There are some fantastic weaving resources to have in your favourites bar.
One of those is Kate Tedesco's blog The Weaving Loom and her YouTube Channel. Kate regularly updates her blog with wonderful weaving techniques, hints and tips and most often uses her very own The Unusual Pear Weaving Loom. Here is the link to Kate's photographed instructions of using The Unusual Pear Lap Weaving Looms
Another great resource is Elin from Heroic Acorn's YouTube channel!
Below you will find the instructions for The Unusual Pear rectangle weaving looms. Click here to see the How To Warp video on my YouTube channel. I will be adding more videos over the next few months for the techniques described below.
LOOM – The frame with which you use to weave on
WARP – The warp is the lengthwise threads on your loom and is the base of your weaving. You want to use a strong thread for your warp; cotton is most common
WEFT – The weft is the crosswise threads of the weaving where you create your design and pattern; you can use any type of yarn or thread as your weft
TABBY/PLAIN WEAVE – This is the most common weaving technique of over 1, under 1
DOUBLE WEAVE – Another common weaving technique of over 2, under 2
TWILL WEAVE – First pass will be over 2, under 2. Second pass will be over 1, under 2, over 2, under 2 until pass is completed. Each row after will copy of the first and second passes
RYA KNOTS – This is the traditional name of the technique for making tassels or shag
SOUMAK – This is a technique you use to create a braid or plait like pattern in your weaving
PASS – When you weave a whole row across your loom. I also call this a “row”
SELVEDGE – The sides/edges of your weaving
WARPING YOUR WEAVING LOOM
- You can warp the whole length of the loom or just a section inside of the frame, depending on how wide you would like your weaving to be
- You want a firm tension when you warp so pull the thread firmly as you go
- Tie your knots at the bottom of the loom
Single Warping – where you have only one thread coming in or out of each notch of the loom. This is a better option if you are using chunky yarns or if you want to finish a weaving in a short amount of time.
Double Warping – where you have two threads coming in or out of each notch of the loom. This doubles the amount of warp threads you have on the loom. You can add more detail into double warped weavings and is a better option if you want to make angles and defined geometric shapes.
STEP 1: Tie a double knot with the cotton warp thread around one of the bottom left notches of the loom.
STEP 2: Find the corresponding notch at the top of the loom. Bring the thread up to the top of the loom and hook around to the right of that corresponding notch. Bring the thread back down to the bottom of the loom, hooking around to the right of the next notch. Continue this pattern and make sure to keep a firm tension with your warp as you do this. The warp should be on the front side of the loom and hooked around the notches on the back side of the loom.
STEP 3: Without letting go of the thread, check your tension by placing your free hand on the warp threads across the loom – the tension should be firm like guitar strings. If in doubt, readjust your tension.
READJUSTING TENSION – Place your loom on a flat surface. One by one, pull on the far left warp thread on the loom, before letting go, pull on the next one along. Continue pulling each of the warp threads until you get to the end. You should see all of the slack going into the thread as you pull it from the loom.
STEP 4: Leave 10cm slack and cut the thread loose. Secure the end of the warp by tying a double knot around one of the notches at the bottom right of the loom.
BEFORE YOU JUMP IN
- Leave enough space at the top of the loom for the hanging stick. If you place the stick at the very top of the loom, wherever the stick ends, is where your weaving should start.
- If you used my warping method above, you should have both of your warp knots at the bottom of the loom and you will have an even number of warps on the loom. This method allows for perfect hanging loops at the top when you remove the weaving from the bottom of the loom.
- You can weave from the bottom of the loom, to the top or vice versa and start your weaving at the top and finishing it off at the bottom. Top to bottom is my preferred method but start however feels most comfortable for you.
- Depending on the type of warp you have used, there are two ways you can remove your weaving from the loom. OPTION 1: If you have used a thicker type of warp with a minimal amount of stretch, you can weave the entire length of the loom and once finished, you can slip the threads over the notches – no cutting required. OPTION 2: If you have used a thinner, non stretchy warp, you will likely have to cut your weaving from the loom. If this is the case, you will need to leave a minimum of 5cm exposed warp at the bottom of the loom and cut the threads off right at the bottom and then tie those threads together two at a time.
GET EXCITED, IT’S TIME TO GET YOUR WEAVE ON
- As you begin weaving, it’s important to remember not to pull your weft thread too tight, pulling too tight may cause your weaving to take on an hourglass shape.
- Instead of pulling your weft straight through the weaving, with each pass you want to make an arch which you then beat into place with your weaving comb or fingers.
TECHNIQUES TO TRY
TABBY/PLAIN WEAVE – Over 1, under 1, repeat. On the second pass, ensure you alternate the technique – to start, if the first pass ended with an under, this time go over.
DOUBLE WEAVE – Over 2, under 2, repeat.
TWILL WEAVE – First pass will be over 2, under 2. Second pass will be over 1, under 2, over 2, under 2 until pass is completed. Each pass after will copy of the first and second passes.
RYA KNOTS – To create a rya knot, you will cut yarn into similar sized lengths (you can trim them once finished if needed). Take 2-4 strands at a time and lay them over the top of two warp threads. Loop around the outer sides then down and out through the middle. Hold in place with 2-4 passes of plain weave to secure the rya.
SOUMAK – With a strand of yarn, from left to right, loop around each of the warp threads one at a time.
DOUBLE SOUMAK – This looks like a braid or plait. Take a long strand of yarn or roving, fold that strand around the first left warp thread. You should have two cut ends in one hand and the warp thread caught in the middle with the other. Split the yarn and loop the cut ends around the next warp thread (under and back out through the middle). Continue until finished.
ANGLES – To create angles, you either loose or add a warp thread on each pass, depending which angle you are trying to achieve. If you are trying to create V shape triangle, begin by making one full pass, then on each pass after, you will lose a warp thread on each side, one by one. When you weave to fill each side, you meet your passes with the new thread, this time, adding a warp thread with each pass. *You will want to use the same thickness of yarn when you fill in the other side of the angle.
ADDING A NEW THREAD - Allow the new thread to overlap the old thread for around 4-5cm. The cut ends can be tucked back into the weaving using your tapestry needle. Flip your loom around to the back, take the cut end of the yarn and thread it up through the same colour yarn to hide.
VERTICAL STRIPES – Use two strands of yarn in different colours (for instance, blue and white). Make one full pass with the blue yarn from left to right of the loom. Use the white yarn this time, starting your pass from right to left of the loom (alternating your technique with each pass just like tabby/plain weave).
REMOVING YOUR WEAVING
Depending on the type of warp you have used, there are two ways you can remove your weaving from the loom.
OPTION 1: If you have used a thicker type of warp with a minimal amount of stretch, you can weave the entire length of the loom and once finished, you can slip the threads over the notches – no cutting required.
OPTION 2: If you have used a thinner, non stretchy warp, you will likely have to cut your weaving from the loom. If this is the case, you will need to leave a minimum of 5cm exposed warp at the bottom of the loom and cut the threads off right at the bottom and then tie those threads together two at a time.
These guides have been written specifically for The Unusual Pear Weaving Looms & Spindles by Rainie Williams. They are not to be copied or used by any other person or business for any other brands of weaving looms, drop spindles or weaving / spinning workshops.