My Weaving Process

Take a look into how I create on the loom.

Creating a Design 

Ideas for a project come in various ways- sometimes when I’m sketching, walking outside, or even when listening to music. There are so many things around that inspire me. 

No matter where my inspiration comes from, I then sketch out the form I want to weave and the imagery that I want to create. This sketch is next to my loom during the entire weaving process so that I can stay on track with the design.

Often I use a tapestry cartoon, a type of sketch used to outline a design on the loom, which I have mapped out not only the design, but also the textures and colors I will use to complete the weaving. 

 

Color and Yarn Palettes

During this phase, I also choose a color palette- which usually consists of a handful of colors. I often spend a bit of time developing a color palette that best represents the mood I want the piece to display to the viewer. 

In addition to the yarn colors, choosing the best fibers or material for the piece must also be considered. There is a huge range of fibers to choose from with a wide variety of textures and thicknesses. A variation of yarns give an interesting visual effect!

Usually during this phase, I create a mini-version as a sample to test the color and yarn palette.

To see more of my creative process, check out My Inspiration page. 

Design mind

Three main elements that are explored in my art:

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Balance

How the shapes, colors and volumes interact on the piece

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Texture

The lines, movement and communication of the material

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Color

Create visual harmoney and clash

The Weaving Process 

Dressing the Loom

The process of adding yarn vertically to the loom is called “dressing the loom”. The yarn used in this process is called the warp. It is tightened around the tabs or nails on the top and bottom of the frame loom. A strong yarn is usually used for this step to ensure that the yarns remain secured during weaving.

Designing with Weft 

The yarn/material used to weave a design is called the weft. The weft is woven between the warp yarns horizontally. The weft can vary in material/fibers, color and texture and it is even;y secured with a weaving comb. Learn more about weft yarns and materials in the Yarns and Materials section.  

Removing the Warp

Once the weaving is finished and the weft ends are secured, it is released from the loom by cutting the ends off.  

These loose ends are later either tied together to create small tassels or send back into the weaving to secure the ends and design.

“Dark side of the Loom”

The back of the tapestry or woven form is affectionately called by many weavers, “ the dark side of the loom”. This semi-scary title comes from the unfinished work that awaits the weaver. All the loose weft ends from yarn that was added to the piece, must be secured back into the weaving to keep the design in place. 

Display and Enjoy

There are many ways to enjoy your woven pieces.

It can be displayed on the walls or laid on a surface of an interior room. Tapestries and woven creations add character and provide a welcoming atmosphere for you and your guests.

Woven work can also be worn and displayed on you. I also enjoy creating wearable and functional pieces that can go anywhere with you.

You can find more on my process on my weaving site, Fibers and Design. I teach design basics to beginner weavers.