Working with textiles

Weaving looms

A notched loom is the next step up from weaving on card. These can be purchased from Educational Suppliers or made from reclaimed card and come in a variety of shapes and sizes: squares, rectangles and circles. The squares and rectangles are threaded in the same way. Knot onto one of the points a piece of yarn for the vertical threads – the warps. Wrap around the pointed end first at the top and then at the bottom of the loom alternately until the loom is fully warped. It is important that the threads are pulled quite tightly so that the card loom becomes slightly bowed, this will make the weaving easier. It is important to introduce a plastic bodkin to the children to enable them to weave the weft threads – the horizontal threads – through the warp and so create a piece of woven fabric. The yarns for the weft can be extremely varied in texture, thickness and colour e.g. wool, cotton, ribbon, lace, silk etc.

To remove a square or rectangular weaving from its frame, simply slip the loops from around the notches and thread a piece of dowel through the loops to form a rigid support pole at the top and the bottom of a small wall hanging. Alternatively tassels can be made and attached to the loops to create a mat.

The circular loom is made up as in the diagram, threading the warp yarn around the outside notches and through the centre hole alternately going to the diagonally opposite notch in a star formation. Begin the weaving at the centre and move outwards in a circular motion until the frame is covered. The circular weaving is removed from the frame by slipping the loops from around the notches and either ribbon threaded through or tassels added.