was brought in too much. In frustration, I cut off the yarn and have not used it since.
    This post has cleared up so much for me! Going to give my knitting a break, pick up my loom, and weave up some table runners! Thank you, Kate! Keep posting and I will keep reading!

    Have a good day,

    Ashley

    • Reply
      Kate
      July 18, 2016 at 5:42 am

      Hi Ashley! Yay, I’m so happy that I have helped. And table runners sound like such fun!

  • Reply
    Tara
    November 10, 2016 at 8:12 pm

    Hello, I am using the “wave” technique and still having issues with tension. What could the issue be?

    Thanks!

    • Reply
      Kate
      November 12, 2016 at 4:25 pm

      Hi Tara,

      It would be hard for me to say without seeing an example of your issue. If you can, email me a picture of one of your weaves with a tension issue at kate@theweavingloom.com thanks!

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