How to Get Started with Weaving
It can be daunting for beginners to begin the beautiful craft of weaving but with these simple step by steps, we'll show you how to build and warp a loom so you're ready to get creative!
A loom provides you with the framework for your weave. It is threaded with warp so that you can weave through different colours and types of ‘filling’, such as yarn and roving.
Easy to construct and great for beginners, the Hawthorn Handmade Pop-Up Loom makes the perfect introduction to the colourful craft of weaving and was designed by us especially for you.
The Pop-Up Loom gives you the space to make a woven piece up to 25cm x 25cm, enough to enable you to get to grips with weaving, but without the commitment a bigger loom requires. It’s very light weight so you can weave comfortably on your lap and is small enough to store easily.
It comes flat-packed and can be put together simply by snapping the plywood sections apart and adding a few dabs of glue to keep everything in place. It comes with two shuttles and a comb and a link to our PDF Introduction to Weaving Guide.
Method: Pop out and build!
Time: Under an hour
- Hawthorn Handmade Pop-Up Loom
- Small amount of strong glue
- Fine sanding paper (optional)
How to build your loom
When the flat Pop-Up Loom is removed from the packaging, you'll see all the sections are help together in one piece by small joining points. These joining points will need to be snapped apart to separate the sections. The flat loom measures 19cm x 30cm and is 26.5cm x 28cm when popped together.
1. Place the flat loom on a table or work surface and working from one long edge to the other, put your fingers under the wood and your thumbs on top and gently press down with your thumbs, carefully bending the wood away from the table at the joining points until the pieces snap apart. Work along the piece until all the sections have been separated.
TIP It can help to bend the wood in one direction, flip it over, then bend it in the other direction until it snaps.
2. OPTIONAL You may want to sand the areas where the wood was joined to make them nice and smooth.
3. Put the comb and the two shuttles to one side.
4. Now it’s time to assemble the loom! The loom comes with a diagram showing you how to slot the pieces together. Do this once without using glue to make sure you have everything in the right place. Once you’re happy, gently pull the slots apart, add a dab or two of strong glue into the gaps and push back together. Leave to dry according to the glue instructions.
TIP You can decorate your loom before you add the warp. You could stain it, paint it, use decoupage or wrap it in washi tape to make it unique. Make sure you don’t block the notches where the warp will go.
How to warp your loom
Warp are the threads that run up and down your loom. We have found the best fibre for warp thread is cotton. It needs to be nice and strong with little or no stretch. Our Weaving Supply Packs all come with cotton warp thread, British yarns and roving wool, a tapestry needle and detailed ‘Introduction to Weaving’ Guide.
1. Take the end of your warp thread and tie it around one of the grooves on the bottom of your loom. You don’t have to start right from one edge, starting a few grooves in will give a slimmer finished piece.
2. Take the warp thread up to the matching groove at the top of the loom. Pass the thread back and through the next groove and then bring it down to the next bottom groove. Pass around and back up to the top.
3. Keep on going up and down working across the loom. Once you have created your chosen number of warps, cut the thread leaving about a 20cm tail and tie the end around your final groove.
Creating the right tension with your warp before you begin to weave is very important. You don’t want it so tight that you can’t pass the shuttle or shed stick between the warps and equally, you don’t want it so loose that the finished piece doesn’t keep its shape. It needs to be firm but still with some give. Aim to keep it even across the warps from left to right
Before you start
Once the warp is in place, take a piece of card, 30cm x 2-3cm, and weave it between your warp thread – one warp up and one down - all along the width of your warp. Push it down to the bottom.
TIP For a clean edge to your weave, weave a twisted header row and push it against the edge of the card before you start to weave (instructions on how to create a twisted header row come with the Pop-Up Loom).
You can find out more about the essential tools you need for weaving here.
Now you’re ready to start weaving!
Use one of our Weaving Supply Packs, or experiment with your own yarns and colours to make wall hangings, tapestries or even jewellery.
Founder & Creative Director, Hawthorn Handmade