DIY Woven Gift Box!

DIY Woven Gift Box!

Are you looking for a unique and creative gift to give this year? 

A few weeks ago I posted 6 tutorials for simple on-day weaving projects. This woven box tutorial was originally going to be a part of that list, but it turns out that this box takes more than a day to complete.



The biggest reason this box will take you a bit longer is because of the materials being used. Using stiff linen makes it so this box is rigid enough to stand up and actually perform as a box. This linen is also on the thinner side which gives it a nice look and smoother appearance.

You could weave this up with larger yarns to make it go faster, but it may not have the same stability that you can get with the smaller linen.

While this box would make a great gift in and of itself, you could also use it as a gift box for something else! Perhaps another woven gift or some jewelry?

If you are looking for more weaving projects for small gifts then make sure to check these out:

One-Day Weaving Projects

DIY Handwoven Gift Ideas


This page may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through these links then I will receive a small commission – at no extra cost to you! Please read our DISCLAIMER for more info. Thanks for the support!



Materials you need


Frame loom ( I am using a simple frame loom – see why I like simple frame looms! )

Cardstock or other thick paper

Linen yarn ( I am using Bockens Linen 16/2 in colors 1440 and 1223)

Scissors or yarn snips

Tapestry needle (learn about the different types of tapestry needles here)

Tapestry beater or comb (learn about types of tapestry beaters here)


Making a mock-up box


paper box mock up

If you have ever had to break down a box (hello Amazon!) then you know that they are originally designed flat and with flaps that fold up and around each other.

One of the best ways to determine how to weave your box is to make a diagram and a paper version to make sure that it works first before you spend the time to weave it.

You can do this with any paper you have, thicker paper will hold up a bit better, though. 

First, you should draw out a diagram (as seen in the first box above.) If you are using it to specifically hold something then make sure to keep the size of that in mind! I recommend writing out your measurements on your paper box to make it easier to transfer them to your woven box.

Your deconstructed box will basically look like a giant plus sign. Each arm of the plus sign will end up folding up to create a side of the box. 

Once the bottom of your box is done, do almost the same thing for the top. Your box top will have shorter sides and be just a bit wider on each side. This will make sure it can easily sit on top of your box without pulling it in.


Weaving your gift box


woven box in progress

The box that I made is a great size to hold some jewelry or small trinkets. The base of the box is 3″ x 2″ and the sides are 2″ x 2″.

This means that you need a total weaving width of 6 inches. (2″ for each flap and 2″ for the bottom)

Using the Bockens Lingarn linen your weaving will be 8 EPI with 48 warp ends total.

You can learn more about EPI here.

Depending on what you want your box to look like you can choose different colors or do all the same color. I chose to do 2 colors just to make it a bit more interesting to weave up and to give it some extra interest when it is finished.

The first part of your woven box involves weaving one of your sides. This equates to the bottom part of your plus sign. This shaped weaving will have a lot of open warp – which might seem odd if you have never woven like this before. You can think of weaving this portion just like weaving a square in the middle of your warp. Remember: this square will be 2″ wide and 2″ tall.

Once your first square is woven you need to add some spacers next to your square to prepare for the next section of weaving.

Whenever you have to weave with empty space below it is best to put a placeholder in your warps to give you something to beat against and make sure things stay in place. I never recommend weaving with empty space below because it makes your job unnecessarily hard.

Do not make this hard on yourself!

All you need to fill in these gaps is some thick paper, like cardstock, that is cut to be the height of the bottom-most woven flap. It is best to weave your bottom square first and then add your paper into the warp so it does not get in the way.


woven box for presents in progress

Now you can weave up the middle portion of your box!

This portion of your box includes the longer sides of your box and the bottom. You will want to weave all the way across from selvedge to selvedge and up 3 inches.

Make sure to watch your selvedges and keep them as straight as you can. Otherwise, your box will be a bit wonky.

Follow these tips for weaving straighter selvedges.

When your middle section is completely woven you can move onto the top square! This will be the exact same size as the first portion of the weaving. You will not need more spacers though, because you will be beating against the already woven portion below it.


DIY woven box and top

The last step in your weaving is to basically do it all again.

But smaller.

A.K.A. weaving your box top!

The top of your box will have similar dimensions to the bottom. You will want to make the base of the top a little bit bigger, though so that it can fit snug, but not pull in the bottom.

The dimensions of the box top are 3.75″ x 2.75″. This adds about a quarter of an inch to each side of the base (middle) of the top and creates flaps that are a quarter of an inch as well.

When you start weaving up the middle portion make sure to add in your placeholders next to the first flap.


Finishing your woven box


You will want to choose a finishing technique for all of your warps that creates a clean edge. This will give you the best look for your box. I recommend weaving your warp ends back into the warp channels to create a smooth edge.

Once all of your ends are finished you can construct your box by folding up all of your sides. The linen will aid in making your box stiffer and your sides will retain the memory of the fold you put in it. This will be helpful when you are in the process of sewing it up.

Learn more about linen yarn here!


sew up sides of woven box

To sew your box:

Thread your tapestry needle with a long strand of yarn that is folded in half and knotted at the end. This is your working yarn.

Attach this yarn at the base of one of your flaps by exposing a warp and wrapping your working yarn around it. Bring your needle through the loop of your working yarn and pull tight.

Bring your flaps together and line them up so that they are even at the top. Sew your working yarn around the corners and to the top. Tie a knot to secure it and do it all again on each corner of the box.

Do the same thing for the top of your box!


woven box for presents and gifts

You can add some cardstock to the insides of your box if you are wanting to give it a bit more structure, but it will stand on its own just do the way it was made.

