Never woven before? Need a refresher? No problem! You’re in the right place. As you read through the blog posts and take classes there are weaving terms that are going to continue to show up.
I have compiled a list of some weaving terms that you will encounter so you can sound like you know what you’re talking about!
Let’s go over 12 weaving terms that you should know to get started!
Warp – The namesake of this blog! More commonly known as the vertical yarn in a weaving that accounts for the overall structure. Warp yarns are strong and able to withstand the tension from your floor or frame loom.
Weft – The horizontal threads that are passed over and under the foundation warp threads. A good way to remember this is that Weft Goes Left. I mean it also goes right… but that doesn’t rhyme. You get the picture. Weft can be anything from yarn to fabric to grass. Pretty much anything can be weft. Inspiring.
EPI – Ends Per Inch. This refers to the quantity of warps that reside in every inch of your weaving. This will determine the spacing of the warps. Warp spacing is incredibly important because it determines the kind of weaving you are making. A larger EPI will usually result in a more balanced weave (see below). A smaller EPI will usually result in a weft-faced weave. As in life – there are exceptions and it’s a bit more complicated than that, but that’s your general rule.
Plain Weave (Tabby) – Weave structure in which the weft passes over, then under consecutive warps. Think of it as over one warp and under the next. Repeat, repeat, repeat. A lot of weave structures fit into this description – including balanced weave and tapestry.
Balanced Weave – One weaving in each hand… nevermind. Plain weave structure in which equal parts warp and weft are visible. This usually creates a thinner and better draping weaving.
Weft-Faced Weave (Tapestry) – Weave structure in which the weft completely covers the warp. It is a misconception that a tapestry is always an image based weaving. While they are often image based – they don’t have to be. There are also a lot of non-woven fabrics that are called tapestries because they are image-based. That’s another post.
Warp-Faced Weave – Weave structure in which the warp completely covers up the weft. This weave requires a very high EPI. Warp-faced weave is not as common as other weave structures but it can create a really interesting effect. Especially when the weft is thick and bulky.
Frame Loom – Any sort of portable device that allows you to wrap your warp around it in order to weave. Usually has 4 sides (but not always…) A frame loom can be incredibly simple or incredibly complicated. Frame looms are generally portable so they are great for weaving on the go.
Floor Loom – A large loom that makes weaving faster and easier. This device allows for larger and more complicated weavings. Some of the most common types of floor looms are Jack, Counter-Balance, and Counter-March.
Selvedge – The finished sides of your weaving. Sometimes spelled differently depending on where you are in the world.
Shed – The space that is created when you raise certain warps to pass your weft yarn through. Creating a shed while you are weaving is not always necessary, but it does usually makes weaving faster.
Skein – A bundle of yarn with a center pull that is ready to use and doesn’t need to be wound. Usually oblong. You can find yarn skeins in craft stores in a variety of weights and fibers.
There are a lot more weaving terms that will pop up when talking about specific techniques or equipment. Don’t worry, I’ll go over them as they come up. Once you know these 12 weaving terms, you are ready to get started!
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