What I Wish I Knew When I Started Weaving

What I Wish I Knew When I Started Weaving

I’m pretty lucky that my weaving journey started in an academic setting. I learned how to weave as a student at Virginia Commonwealth University, which meant I was surrounded by those with common interests, an abundance of materials at my disposal, and a wealth of knowledge. This meant that I was a bit sheltered from what it was like to learn to weave as most people do (as you’re probably doing) – on your own. 

Just because I was able to get a degree in Craft/Material Studies with a concentration in Fibers, doesn’t necessarily mean I knew what I was getting myself into when I started! There are some things that I learned while I was in school and since I left that I wish I knew when I started weaving.

For the record – NONE of these things would have kept me from weaving or exploring fiber art, but I do think they are good to keep in mind for new weavers.

Also make sure to check out my post on what weaving can teach you!


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Weaving Takes Time – Sometimes A Lot Of Time


I wish I knew when I started weaving - loom

I know that all art takes time and depending on the type of weaving that you are making, it might take more time than another. I promise that the first time you weave tapestry, you will be surprised at just how long it can take you to weave up only an inch of weaving! Especially if you have a lot of color changes or you are weaving an intricate design. This will take longer than a single continuous weft from selvedge to selvedge. Check out this post if you’re looking for tips to weave faster!

If you are weaving on a deadline, then keep this in mind! Weaving a sample might be a really great option to try to get an idea of how long your weaving will take.

Balanced weaving will take less time than tapestry, weaving on a floor loom may take less time than weaving on a frame loom, and taking your time can actually save you time. 

I’ll say that one again, just because it’s important.

Taking your time can actually save you time.

#weavinglifelessons


Want to learn how to weave tapestry? It is more than just imagery (although that can be a big part of it too!) Follow along with this self-paced online course that you can take from anywhere at any time.

There are now 2 ways to take it – either purchase the whole course at once for a discount or “create your own” course by purchasing just the parts you want! Either way, get 10% off for being a member of the Warped Community!


Do not forget to account for set-up and finishing your weaving as well. Warping a floor loom is notorious for taking a lot of time and finishing your ends can be tedious, but set up and finishing are both essential parts of the weaving process. Just know that there are certain finishing techniques that take less time, it all just depends on what you want for your weaving.


Even Experienced Weavers Struggle With Selvedges


I wish I knew when I started weaving - selvedges

… and other aspects of weaving. I know that I have written blog posts about how to fix and/or avoid some of your weaving mistakes. That does not mean I always follow my own advice! I know firsthand how easy it can be to get caught up in the process, lose focus, and have my selvedges start to pull in or forget to weave in my weft tails. 

Learn how to get straighter selvedges here.

When you are looking at a finished weaving, sometimes it can be hard to understand how much went into the piece you are looking at that you can not really see.

What you do not see is every time the weaver got distracted by what they were watching on Netflix and pulled a little too hard on their weft.

You do not see all the times that they had to un-weave because they stepped on the wrong treadle and messed up their pattern.

Or maybe you do see those things, and they left them there on purpose.

Whether you see them or not though, I guarantee they happened.

It is important to remember that you will probably always have to pay attention to these things – even though it does get easier the longer you weave! Trust me – I still make plenty of mistakes, but as long as you can recognize and fix them then you will be fine.

Plus, mistakes make us better weavers (and people!) So embrace them, learn from them, and remember: we all make them!



Fiber Art Is Underappreciated


You do what

Yeah, I get that one sometimes.

When I first made the decision to study Craft and Textiles, even one of my professors from my previous school thought I was crazy. 

“You should study painting or sculpture.”

Suddenly those options were the safe choice. 

Fiber art is so often underrated and overlooked.

Yet it has an even stronger history than some of the other more popular art mediums.

You rarely even learn about textile history in school even though advancements in textiles directly led to the industrial revolution and other really important historical events.

Did you know that weavings tend to sell for less than other art of similar sizes and creation time? That was a really hard one for me, but luckily I did not become an artist to be rich.

Do not let this deter you if you love to weave, because you will find the right person to appreciate your art for what it is worth.

Learn about pricing your weavings and dealing with the haters here.

If you find yourself defending your choice to weave (or do anything really) just know that the only opinion that actually matters is yours. Fiber art is a fantastic choice with historical ties, practical uses, and the ability to create something incredibly beautiful and meaningful.


It Can Be Hard To Find Materials


I wish I knew when I started weaving - yarn

At least until you know where to look.

I wish that weaving yarn and tools were able to be purchased more places in person.