If you are looking for some filler for your box when you are giving it as a gift then you can use some fabric or yarn scraps! You can always use tissue paper too, but if you have the yarn scraps lying around – then why not?

Learn about what else you can do with yarn scraps here.

Try experimenting with different sizes and even different yarns. You can also create other three-dimensional tapestries using the same ideas and paper mock-ups! Tag @cole.bun on Instagram with your creations!


One Day Weaving Projects – Quick & Easy Gift Ideas

One Day Weaving Projects – Quick & Easy Gift Ideas

While there are those people that do not appreciate handmade gifts, there are a lot of people that understand the thought and time that goes into these types of presents. 

That being said – as a weaver you know that weaving is not a fast past-time so giving woven presents is not something that you might want to do for everyone.

No judgment.

So for those weavers that want to give the gift of weaving to more people without sacrificing anything – I have created tutorials for 6 one-day weaving projects. Do not worry! These easy and quick weaving projects do not look like they took you only a few hours to make.

If you are looking for ideas of what yarn to use or other supplies then check out my weaving supplies page to see what I use in my studio.


This page may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through these links then I will receive a small commission – at no extra cost to you! Please read our DISCLAIMER for more info. Thanks for the support!



Quick weaving project tutorials and ideas


Woven iron-on patches


woven iron-on patch

These small patches are the perfect quick gift for anyone who likes to decorate their bag or jackets. They can also be basically anything you want/can fit into the size that you decide to create. 

Patches tend to be on the smaller side and can be simple or complicated. Due to their small size, more complicated patches can be a lot harder to do. If you are wanting some more detail then you always have the option of adding embroidery on top!

To keep this patch simple and fast we are going to stick with a standard 6 EPI for our warp sett. You can use whatever loom you want, but I recommend a small frame loom for its ease of set-up and the least amount of loom waste.

Learn about different types of frame looms HERE.

Learn how to make a cardboard loom HERE.


Supplies needed

Yarn for warp and weft

Small loom

Iron-on fabric backing or pins

Iron


Set up your frame loom for the size that you want to create. In this case, I am weaving a 2-inch square at 6 EPI which requires a total of 12 warp ends.

Next: weave your patch!

Some ideas for what you could weave:

  • Choose your intended giftee’s favorite colors and make a design with those. 
  • Weave their first initial or all of their initials.
  • Weave a simple colored square and add embroidery to the surface.

Once you are finished weaving and you have taken it off the loom, you will need to cut down your iron-on fabric (if using) so it is ready for you to attach it to the back of your weaving.


DIY woven iron-on patch quick weaving project

If you are using the same one I have linked above then you will iron the backing onto your weaving for only 2 seconds on medium heat. Paper side up. When your patch is ready to be attached you will use your iron on medium for at least 15 seconds. The package says that you should iron it for about 6-8 seconds, but I found that that was not enough.

Just keep an eye on it and move your iron around.

That is it!

If you are not using the iron-on fabric then you can include pins with your patch when you gift it.


Small mounted wall-hanging for anyone!


mounted woven wall-hanging

One of the most iconic things that you can weave for a gift is a wall-hanging. Since we are going for fast and easy, making a smaller weaving that you then mount to a fabric-covered canvas gives it a larger presence and also makes it ready to hang!

Similar to your woven patch gift, what you make for your wall-hanging is completely up to you. Think about the person that you are making it for and try to incorporate that into your ideas. 

One idea that seems to be pretty popular is monograms! If you are wanting to weave some imagery or shapes then make sure to check out my e-book where I walk you through both simple and complex shapes for your tapestry, plus tips for creating and securing your cartoon.

Some other ideas for this would be to mount some already made samples that turned out well or patterns/ designs in the giftee’s favorite colors.

One of the best parts about using samples is that you already wove them! All you have to do is finish them up and mount them. This also means you can get them out of your studio if you do not want to hold onto all of your studio experiments. I know I have a lot of samples that are just hanging around.


Supplies needed

Pre-stretched canvas

Fabric for covering the canvas

Staple gun and staples

Grey thread


I like to buy pre-stretched canvas and cover it in fabric for a simple and clean look. In this case, I am using linen fabric. It is simple enough to not take away from the mounted weaving, but has enough texture to make it interesting.

Stretch your fabric and use a staple gun to secure it on the back. It is important to keep the fabric taught so that it does not wrinkle on the front.


cover canvas with fabric quick weaving project

To attach your weaving to the canvas you can use a simple stitch in strategic spots. I like to use grey thread for this. You can read all about why every weaver should have grey thread in their studio HERE.

When you are attaching your weaving to the canvas make sure to bring your thread up between your weft and not through it.

Move your thread across the top of your weaving and make sure it will fall between the wefts and disappear.

Bring the thread back down through the canvas and repeat all the way across.

Do this on the top and bottom of the weaving.


how to attach a weaving to canvas

You will also want to add a hanging wire onto the back of your canvas. This will make it a better hanging experience for your giftee.



Woven keychain


DIY woven keychain

A keychain is probably one of the simplest and fastest gifts that you can make, but that does not mean it will not be something that everyone will love!

There are a lot of different sizes and shapes that you could weave up, but for this gift idea uses 6 EPI for a 1-inch x 4-inch weaving.


Supplies needed

Small loom

Yarn for warp and weft

Keychain D-clips

Tapestry needle


DIY woven keychain quick weaving project

When you take the woven keychain off the loom you will finish off one side like you normally would. This will be the bottom of the keychain.

Take one of these keychain clips and put the top warp through the D-shaped ring. Weave your warps back into your weaving and around the D-ring. This is very similar to weaving in your weft ends. Make sure to weave them in far enough that they will not slip out when the keychain is in use. About 2 inches or so (I only did about an inch, but more would be better)should suffice and allow the friction of the yarns to keep it secure.

