Wall weavings have been making a major comeback in recent years. They are homespun and yet incredibly hip in their current application. They add a unique touch to any space, particularly if you are tired of hanging yet another framed photo on the wall and are looking to be inventive with your decor. Until recently, wall weavings had been considered passé and old-fashioned. Well, no more! Just a simple search on the internet produces images of wall weavings of all sorts that adorn the walls of spaces of all tastes and styles from traditional to modern and from Scandi-inspired to relaxed and bohemian. This is a craft well worth learning and its application is endless! I had such a blast making my first wall weaving that I wanted to share how I did it with all of you this week.
Given that this may be your first introduction to it as well (or if you are simply looking for some additional tips), I really wanted to start from the ground up, sharing all that I’ve learned so far. In this two-part post, ‘An Introduction to Weaving,’ I will be covering all the basics of starting your first weaving project. Since there was a lot of material to cover, I’ll be sharing the first part of this post today, while the second half will be posted on Wednesday (click here to go directly to part 2).
Today, we will be covering the foundations of creating your own wall weaving. This includes:
1. Materials you will need & where to find them.
2. Weaving terms you should become familiar with.
3. Getting started – creating the foundation of your wall weaving.
So, sit back and enjoy reading part 1 of this introduction to weaving!
Materials you will need & where to find them.
While I am very comfortable with yarn arts as a whole (check out my geometric embroidery art here or this DIY yarn wall hanging here), I had never tackled weaving before. The first thing I did was read about basic weaving (wall weavings, specifically) online –there are now several sites that provide loads of information about this craft.
Once I understood the basics, I determined that as it was to be my first wall weaving, I would start with something small. This led me to purchase a ‘lap loom.’ The loom is the actual device you use to help you weave, while the lap loom simply denotes its size – it quite literally fits on your lap and is, therefore, mobile. You can move around your home and do your weaving anywhere, watching your favourite tv show or sitting outside. I highly recommend it!
After searching around and seeing a wide range of prices, I decided to purchase mine online from Urban Outfitters at just $50. This loom measures about 12 by 16 inches and comes with a starter kit.
This is the perfect purchase for the beginner as it provides all the basic materials you will need. There are plenty of other places to look for lap looms, including Amazon and Etsy. You can also find looms of various shapes and sizes at most local craft stores, including Michaels. If you are especially adventurous, you can make your own by creating a wood frame and placing nails along the top and bottom in lieu of pegs. For this small loom project, however, I thought it was worth it to start with one professionally crafted that also came with a starter kit of basic looming materials.
Weaving terms & materials needed for your wall weaving.
Okay, let’s get started.
In creating your own wall weaving you will need the following items:
- lap loom
- cotton yarn for the warp (warp: foundation of the weaving created from the cotton yarn – in other words, the vertical strands of a wall weaving)
- yarn of various thicknesses (for interest and texture) and colours (look through pinterest or google images for inspiration on colour combinations that catch your eye)
- these yarns will create the weft (weft: the material that is woven horizontally across the warp)
- tapestry needle: about 3 inches long with a dull end and large eye to thread thinner yarns
- shuttle: this is the stick with the u-shape ends used to feed thicker yarns into the warp
- shed stick: this is the flat wood piece with the pointed end; this is woven through the warp to make space, making it easier when feeding yarn using the shuttle (all this will be shown below)
- dowel (about 4 inches wider than the weaving)
- washi tape (for some added colour on the dowel ends)
Getting started – creating the foundation of your wall weaving.
Step 1: Create Your Warp
Make a loop knot at the end of the cotton yarn and place over the top left peg. Pull down and loop around the bottom left peg from the left side and then pull up on the right side of the peg. Continue upwards, looping around the second peg at the top from the left side of the peg towards the right and continuing downwards as before.
Continue this way until you have the sufficient width you would like to create, finishing with another loop knot.
Tip: Make sure that your warp is not too tight. This is so that when you are ready to begin weaving using your yarn, you will thread it through with ease. As you add more yarn, the warp actually tightens along the way. If your warp is too tight from the start, then your weaving will end up bowing in the middle, not to mention making it difficult to work with. As you make your warp, simply press down on it from time to time to ensure there is some give.
Step 2: Add Tassles
To create tassles along the bottom, cut the length of your chosen yarn – about 20 inches or more is a good length for the size of this particular loom. Fold your yarn in half twice, which will leave a little over 5 inches of yarn. (You will be trimming it later, so it is better to start with a longer tassle that you can cut to your taste later on).
You will be creating one tassle per peg. Thread the folded center over the first strand of warp and under the second then back up again.
Take the ends on the left side up and over the second strand of your warp and under the loop you’ve just created, feeding them through. This will be the start of your first knot.
Keep pulling through towards the right until you have created your knot.
Pull the tassel ends downward so that the knot ends up underneath the peg.
Repeat this process for each peg until all the pegs have a tassel attached.
You have now created the foundation of your weaving! Easier than you thought, right? At this stage, you are ready to begin creating a lovely piece of woven art, the basis of which will be the finished weaving below:
Sometimes, all it takes is a step-by-step tutorial to take the intimidation factor out of trying a new craft. So, if you’ve made it this far, give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back 🙂
In part 2 of this introduction to weaving, I show you the basics of creating your ‘weft’ (aka weaving) design, so don’t forget to check it out.