Maybe someday.

You might be lucky to have a local yarn store (LYS) near you that sells these weaving supplies, but if you are not then you will probably have to purchase them online.

There is nothing wrong with buying yarn online. It could even mean that you have access to more types of yarn and information about what you are buying. More options also means the ability to shop around for the best price! That being said, I am only a little jealous of those that can buy materials and not have to wait for shipping…

It also took a lot of looking around and researching to find the best places to buy online. That is why I put together an entire post about the best online stores you can order your yarn and other weaving supplies from.

You can also do a quick Google search in your area for local yarn stores. I was surprised when I moved across town that there was a LYS only 3 minutes from my house! They do not sell a lot of weaving yarns, but the knitting and crochet yarn they sell is beautiful! Maybe you can even convince them to order some yarn just for you.

Learn about the difference between weaving and knitting/ crochet yarns here.



I Wish I Knew More About Weaving


Yeah, I just wish I knew more.

This may seem like a silly one to include, because well obviously, but hear me out.

My first loom was a simple frame loom. From there I moved straight to an 8 harness jack-style floor loom.

These are my safe tools. The tools that I learned on and feel comfortable on. That does not make them bad! In fact, they really truly are some of my favorites! It just means that they are not the only option.

Until I branched out after leaving the safety of the University setting – I was not that interested in trying out other options.

I did not know anything about other types of frame looms or styles of floor looms. I had never even woven on a rigid heddle loom before, but I did not feel like I needed to. The same goes for different types of tapestry beaters and other tools.

(I actually really love my rigid heddle loom now! Read my review on the Schacht Flip Folding Rigid Heddle Loom)

I learned that you can make almost any loom weave what you want it to. Despite that, it does not mean that it is the easiest thing to do. Exploring these other options allowed me to more easily experiment and find new ways to fall in love with weaving all over again.

There is such a thing as the right tool for the job – and such a thing as making the tool you have work. 

You may have your own safe tools and there is nothing wrong with that.

Branching out and learning new tools and techniques, though, can be a great way to move forward as a weaver and an artist. I recommend starting a collection of weaving books and of course reading this blog every week!


I wish I knew when I started weaving - tools

There will always be something you do not know and that is ok! In fact, that is probably why you are here. So whether you are a new or experienced weaver, just know that there is always another step that can inspire you and move you forward.

Is there one thing that you wish you knew when you first started weaving? Let me know!


What Weaving Can Teach You – Life Lessons

What Weaving Can Teach You – Life Lessons

Most of you are probably here because you want to learn to weave, but have you ever thought about what weaving can teach you

Weaving requires not only learning the techniques but also appreciating it for what it is. It is so much more than just how to interact with your warp and weft.

There are things that you can do to bypass some of these things, but for the most part, they are a part of weaving no matter what.

And to be honest, you will learn these whether you like it or not.

That makes them sound bad.

They are not bad – I promise!

In fact, the things that weaving can teach you can be used in other parts of your art practice and your life.

I like to call these #weavinglifelessons.

Weaving is an adventure that starts with a spark of interest and never really ends. Along the way, you may start to realize that as you learn how to weave, you learn so much more.

This would not be the first time I have mentioned #weavinglifelessons. It is amazing how this art practice can teach you so much about yourself.

You didn’t know that weaving would change your life, did you?



Table of Contents


Patience


linen yarn weaving life lessons

If you have been weaving for any amount of time (or you read what I wish I knew before I started weaving post) then you know that weaving is pretty… slow.

It is not an “I have this idea and I want to get it out as quickly as possible” artform.

It also is not a source of instant gratification.

So what I’m trying to say is:


weaving takes time

Especially if you are weaving detailed tapestry, then your entire weaving will probably take longer than you think it will. 

Here is the thing though, it will be worth it.

All that time it takes you to weave up each shape, image, or pattern – once it comes together – it will be worth it.

You just have to have a little bit of patience to get that far. If there is anything that can teach you patience is a technique with such a big payout. 

If I am being honest – I am a generally impatient person. Weaving helps me to really appreciate the process, though. Since you can literally see it growing with each row of weft that is added, this definitely helps.



Here is a bonus tip: step back from your weaving on occasion. This is related to patience but takes it a step further. Sometimes it can be hard to see just how much progress you have made when you are so close. It takes stepping back and seeing the entire weaving from a different perspective to understand and appreciate your progress.

Do this in life too. Sometimes we are too close to something to understand how it is coming together. Step back to see the bigger picture.