Pull the tails a bit while you cut off any remaining warp yarn. Keeping them under this tension will allow them to easily retreat back and hide in the warp tunnels.

If you are worried about them coming out still, or you just want some extra security then you can apply a tiny bit of fabric glue to the warps when you pull them out so that it will get in the warp tunnel when it goes back in.


attach keyring to weaving

Woven cup-cozy for your friend that drinks coffee/ tea


DIY woven mug cozy

If you have someone in your life that loves their coffee or tea then you can weave them up a personalized cup-cozy!

This cup cozy works just like those disposable cardboard ones that you might get from a coffee shop, but you can make them for just about any cup that is not the same circumference all the way down. Having a mug with a wider top will make sure that it stays on and will not slip off.


Supplies needed

Yarn for warp and weft

Any frame loom

1 Button

Tapestry needle


Again I am using 6 EPI and I am using a variegated yarn. This yarn makes it so that the weaving has a lot going on with very little work. It is as easy as weaving up a simple rectangle and using interesting yarn will allow you to weave faster!

You will set up your weaving to be 2-inch x 9-inch and it will have 12 warp ends. This should be a pretty good size for any travel mug you come across. If you have a specific one in mind, though, I recommend measuring it to get an exact measurement.

Including a button on your cozy will give it a nice touch and can also make it so it can be used around a cup with handles. Sew your button onto the cup cozy and attach a small braided loop on the other side for the button to go through.


woven cup cozy quick weaving project

Bonus points if you include a travel mug to go with your cozy plus some tea and coffee!


Woven “hoop” ornament or necklace


DIY woven ornament and necklace

These miniature embroidery hoops are the perfect way to hold small sections of weaving to display.

You can use these to make everything from a necklace to an ornament! It all just depends on what you use to attach at the top.

I used miniature hexagon embroidery hoops, but you can also find them in different sizes and shapes.

I just happen to love hexagons.

You can absolutely weave something new for your hoop, but you can also use up some leftover woven yardage or samples. I used the woven fabric I had left from my loom bench cushion (this could also be a good gift – but it will take longer than a day.)

The biggest thing that you need to keep in mind when choosing a weaving to put in your hoop is that it can not be too thick. Tapestry or any other weft-faced weaving will be too thick to insert. Instead, stick with a balanced weave or any other weave structure that will weave up thinner. You can also use thinner yarn to make sure it fits well.


Supplies needed

Woven fabric

Miniature embroidery hoops

Glue

Extra yarn or chain to attach to finished piece


After you have a weaving ready, cut out a piece a little bigger than the hoop itself.

Make sure you have secured your fabric before cutting it. Learn how to secure your weaving HERE.

Push the smaller solid piece through the hoop with the fabric facing up. Once it is in place then close the hoop with the included screw and nuts. If the fabric is thick enough, you may not be able to use both nuts. That is ok! Just make sure you can close it with at least one.

Cut any excess fabric from the back of the hoop.


woven ornament quick weaving project

The larger solid piece is used to back the hoop and make sure it all looks clean. You can really use any glue you have on hand to attach the back to the hoop.

I used wood glue and painted it on with a brush since the hoops are small.

Hold the backing on until it is secure!


attach backing to miniature embroidery hoop

Depending on what you want to use these for you can either braid some yarn to create an ornament or attach a chain for a fun and chunky hand-made necklace.


Woven portable utensil holder (for reusable straws/utensils) for your sustainable friend


DIY woven utensil holder

It is becoming more and more popular to keep a reusable straw and utensils with you whenever you leave the house.

While there is nothing wrong with keeping these things in a bag or in your glove box – having a dedicated pouch could be a fun way to make sure you always have them on hand. It also makes sure they are easy to find and not just floating around. So if you have a friend that keeps their utensils with them then this is a great gift for them!

Admittedly, this gift idea will probably take the longest of the list. You can definitely do it all in one day (I did!), but you may need to work on it a second day too.

Similar to our cup cozy this one is mostly just a rectangle. This biggest difference is that at the very top you will weave an extra few inches on one half.

Set your loom up for 6 EPI again and at least 4 inches wide. Go a little wider if you know they have a lot to carry! The height can also depend on what they will put in it, but to be safe The shortest part of the weaving should be at least 8 inches tall.


Supplies needed

Yarn for warp and weft

Frame loom

Tapestry needle

1 Button


woven utensil pouch quick weaving project

After finishing, Sew your button onto the shorter half of your weaving towards the top. You can do this later, but it will be easier if you do it now.

Fold your weaving in half and sew your sides and bottom together to make a pouch. You can use either the same color or a contrasting color to do this. Make sure to fully enclose the bottom so that nothing can fall out. A simple yarn wrap will do really well to close up the bottom (see images below.)


woven utensil pouch

The side can be closed up with a blanket stitch. This will be decorative and not take nearly as long as wrapping the entire side.

To do a blanket stitch:

Start the same way you started your yarn wrapping – bring your yarn from the inside of the weaving and around to the other side, but before you pull it tight – put your tapestry needle through the loop that it creates. Pull tight and move your needle over a few millimeters and do it again. Do this across the entire side and end with a simple knot!

Next, take some extra yarn and braid it. Attach this yarn to the flap. This will be used to wrap around your button and keep your pouch closed.


blanket stitch tutorial

Bonus points if you make your pouch with recycled or scrap yarn and/or fill it with reusable utensils if your giftee is just getting started on their sustainability journey. These are the bamboo sporks that you can see in the images above.


All of these quick weaving projects can be done in a day (some in only a few hours!) They could all take longer, though, if you decide to add a lot of imagery or color changes to them. Keep your weavings simple, but maximize their wow-factor by choosing interesting yarns or adding simple patterns like stripes!


