Band Weaving

A great project for summer is inkle or band weaving using cotton. Here, I made a belt and a band for my new Tilley TH9. I used my inkle loom for the belt, but I prefer using a rigid heddle when doing pickup to be able to better see which strands to pick or drop. For a frame I used a Spears #4 loom and a little heddle I’ve had for years. Worked like a charm. 


Tablet Weaving

First Tablet Woven Band

Another new adventure… tablet (or card) weaving. It’s simple and complex at the same time. Simple because the “ingredients” are basic: cards, yarn, a shuttle, and off you go! Complex because the designs are truly astounding. This method of weaving also made me stop and think, because it involves a “twist” in the motion of using the cards, and that combines individual threads to create color changes and a nubby texture. It’s really a wonderful craft.

My first sample was done on an inkle loom with two colors. That method of threading and warping is very easy compared to most introductory tutorials where you cut individual threads for every card. However, once you get into a variety of colors, you may need to understand the second method.

This pattern was more complicated than my first sample. I found it here. It turned out, so I’m pleased.

Finished: Green and White Band

It took nearly two bands done similarly to realize I wasn’t weaving warp-faced inkle bands. In fact, they are more of a balanced weave. Normally with inkle bands, the weft isn’t seen except for a snippet on each edge. It’s there to pull all the warp threads together. The threads of the warp are the only threads you see. But with the two bands I’ve just finished–the stained glass one and the green and white one–the weft is visible. I think I started doing this because I liked the look. Also, I had warped it with double and triple threads but only used a single for the weft. It created it a bunchy feeling when I pulled it in to make the warp-faced weaving. So, I started to weave it to be flatter and smoother. In the end, it’s not quite balanced weave (where the weft and warp show equally), but it’s closer to that than a normal band. Why all the fuss? I have a feeling these bands are probably weaker than a real warp-faced band. Also, I learned to weave on a rigid heddle and it makes sense that I reverted to this type of weaving. I also realize that the inkle loom is probably more versatile than I first imagined. I wonder if anyone does balanced weaving on these looms? (But why… when I have a bunch of looms designed for that sitting at home? Because it’s interesting, that’s why!)

Green and white band

Green and white band



More Bands

But I only took one picture. I wove a very quick band out of black crochet cotton and a variety of purple and lavender embroidery floss. Some of the strands were doubled and some were tripled. I really like the stained glass effect it produced. I also made another long band I cut into some bookmarks, but honestly, it wasn't really worth a picture.

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First Inkle Band

I’m so pleased with the Schacht Inkle Loom I found in a thrift store this week. Actually, my husband spotted it as I was leaving. He thought it looked kind of loom-like and asked me what it was. 🙂

I had tried weaving some Sami bands on the little Peacock loom, but it was only working so/so. I had to take off several pieces of the loom, and that didn’t seem quite right. I never considered getting a regular-sized inkle loom, however, because I did have a mini one that was really cute and I never used it. I gifted it to someone and figured that was the end of my band weaving. But never say never!

I have to admit, weaving on a decent-sized inkle loom is great. I knew how to tie the heddles and warp it already, and so I picked a very simple pattern from the Helene Bress book that came with it, and away I went, weaving a ladder band. For anyone who is interested, Jane Patrick has a great how-to video on warping and weaving an inkle loom that can teach the basics.

What fun!

(The inkle loom is not very big, but it looks huge next to the tiny Louet in the next picture. I’m warping the Louet for a rep weave project.)

Ladder band

Two looms



Ah, the Potential…

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I'm not yet certain what this will be once it's off the loom. The easiest decision is a shawl. Knot those fringes and viola! It would be more difficult to turn it into a poncho or ruana, but that's what I've been wanting to try. The warp was 19" x 100", and it's shrinking down to 18" on the loom. We'll see how the length ends up, and that may decide it right there. I'm using the 8 dent heddle and some inexpensive yarn I had lying around (Caron Simply Soft in Heather Gray). I added some visual interest with the two stripes of maroon wool, and then decided to do a pickup stick pattern throughout. So far, I think it's pretty, and even the gray is turning out to be a nice choice.

For some reason, my husband and I have decided to celebrate Christmas early. (Could all the Christmas decorations going up in stores in October be having an effect??!! Heavens!) His present was purchased a few weeks back, and then it was my turn, but it took awhile to figure out what I wanted, which is strange, because normally I know exactly what I want, loom-wise.

I ended up purchasing an adorable mini inkle loom. It's so cute you'll probably not be able to stand it. Really! I also decided to outfit my beloved Emilia loom with some much-needed upgrades. I figured why should I daydream about a floor loom or a tabletop loom, when I spend nearly every free moment with Emilia? So, this week, I'll be getting a loom stand, a second heddle kit, an a second 10 dent heddle. I'll be ready for fancy patterns and gauzy fabrics, with the stand being an extra bonus. Look for pictures and details later this week.

Do you know what I should have added to that order? Pickup sticks! Take a look at what I'm using in that picture above… two paint stirrer thingies scotch-taped together. Well, it works, but really!

Inkle Weaving on Rigid Heddle Loom


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I was convinced I could weave an inkle-type band on my Glimakra Emilia. I studied several pictures of inkle looms, and even though they aren't expensive, I still wanted to try this on my loom. So, I dug up two curtain rods, putting one in the highest heddle notch and the other underneath the bottom of the loom. If I do this again, I would spend some time searching for a better dowel or metal skewer to hold the string heddles. 

I then cut and tied the string heddles, warped a very short and simple red and white warp, and started to weave. Even though I thought this would work, I didn't actually think it would work so well. The Emilia has a nice slant that made getting a wide shed easy.

After just 30 minutes of weaving, I had a slightly clunky but nicer-than-I-expected band. Next: dog leash??

Weaving a Band on a Rigid Heddle Loom


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I had a crazy idea to weave a band, and I considered trying my backstrap loom, but then started thinking about weaving it on my Glimakra Emilia. I used my 10 dent heddle, some worsted weight yarn, and an inkle shuttle. There were some good instructions on doing just this in both great rigid heddle books, one by Betty Linn Davenport, and one by Jane Patrick. However, both warned not to expect perfect results, primarily because the heddle spreads out the yarn too wide, and most RH looms don't like a lot of tension.

My loom has the benefit of being extremely sturdy and I really cranked up the tension in order to draw the spread out yarn down into one narrow band. I made certain to warp light colors in the slots so I could try a simple pattern. The heddle was used only to raise and lower the warp, and the inkle shuttle was used to beat the weft.

This was super fun; however, my thick-yarned band looked a little nicer on the loom than off. Whenever I wove the pattern, the edges pushed in a little. So, it's a touch wavy, but I love the rich colors. Next time I'll definitely use a finer, smoother yarn and warp a slightly wider area.  (There's always a next time!)