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DIY, How to Weave Beautiful Tapestries On Rings - Putting A Parallel Warp On A Ring

Updated on February 27, 2016
This is my Arizona Desert Ring Weaving
This is my Arizona Desert Ring Weaving | Source

Weaving Addictions

I learned to weave in Sweden. Sweden is a mecca for hand-weaving, and I was so fortunate to be able to learn it there. My husband was working a lot of hours at Volvo in Gothenburg, Sweden, and I was getting pretty bored. It was B.C. in our marriage (Before Children) so I didn't have a lot to do all day. I couldn't work there because I couldn't speak the language, so I contacted the American Information Service in Gothenburg and asked them to find a weaving school for me. They called back with the name of Tyra Persson's Weaving School, and I went there to meet Tyra. She was adorable! She was in her 70's, and she laughed a lot. She taught weaving in her home on the second floor, and you could hear the looms booming overhead when you walked in the house. She had about 9 other students, mostly Swedish ladies and one Norwegian. Tyra spoke no English, I spoke no Swedish, but we just clicked. I spent a year in her school, learned a lot of wonderful techniques, and got so hooked on weaving.

Gothenburg, Sweden

The month before we left Sweden, my husband and I drove down to the south to Glimåkra, Sweden where they make the world famous Glimåkra looms. We ordered a 60" wide floor loom and had it shipped back home. I did a lot of weaving on that loom including a 10 foot map of the world. I still have the loom in my garage, and I love it. However, it is the size of a double bed, and quite a lot of work to set up. Then I discovered off-loom weaving and I was off again weaving on rings and tree branches. You can take these weaving projects anywhere and they don't take up much space. Then the support, be it a tree branch or a ring becomes the solution for how you'll hang the piece once it's finished. Perhaps you'd like to learn how to weave on a floor loom, but off-loom weaving will be excellent practice for you until then.

Off We Go!

So let's get started. The biggest rule you need to keep in mind is that no matter what else you do, you have to have an odd number of strings in your warp. Otherwise you won't be able to turn and weave back the other way.

Starting Your Parallel Warp

Do not panic!!! It's painful until you get the hang of it. Use tons of clear tape if you need to to hold the knots in place. You can remove the tape when you've finished the weaving.

These instructions are for a 17" diameter ring. If you have a larger ring, obviously you'll want more warp strings,


Start weaving using a yarn needle. Leave a tail hanging out of the weaving.until you have finished the piece.

Tabby Weaving/Plain Weaving


BEATER – a device used to beat the weft into place, we will be using table forks. In traditional looms the beater is usually built into the loom.

LOOM - a device used to weave cloth. The basic purpose of any loom is to hold the warp threads under tension to facilitate the interweaving of the weft threads. The shape of the loom and its mechanics may vary, but the basic function is the same.

OFF LOOM – Many devices can be used to stretch the warp including large metal rings, tree branches, picture frames, the list is only limited by your imagination. The weaving which is the end result stays on the support, and the support is part of the design.

RYA - A rya is a traditional Scandinavian wool rug with a long pile of about 1 to 3 inches. They were made using a form of the Ghiordes knot to make the double-sided pile fabric. Rya makes a very decorative method for adding texture to a tapestry. Usually it is followed by several rows of Tabby weaving to hold it in place.

SHUTTLE – a device used to wrap a quantity of weft yarn around to carry the weft yarn across through the warp cords. We will be using yarn needles instead.

SOUMAK – a weaving technique that adds texture to a weaving. It is a method that skips one or several warp strands as it crosses the warp – see diagram for instructions.

Usually it is followed by several rows of Tabby weaving to hold it in place.

TABBY WEAVE – also called Plain weave is the most basic type of weaving. It is strong and hard-wearing, used for fashion and furnishing fabrics.

WARP—The strings or cords which are stretched across a support. Warp forms the inside structure of the weaving. It needs to be strong, and it is usually thinner than the weft. In order to weave over the warp, there needs to be an uneven number of strands in the warp. The warp can be left hanging free below the weaving as a fringe.

WEFT— The yarn or fibers that are woven across the warp. In our project, we will be using yarn needles to carry the weft yarn across the warp in an over, under, over, under pattern called Tabby.

WEFT-FACE- In wall hangings, the weft usually covers up the warp and the weft should be larger in thickness than the warp.

WARP-FACE—a type of weaving used for belts or guitar straps—the warp is what is showing in the finished weaving, while the weft is inside. Possible techniques for this may be card weaving or inkle weaving.

Now You Are Ready To Weave A Tapestry

I will be writing about the actual weaving process in another Hub. I hope this article helps you get your ring ready for your tapestry.


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    • purl3agony profile image

      Donna Herron 18 months ago from USA

      This is an interesting technique. I like that it is smaller than a larger floor loom and seems like something you could work on in your lap. I love the different colors and textures that you used in your sample. Thanks for introducing me to this ring method of weaving!