Crammed And Spaced – Weaving Technique How-To

Crammed And Spaced – Weaving Technique How-To

Plain weave is one of the most versatile weave structures that you will find. I have talked about it many times so if you want to learn some more about plain weave then make sure to check out these other posts:

3 Basic Weave Structures

Plain Weave Patterns

What Is Tapestry

So it is pretty easy to see that plain weave does not mean plain weaving! 

Another example of that is crammed and spaced. While this technique does not need to be done in plain weave (it works in twills and other patterns as well), it can add a fun twist to your simple weaving.


This page may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through these links then I will receive a small commission – at no extra cost to you! Please read our DISCLAIMER for more info. Thanks for the support!



What is the crammed and spaced technique?



Crammed and spaced is a technique that uses different EPI’s in the same weaving. (Brush up on your EPI knowledge)

Unlike when your EPI changes due to not paying attention (been there!), crammed and spaced is an intentional technique that utilizes the different spaces to make a dynamic weaving.

This does not mean that you are intentionally pulling in in certain areas, instead, you are either leaving dents in your reed empty or you are using a special type of rigid heddle that does the spacing for you. Either way, the technique creates areas with a lot of warp and areas with little.

In the example above, the crammed and spaced technique creates an undulating movement across the scarf. The twill pattern exaggerates this movement.


On a floor loom


Regardless of the reed that you are using, weaving crammed and spaced is as simple as warping a loom regularly. 

The only real difference is that you will have some dents with more than one warp in them and some dents with none!

Even though it may seem difficult at first to choose the “right warp” in each dent to go next when you are threading your heddles, it does not really matter. Make your best guess, but it will end up warping up correctly either way. That is one reason why it is important to shake out your warp as you are winding it onto your back beam. 

I recommend creating a diagram when planning your crammed and spaced weaving so that you can space it out evenly (assuming that is what you are going for.) This will also make the sleying of your reed easier so you do not have to think about it too hard while you are doing it.

If you can do all of the thinking beforehand then you can relax a little more and get lost in the warping process.


Need help planning your weaving project? Stuck trying to figure out how much yarn you need? What the h&^$ is WPI? Check out my e-book!


On a rigid heddle loom



If you have a rigid heddle loom, then you can sometimes get a variable dent heddle that will do all the spacing for you! Both Schacht and Ashford have these types of heddles that you can purchase.

The heddles are really great because they have multiple options depending on the type of spacing you are wanting to do. 

The heddle that I have for my Schacht Flip Folding Rigid Heddle Loom (review of my flip loom here) has 4 x 5 Dent Sections, 4 x 8 Dent Sections, 3 x 10 Dent Sections, and 3 x 12 Dent Sections. These can be taken off and arranged any way that you want to create a crammed and spaced weaving.

You can get the Schacht variable dent rigid heddle here!

The Schacht variable dent heddle also has the option to purchase extra sections. If you are looking for something specific that you can not make with the sections it comes with you can purchase them separately as needed. This means you also have the option of getting enough sections to create a whole new full heddle without actually purchasing a whole new heddle. 



Warping your variable dent rigid heddle is exactly the same as any other heddle you use. The only thing that changes is the end result!

If you are creating a narrow weaving then you have the option of only using the heddle pieces that create the width you are going for. When choosing this option, your heddle comes with little bands that go around the top to keep them in place. This is necessary so that they do not move around while you are warping and weaving. You can see these at the top of the heddle in the image above.

Choosing to do this or putting sections on your heddle and just not using them is a purely personal preference.


Create ridges (crammed warps in the same heddle)


Generally speaking, crammed and spaced weaving has all of the warps weaving as individuals despite the fact that some of them are very close together.

Another option is to double up and cram a few warps here and there and have them act as one. These double warps would also go through the same heddle so that they raise and lower together. This will give you thicker warp areas to add vertical ridges to your weaving.

This is probably the simplest way to use this technique even if it is not the most traditional.

You can get this same effect by just using a thicker warp in certain areas, but that may not be ideal if you do not have a suitable warp to use! Just make sure to keep the double warps in mind when you are planning your weaving so that you have enough yarn to create your warp.

Learn how to plan your weaving project!


What to watch out for



Unfortunately, it is easy to just create a weft-faced weaving using this technique since you are using more than one warp sett! A weft-faced weaving will barely show off the crammed and spaced effect that you are going for, therefore making it basically obsolete.

In order to avoid this, you will want to make sure that your highest EPI allows for a balanced weave. You can always check this by using your EPI mini-loom to check what warp sett your yarn needs to do this. As long as one of the warp spacing options you choose creates a balanced weave it will accentuate the different spacing areas.

The image above shows a weaving that just barely allows for the crammed and spaced technique to show through. While that is not a bad-looking option, you may want to make sure you get a little more bang for your weft!


What to make with the crammed and spaced technique


If you are wondering what you can do with this technique then I highly recommend creating a scarf, shawl, or anything that you want to wear and dress up a little. If the warp setts and weft choice is right then it can create a lace-like appearance in your weaving.

This makes it perfect for use on anything that you want to be dressy.

While this technique is relatively stable, it is still best to not use it for anything that will be actively used. This means that it is not ideal for things like towels because the crammed and spaced yarns could start to even out. It also will not make a very absorbent material so you would not want to do that anyway!

Make sure to wash your weaving gently before using it to allow the fibers to bloom. If you are weaving with a protein fiber that can felt then doing this could also further secure your yarns in their place.


Let me know if you try out the crammed and spaced technique! Tag @cole.bun on Instagram.


