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4 Fun, Affordable Starter Weaving Looms

Updated on February 2, 2015
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To Weave or Not to Weave

Some people grow up with fond memories of a mother or grandmother who had a loom in the middle of the room and worked at it regularly. Many of us didn't have that experience. I didn't grow up in a home warmed by the sound of the shuttle and foot pedals. However, as an adult, I was drawn to weaving and fiber arts. I took classes and purchased a full-size floor loom. What I didn't know was that there were weaving projects that I could work on without the benefit of a full-size loom.

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced weaver, I hope you enjoy the following weaving options which involve simple, affordable, and sometimes homemade looms.

Special thanks to Luna, my cat, who could not resist helping with my photography project.

Understanding the Basics - And then some...

The Weaver's Companion (The Companion Series)
The Weaver's Companion (The Companion Series)

The Weaver's Companion is the perfect handbook for weaving. It explains and defines tons of potentially confusing terms, helps familiarize you with the characteristics of a variety of fibers, includes patterns and how to read them, and much much more. I encourage anyone who wants to get started weaving (whether on a loom or off) to get this book as a comprehensive primer for everything you need to know about the basics of weaving.

 

Straw Weaving

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Straw Weaving

Straw weaving is a great way to get started weaving because it's so simple and the supplies cost pennies. A weaving "loom" is created by threading yarn (or other string) through straws and weaving around them, sliding the weaving down as you go. More detailed instructions can be found in the links and videos below.

Many of the instructions found online recommend using drinking straws for this style of weaving, primarily because they are easier for children's small hands to manage. Weaving on soda straws can be loose so I recommend that adults and young people with more advanced skills use coffee straws. I like to thread multiple strands down through the straw, creating a tighter weave as I slide my work down.

Straw Weaving Tutorial

What would you make?

If you were straw weaving, would you make a...

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Inkle Weaving

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Inkle Weaving

A cool loom with a funny name...

Inkle looms are designed primarily to create weft-faced bands. All weaving is made up of a warp and a weft. The warp is typically "vertical" and the weft is typically "horizontal." Frequently you can see both the warp and weft and the combination makes up the pattern you see in the weaving. With an inkle loom, you can see only the weft, so this pattern is all you see.

The bands created are most often flat and relatively narrow as you are limited by the width of the arms on the loom (about 4 inches on my inkle loom). But don't feel entirely limited. By subtly changing your technique, you can round your bands and make your own shoelaces. And though it takes time and patience, your flat band can be stitched into a sturdy pouch or other item like those pictured here.

The one that I own and love is a Schacht inkle loom. It is simple to use, weighs little, stores easily and is sturdy. I have used it for many a project and love coming back to it time after time for a variety of projects. Once I even wove about 50 bookmarks to give as thank you gifts for donations made to a local literacy project. It was a fun way to pair two of my great loves - reading and weaving!

Inkle Weaving Tutorial

A Book to Help You Get Started

Inkle Loom Weaving
Inkle Loom Weaving

I own this one, and I highly recommend it to anyone getting started. It's like an encyclopedia of everything you might want to know about inkle weaving, design, the looms themselves, projects, and much more.

 

What would you make?

If you were using an inkle loom, you would make a...

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Weave-It Looms

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Weave-It Looms

The company where I bought my Weave-It Loom has gone out of business but now I would much rather make my own with the easy instructions linked below. These instructions suggest stretcher bars for canvas but why not use an old picture frame from a thrift store or an old book like the YouTube video suggests?

I love using my Weave-It Loom with wool yarn, then felting the squares and stitching them together for a beautiful effect.

Making a Weave-It Loom

Weave-It Looms on eBay

Because no one (as far as I can tell) is making Weave-It Looms currently, ebay is the best place to get these great looms. They're vintage and still very useable!

Card Weaving

Basic Card Weaving Supplies

The most basic of the card weaving supplies are the cards themselves. Beginners may do best using the Lacis Card Weaving Cards, which come in a 25-pack. They have lettered corners to help you keep track of your position, they slide easily without catch as some homemade cards sometimes do, and they are durable throughout regular use.

Card Weaving Tutorial

Card Weaving
Card Weaving

Recommended for beginners and intermediate card weavers, one can already see the beautifully intricate patterns that can be created with this method using this book. The author makes instructions easy to follow and offers loads of tips on how to make your weaving project better easier, and more beautiful than ever.

 

Which weaving loom do you want to try the most?

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Link Party Connections

Here are parties and blog hops this page is linked to. Click on any of them to find hundreds more ideas, recipes, crafts, and much more!

© 2012 Monica Lobenstein

Which method of weaving appeals to you most? Why?

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    Post Comment

    • profile image

      tcaldy 

      4 years ago

      The card weaving looks very interesting. Love the intricate patterns.

    • Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 

      4 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      I'm not sure, but I've always found weaving fascinating. I could stand and watch someone weave all day. I'm not at all sure I could even do it, but it seems as though I could. It's a beautiful craft, and I like the idea of felting wool yarn too. Love the lens and thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      ChocolateLily 

      4 years ago

      I'm just getting into weaving (on a rigid heddle loom), but I am interested in other types of weaving in the future. Thanks for the great introduction to these 4 types! It was very informative, so I pinned it to my Weaving board.

    • profile image

      nonya222 

      4 years ago

      I am not sure which to try first but I would like to give them all a go. Lovely information, thank you.

    • Grandma-Marilyn profile image

      Grandma-Marilyn 

      5 years ago

      Not sure. The only one that I have ever seen was the one in a square

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      a bracelet

    working

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