Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Weaving on a peg loom

I recently bought a small peg loom - a wee hand made one with a maximum of either 9 or 12 pegs.

A peg loom follows the same weaving concept as other looms, but weaving happens vertically and the wooden pegs are used as the warp while the weft is worked.

I chose to work with a peg loom because I wanted to make small scale woven pieces that I could then embellish further by hand, with braid, beads, or by felting, to make small jewellery pieces or accessories.

By reducing the number of warp posts used, the width of the finished woven piece can be chosen. My wee loom has two different sides which take more or fewer posts, which affects how close together the posts are and therefore the tightness of the warp.

Each warp post has a tiny hole at the bottom, through which a warp thread is passed(which carries the woven fabric as lengths longer than the warp posts themselves are woven).

This next picture shows the loom with the various bits and pieces ready to go. The reel of crochet cotton on the left is what I used for the warp threads. The yarns on the right are for the warp (several different yarns will be woven alternately for this particular piece). I just used 4 posts for this piece that ultimately ended up about 6-7cm wide.

There is one more part of the loom set up not shown in the above photo - which is a block of wood that the warp thread ends are threaded through to maintain some tension whilst the piece is being woven.

Once all the warp is set up, I start weaving with the weft yarn. To create interesting colour and textures, with this piece I used a variety of handspun yarns from flawfulfibers of Etsy.

So in this picture above, the thin warp threads are visible, and the 4 different weft fibres can be seen. The weaving itself is very simple, just weaving in and out of the posts from left to right and back again, until the weft nearly reaches the top of the posts.

Then, I lift the pegs out of their holes, and gently pull down the woven material off the posts and onto the warp threads, keeping the tension in the warp threads with the tension block.

Once this has been done and I had freed up space on the warp posts, I carried on weaving until I had made a piece that was as long as I wanted it to be.

To finish, I pushed down all the weft onto the warp fibres, cut the warp fibres near the pegs, and tied them off in pairs to stop the weft unravelling.

The finished piece measures about 6.5cm x 8cm. I pulled the warp threads pretty tight when tying them off to make sure the peice was quite dense and so that I couldn't see any warp threads peeking through the yarn.

Here are some other wee pieces I have made in the same way:

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