Handwoven Weaving Loom Bench Cushion Tutorial

Handwoven Weaving Loom Bench Cushion Tutorial

Weaving for hours and hours while sitting on your hard loom bench is not the most comfortable thing to do. While you do not want to take time away from your weaving if you can help it, you also want a comfortable place to sit!

Not only do you want something comfortable, but having something that looks great can be an important part of your studio.

Creating an environment that is not only functional, but also inspirational can really help you to create more. 

You do not have to have a nice pillow or cushion for your loom bench. Likewise, you do not even really need an actual loom bench! Yet, there is something to be said for having cohesive furniture in your studio that is beautiful.

Using handwoven fabric for your cushion is a great way to use some of your yardage that you have previously woven, or to create something new that is just for you. 

This is not pattern for you to download or print out – just directions for making your own. That is because this is essentially just cutting squares and rectangles. Plus your bench or pillow may be a different size. Do not worry! You got this!

If you are looking for other ways to weave for longer and be healthier while doing it then make sure to check out my post on weaving posture! These tips apply to weaving on any type of loom.


This page may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through these links then I will receive a small commission – at no extra cost to you! Please read our DISCLAIMER for more info. Thanks for the support!



What you need:

Pillow insert

Sewing machine

Yardage

Fabric for underneath

Thread

Tape measure

Fusible interfacing

Fabric scissors and/or rotary blade


Choosing your handwoven fabric


The first thing that you need to do is either weave your fabric or choose the already handwoven fabric that you want to use. This pattern will still work just as well with commercial fabric, but where is the fun in that?!?

You will need enough handwoven fabric to cover the top of your pillow. The bottom of the pillow will use regular commercial fabric because there is no sense in using your handwoven fabric where you will not really see it.

When choosing your fabric, plain woven patterns will be the best option.

You will be sitting on your cushion so you do not want to have anything that has too many floats. Any excessive floats could get caught on zippers, buttons, or anthing else that are on your clothes when you are weaving.

Your loom bench could be a different size than mine, so make sure to measure yours and change up the pattern accordingly.

The loom bench that I have has a seat depth of 9 inches and sitting width of 22 inches. So for this pattern I will be using a pillow insert that is 12″x20”. Finding an insert that is smaller than 12 inches in depth can be hard, but this will actually allow me to have a fuller pillow to sit on when it is finished.

Keep this in mind when you are purchasing your pillow inserts.

This is the one that I used:


Get It On Amazon


Also, this is the weaving loom bench that I have!

Since there are many different types of loom benches you may have a different way that you want to attach your pillow. You also have the option of just having it sit on top of the bench like a normal pillow. This may be necessary for the type of bench you have, or you could just prefer it that way! Personally, I like to have mine attached so that it is not moving around so much or falling off when I get up to advance my warp.

My loom bench’s sitting area comes off easily by just pulling it up. Due to this, I can get away with just creating a 2 loops on the underside of my pillow cover. This is simpler than having to create either two flaps with a button hole or a snap. 

If your loom bench does not come off or you do not want to take it off whenever you need to wash or change your cushion cover then make sure to add either buttons or snaps to your straps. This will make it simpler for you!


handwoven fabric yardage

Before we get started, make sure to check out my post on sewing your handwoven fabric. This is an essential read before going forward with this project!

The first thing you need to do is make sure your handwoven fabric is prepped and ready. My favorite way to do this is to use fusible interfacing. Whether you are applying your fusible interfacing to the entire fabric or just the edges, the instructions will be the same. I talk more about fusible interfacing in the above linked post!


Need help planning your weaving project? Stuck trying to figure out how much yarn you need? What the h&^$ is WPI? Check out my e-book!


Make a mock loom bench cover


muslin mock-up loom bench cushion

This is not a necessary step unless you are nervous or new to sewing. If you are uneasy about cutting and sewing your handwoven fabric, then you can first make a mock-up pillow cover with muslin fabric. This is especially important if you are making up a pattern or do not have a physical pattern to work from. It can be a good idea to try out your pattern in muslin first because it is inexpensive.

If you mess it up then no harm! Just try again.

This is your proof of concept. If it works in muslin then it will work in your handwoven fabric!

Do not worry about making it pretty, just make sure it fits and you have the right measurements for your bench and your pillow.

When you feel comfortable and you know that it fits the way you want, then you can cut up your handwoven fabric and get started.


muslin mock-up loom bench cushion

Make your handwoven loom bench cushion cover!


handwoven loom bench cushion in progress

After you have chosen all of your fabric you will need to cut everything out. To keep everything really nice and full I cut out my fabric to almost the exact size of my pillow. Since a pillow is pliable it will stuff into a cover that is the same size. Doing this will also help to keep it from getting too flat in the future!

For your cushion cover you will need at least 3 pieces of cut fabric – 1 handwoven and 2 commercial. If you are adding straps then you will need 4 pieces of commercial fabric.

My pillow insert: 12″x20″.

Handwoven fabric: 12″x21″ (I added a little bit of extra for seem allowance on the ends)

2 Straps: 5″x14″ each

2 Underside flaps: 12″x12″

Once everything is cut out; fold your straps in half and pin them. You can iron them at this point to get them flatter if it is easier.

Next: fold in one of the edges of each underside flap about .5″ and pin them. (see image above)


handwoven loom bench cushion in progress

Using an overlock stitch (you will be using this for the entire pattern) sew along the open edge of your straps. Then turn them inside out and iron them again if need be to get them to sit flat.

The overlock stitch is a really strong stitch that will be able to hold up to any stretching or stress put on the fabric while in use.


handwoven loom bench cushion in progress

Sew alongside your underside flaps where you pinned them.


handwoven loom bench cushion in progress

Place your handwoven fabric on a table with the right side facing up. Lay out each of your straps about 5 inches in from the edges with the seem facing up. Then place your underside flaps on top or these with the right side facing down. The flaps should overlap slightly so that there is not a gap when you put the pillow insert inside.

We will be turning the entire cover right side out once we are finished so this will make sure our seams are on the inside of the cover.

Pin everything in place, making sure to put a pin where the strap sits so it does not move around.


handwoven loom bench cushion in progress

Sew all the way around your cover!

Go slow and make sure that your underside flaps overlap the same way – otherwise it will look twisted.


handwoven loom bench cushion sewn

Once your cover is completley sewn then you can cut any extra fabric, but you do not have to.

Turn your cushion cover right side out and insert your pillow!


handwoven loom bench cushion

Have you made your own loom bench cushion? Or have you made anything else with your handwoven fabric? I would love to see it! Leave me a comment below and/or tag me @cole.bun on instagram!


Sewing Handwoven Fabric – Getting Over The Fear

Sewing Handwoven Fabric – Getting Over The Fear

Sewing and weaving go hand in hand. Even if you have never sewn any handwoven fabrics before, you have probably sewn commercially woven fabrics!

Utilizing your handwoven fabrics in this way is a really great way to showcase and appreciate your hard work on a daily basis (depending on what you make.)

That being said, just the idea of using your fabric this way might be incredibly scary. I will go more into that in a bit, but just know that there are things that you can do to help get over the scary parts and make something amazing.

Before you can sew up your fabric, though, you have to first make it! So we are going to start by talking about a little something (really a long something) called yardage.



What is yardage


rigid heddle loom set up for yardage
Plaid yardage on my Schacht Flip Folding Rigid Heddle Loom (link at the bottom of the post)

Not everyone wants to weave wall hangings, tapestries, and rugs.

Sometimes you just want to weave and weave and weave.

Yardage is a really great way to do that! The goal of weaving yardage is to create long and consistent weaving to be utilized in another way. Essentially it is meant to be a step in your project and not the final piece. Once woven, these yardage weavings get turned into something else (in this case – something sewn!)

Yardage is best woven on large floor looms since they will have the capacity to hold the amount of warp and finished weaving that yardage requires. That being said, there is not a specific amount of weaving that makes yardage… yardage. 

You can also weave yardage on a rigid heddle loom if yours is wide enough to do so. The biggest issue with this is that the fabric beam does not have the same capacity as a floor loom. So while you can weave yardage, your yardage will probably be shorter. Keep this in mind when planning your weaving project.

Regardless of what loom you use, I recommend starting and ending your yardage with hemstitch. This will make it so it is very stable once it is off the loom. A little later on I will go over options for stabilization while sewing, but this is a good first step!

If you need to learn how to hemstitch then make sure to check out my simple tutorial!

Hemstitch Tutorial


handwoven yardage for sewing

It is also important to wash your fabric before attempting to do any cuts or sewing!

If you do not do this first, then your fabric could shrink which could mean that either you will not have enough fabric or your pattern could be altered. This simple step could help to keep you from wasting the handwoven fabric that you spent so much time on.

Do not skip it!

You can simply wash your fabric in the sink with a mild detergent and let it dry flat. If it is something that will eventually be washed in a washing machine then it is best to go through the effort of washing it and drying it as it will be used in the future. This will make sure that it does not continue to change after you have already made what you want with it.

Do not forget that when weaving plain weave the space between your warp and weft will shrink after washing. You do not have to beat really hard when weaving! Beat evenly and consistently and it should bloom and fill in after it is washed.


handwoven fabric before and after washing

Beyond yardage, an example of a time that you may want to sew your handwoven fabric is when you are making samples.

If you weave a bunch of samples on one warp then you can sew the fabric before cutting them apart. To do this, make sure to leave space between each sample.

Sew a straight stitch at the top and bottom of each sample. You do not have to do anything special to the fabric in order to be able to do this! Once each sample is secure you can cut them apart.

If you want to see some handwoven fabric being sewn with a sewing machine make sure to get to the end of this post!

Also check out:

The importance of weaving samples

Getting multiple weavings with one warp


Why you might have woven panels


handwoven panels for sewing

If you want to create large weavings but do not have a loom with that capability then you still have options! Weaving in panels is a great way to expand on your weaving options without purchasing a new and larger loom. 

Panels could be created for either wider or longer weavings (or both) depending on what you are working with. Even if you just have a small simple frame loom you can create larger pieces by connecting small squares or rectangles.

You can even take advantage of this and work it into your design! You do not have to hide the fact that you are combining multiple weavings. Instead, embrace it!


Tools needed for sewing your handwoven fabric


Depending on the type of sewing you want to do – you will need different tools. Hand sewing is the simplest and requires the least amount of supplies. There will be a list at the end of this post with links to the specific tools that I used so make sure to check that out!

Sewing and/or tapestry needles (All About Tapestry Needles)

Yarn or thread

Sewing machine if doing anything other than attaching panels

Muslin (to make a mock-up of your project)

Fusible interfacing

Fabric scissors

Pins

Iron


How to attach woven panels (hand sew)


sew handwoven panels tutorial

When attaching panels you will do a simple figure 8 stitch.

One of the best things to do is use an extra length of warp yarn so that it can blend in easily. If you choose a different yarn or thread then your attachments will be more obvious. For the examples above and below, I used a different color so that it is easier to see.

First, thread your tapestry needle with warp yarn.

Lay your two panels next to each other and find your first loop of weft yarn on one of the panels.

Bring your tapestry needle through that loop and then zig-zag over to the first loop on the adjacent panel.

Continue this zig-zag motion to the end of your panels.

Tie it off and you are done!


sew handwoven panels tutorial

Sew patterns (machine sew)


There are a few main steps when it comes to sewing your handwoven fabric with a sewing machine. When it comes to actually sewing the fabric, though, it really is not much different from sewing any other fabric. As long as you can get over the fear of messing it up.


Need help planning your weaving project? Stuck trying to figure out how much yarn you need? What the h&^$ is WPI? Check out my e-book!


Getting over the scary factor


Sewing your handwoven fabric on a sewing machine can be a little more daunting than just hand sewing two panels together. This is partially because more than likely this means that you will have to cut your fabric to make whatever you are planning. 

Ahh!

I get it, you spent all that time weaving your beautiful fabric only to have to cut it up? What if you mess up?

Then you just weave more. (Not ideal, right?)

It is scary, but you made the fabric for a reason, and keeping it untouched forever is doing it a disservice. So it is time to cut it up and start sewing!

That being said, I recommend doing a practice project on regular non-handwoven fabric. Muslin is the go-to fabric for project mock-ups since it is inexpensive. If you are going to do any sewing at all then I recommend keeping muslin in your fabric stash for this reason.


Stabilizing your fabric


cutting handwoven fabric for sewing

When it comes to sewing your real deal woven fabric then you have a few options that basically come down to giving your fabric a bit more stability. 

If you have a pattern you are planning to use then your first step is to cut out your pattern pieces and lay it on your fabric. Just like weaving with any fabric you will want to try to utilize your handwoven textiles the best you can. Keep your pattern in mind first, but then make sure to lay your pattern out so that you can get the most out of the least amount of fabric. 

You do not want to waste all your hard work by spreading your pattern out too much! 

Once your pattern is set you will want to pin it to your fabric just like normal. You can then either mark your handwoven fabric with a water soluble marker or keep the pattern attached for the next step. 

In order to get your stability, you basically have to create individually shaped woven pieces by sewing around the pattern or marked areas. The sewing itself is not really that different from sewing normal fabric, but I recommend going slow and maybe practicing on a sample or area that will not be used. 

This can be a bit difficult, but it will allow you to use only the handwoven fabric and nothing else to stabilize it. This is ideal if you want the handwoven fabric and only the handwoven fabric in your finished piece.


handwoven fabric and fusible interfacing

For a more stable option, you can use fusible interfacing.

Interfacing is a type of fabric that will get attached to the back of your fabric through the use of heat (usually your iron.) This fabric will make it so your handwoven fabric will behave just like any commercial fabric! 

Once you attach your fusible interfacing you can cut your handwoven fabric without fear of it falling apart. You do not even have to sew it first!

I like to use cotton interfacing as opposed to the more common poly because I weave solely with non-synthetic yarns. If you are weaving with synthetic yarn then using poly-based interfacing should not be an issue. 

To use your interfacing make sure to follow the directions on the specific fabric you bought.

Generally speaking, you will be ironing on your interfacing so make sure to have your iron, a cover fabric*, and your handwoven fabric. You will want to turn your handwoven fabric so that the front is facing down. Place your interfacing down on top of your fabric with the adhesive side facing the fabric. Cover this with a cover fabric and iron on medium to high heat depending on the interfacing you have.

*Your cover fabric is important because it is possible for the adhesive of your interfacing to seep through and get onto your iron. This has not happened to me, but it is an easy step to take to protect your iron just in case.


sew handwoven fabric with interfacing
Handwoven fabric with iron on interfacing attached to the back.

What can you make with handwoven fabric?


What can’t you make?

If you can make it with commercial fabric then you can make it with your handwoven fabric!

Remember that sewing yardage is just sewing fabric.

That being said, you will want to utilize your handwoven fabric effectively and really have it be the star of the show. I recommend utilizing commercial fabrics to supplement your handwoven fabrics where applicable. No sense in using up precious yardage for the underside of something!


It is that simple!


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What Are Pile Weaves? Rya, Ghiordes, Velvet, & More

What Are Pile Weaves? Rya, Ghiordes, Velvet, & More

Have you ever heard of pile weaving?

Even if you never noticed, you probably come in contact with pile weaving every single day! (To be fair, you usually will come in contact with at least one type of weaving every day – it is everywhere!)

But the pile weave I am talking about is carpet.

You know, that flooring option that a lot of people hate and replace with hardwood floors? Yep, carpet is a type of pile weave.

Similarly, pile weave can also be found in a lot of rugs, terrycloth (towels), and corduroy.


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So what exactly is it?

Pile weave is a generic term for a style of weaving that has a three-dimensional texture on its surface. There are many different types of pile weave, but two common techniques are rya knots and looped pile.

A pile can be either cut or looped, depending on what you are going for. If you have ever purchased a high-quality rug you may have seen these terms before.

Beyond just the “pile” or the three-dimensional pieces – a pile weave contains another very important component. In order to maintain the integrity of the fabric, most pile woven textiles also contain a ground weft. 

If you read through my overshot weaving post then you may already be familiar with ground weft!

Just in case you have not looked through it yet, a ground weft is a plain weave (tabby) weft that is woven between the pile weft in order to create a stable fabric. 


Need help planning your weaving project? Stuck trying to figure out how much yarn you need? What the h&^$ is WPI? Check out my e-book!


Traditional Persian rugs


If you have ever shopped for a throw rug for your home, then you have probably come across Persian rugs… and their price tag.

Persian rugs are usually pretty expensive, and for very good reason. They are all hand knotted. Plus they are made with silk and wool with no synthetic fibers in sight.

Rugs have been woven in Iran since at least 2,500 years ago! They were originally made and used out of necessity for protection against the harsh environment, but due to their intricacy and beauty, they were eventually seen as a symbol of wealth. Originally these Persian rugs used an asymmetrical knot called a Persian (Senneh) knot. But, after Persia (modern-day Iran) was conquered by a Turkish tribe the trajectory of the Persian rug was changed forever.

The Turkish tribe brought with them the Turkish (ghiordes/ rya) knot that is used in a lot of Persian rugs today.


Velvet


tessitura bevilacqua velvet

Another common pile fabric that you probably know about, but have never thought about is velvet.

Velvet is actually a warp pile weave and thus requires two separate warps to be wound on either separate beams or individual bobbins (shown below.) The other pile weaves discussed in this post are all weft pile.

If you ever have the chance to go to Venice, Italy, I HIGHLY recommend taking a tour of Tessitura Bevilacqua. Tessitura Bevilacqua is a historic weaving studio and school that specializes in velvets. You can walk through rows of 17th-century Jacquard looms that are still in use today!

During the tour you can also watch the weavers create this extraordinary fabric by weaving and cutting the pile weave. 


tessitura bevilacqua looms
That is me on the right walking through the looms! I was in love.

Tessitura Bevilacqua has created velvets for many prominent organizations and people throughout history. Including the Kremlin and the Catholic Church.

If you are interested in weaving history then there really is not a better place to visit and walk through. When I toured the weaving studio, it really was one of the biggest highlights of my entire trip to Italy.


Rya (Turkish/ ghiordes) knots


rya knots front and back - pile weaves

The terms rya, ghiordes, and Turkish knots can all be used interchangeably.

Essentially, rya is a Scandinavian carpet created with Turkish knots and ghiordes is a Turkish rug made with Turkish knots. The terms rya and ghiordes have become synonyms for the type of symmetrical pile knot that is needed to create these rugs.

I most often use the term rya because that is what I was originally taught.

Rya knots are one of the simplest pile weaves that you can learn to weave! There are actually multiple ways to make rya knots, but the one that I use and teach the most is almost annoyingly easy to do.

What do I mean by that? 

Rya knots are a very often requested technique that I get from students. It makes sense! The shag-like pile that they create is enticing and tactile. They are also often used to create long and flowing fringe at the bottom selvedge of your weaving.

Once I show students how to do it, it can be almost anti-climactic.

“That is it?”

Yep. That is all there is to it.

So let’s go over this super simple rya knot technique that you can use to weave all the tactile shag rugs that you want.


How to make rya knots


how to make rya knots

The most important thing that you need to know before making any type of pile weave is that you must start with plain weave.

If you were to just start your rya knots onto your warp without plain weave then it would fall off when you take it off the loom!

Ahh!

So always start with at least a full pass (left and right) of plain weave before starting. This is true even if you are using your rya as fringe. This is because your rya knots will be long enough to cover your full plain weave pass.

Rya is made my taking individual lengths of yarn and wrapping it around your warps. It is best to cut all your rya wefts at the same time to make sure they are the same size. You could also wrap your weft yarn around some cardboard that is the right length you want and then cut them off. This will make sure they are all the exact same size.

Rya is worked around two warps at a time. Your rya weft will go over the top of the two warps with equal amounts of weft on each side.

Then bring the ends through the middle of your two warps.

Pull down and repeat!

See. I told you it was easy.

After your row of rya you would want to do another row of plain weave to make sure your weaving is very secure (this is your ground weft I mentioned at the beginning.)

You can mix it up by using more than one weft at a time per rya knot. Try using different colored yarns or just more of them for a fuller textile!

When you are finished you can trim down your rya knots so they are all the same size. Trimming them also gives your weaving a cleaner and fuller look.


Looped pile


rya knots and loop pile weave

Looped pile weaves create a fun bubbly-type texture on the surface of your weaving. (The blue yarn in the image above.) This simple looped pile technique does require one extra tool in order to make uniform loops.

I really like using a bamboo knitting needle because it is a really good thickness – not too thin and not too thick. They are also smooth and made for yarn so you do not have to worry about any snagging – your yarn will always pull off smoothly. This is the size that I used for the example:


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Really, though, you can use anything that you can wrap yarn around that is the same diameter along its entire length. Dowel rods, straws, or pencils are all options that you can choose if you are looking for something around your house.


How to make looped pile


loop pile weave how to

The first thing that you want to do is attach your pile weft yarn to your warp. You can do this by just weaving two warps and then weaving your tail back in. (If you do not know how to weave your tails in then make sure to check out THIS post.)

Hold your knitting needle or whatever you are using up to the warp. Your first loop is the most annoying because it is not yet secure, but don’t worry it does not last long.

With your weft on a tapestry needle bring it over your rod so that you are working on top of it. Find the next warp that you would normally go under and pull the weft under that warp.

Next, bring your weft back over the rod so that you are now working underneath it. Find the next under warp and pull your weft through.

Work your way across the rod until you get to the other selvedge.


loop pile weave how to

You are almost done!

In order to secure your looped pile you will need to weave at least one pick of plain weave over top of it. After you go all the way across to the other selvedge you can pull out the rod and set it aside.

Beat down your pile and now you are ready for the next row (which is done exactly the same way!)


Experimenting with different types of yarns, pile lengths, and yarn amounts can lead to some really fun and interesting weavings. Plus pile weaves can be used anywhere in your weaving, not just at the end or all in one row. Consider creating areas of pile weave paired with areas of plain weave to really emphasize the textures you created.

I always love to notice different weaving structures out in the wild (outside the studio) and pile weaves are pretty much everywhere!

Let me know your favorite pile weave in the comments!


Resources


https://www.little-persia.com/rug-guides/rug-history

https://nazmiyalantiquerugs.com/scandinavian-rugs/

https://nazmiyalantiquerugs.com/turkish-ghiordes-rugs/

https://www.little-persia.com/rug-guides/country


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