Decision making / Problem solving


wool yarn what weaving can teach you

If you have read through my Weaving Shapes e-book then you know that one of the biggest parts of weaving shapes (or weaving in general) is making decisions.

I strongly believe that you can weave one thing one day, and the same thing another day and have it turn out differently. 

Actually, try that out! That is a fun project idea.

Since we are all affected by our lives and our surroundings. Different days produce different results.



When you are weaving something (specifically imagery) you have to decide how to make it work on a grid. Depending on what you are weaving, this could be simple or hard. You have to problem-solve in order to make the smoothest curves and most precise shapes that you can.

Each day you may weave a little differently, though.

One day you may beat a little harder which makes you add an extra weft or two. This will change your weaving. While you can try your best to weave the same every day – we are all human.

These little shifts in our day-to-day weaving are a part of what it means to weave by hand. It is what really makes it stand apart from that which is woven by machine.

Each time that you place a weft you are making a decision.

Learning how to weave and the problem-solving that it involves can be translated to your life. Sometimes you just have to make the decision to move forward and if it does not work out? No worries, fix it and try again.

If you sit and ponder about how to weave what you want to weave for too long, you will never actually get anywhere.


Forgiveness (yourself)


linen yarn weaving lessons

Sometimes things do not turn out exactly as you want. You did not weave enough wefts, it does not quite match your image, or anything in between. 

This is fine.

Weaving is an easy medium to fix. That is one of the reasons I like it so much. It is not like ceramics where if you drop it it will break or if you do not knead it well enough it will have bubbles and explode (can you tell I have not had the best experience with pottery…?)

If something does not work out then you will either have to un-weave it or live with it.

It helps to forgive yourself and not worry too much about the extra time spent (patience) or the change in your plans. Perhaps this situation taught you something, or maybe it just means that you get to spend some extra time weaving. Either way, no matter how careful you are, at some point you will have to fix something.

Even when you become an “expert” you will make mistakes. You will probably just make different mistakes.

So do not fret. It happens to all of us.

You learn to not spend too much time getting worried that it did not work out. Instead – you fix it, learn from it, and keep going. 

In the meantime, you can check out my post on the 5 most common new weaver mistakes.


Taking your time saves time


mercerized cotton yarn learn from weaving

Slow and steady wins the race.

Measure twice, cut once.

We have all heard these before, but weaving can really make them make sense.

It can be so tempting and so easy to speed forward and try to get to “the good stuff” aka the weaving, but that is not always almost never the best policy.

Sometimes you may not even be doing it on purpose as a means to get to the finish line and instead you are just getting lost in the process. This is incredibly easy to do, and arguably the ability to get lost in the process is one of the best things about weaving. Who doesn’t want to get lost in their artwork?

With all that, though, paying just a little more attention to your process will save you a lot of time in the long run. Taking your time to set up means you do not have to undo any mistakes. Not only does this save you time, but it can also save you some sanity.

Trust me, it is incredibly annoying to finish warping your loom only to notice you made a mistake at the very beginning! If you took a second to double-check your work then you would not have to waste time undoing and redoing the whole thing.

While I firmly believe that making mistakes is how you learn best, avoiding mistakes and knowing how to avoid mistakes also helps you learn.

Speeding through the process is not only not a good idea because you are bound to make mistakes, but because you are bound to miss the things about weaving that make it so amazing.

Take the time to really enjoy the process, because if you do not enjoy the process then what is the point?


Do you have a favorite thing that weaving has taught you? Let me know in the comments below!


-Nicole

Like the yarn in the photos?


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When to restart your weaving

When to restart your weaving

Mistakes happen to even the best and most experienced weavers.

I’m going to say that again…

Mistakes happen to even the best and most experienced weavers. Sometimes those mistakes are technical, sometimes they result from a lack of planning (or incorrect planning), they could also be from choosing the wrong colors, and really anything in between. So when this happens your choice is usually to un-weave.

I know!

I know.

Nobody wants to take apart something that they have just spent a lot of time on. It is not fun, but sometimes it is necessary.





In my experience, creating has a cycle.

Let’s get dramatic for a moment:

The beginning of the cycle is the idea. This part is exciting! You figure out what you want to weave, you pick out your materials, you envision it, maybe sketch it out, and overall just have everything to look forward to.

Then you start to set up. Depending on what you are creating this may take some time. You may love it, you may hate it, but you still have a lot to look forward to so you get through it.

You start weaving! Yay! Things are great because you can see and feel it coming together. Your hard work setting up and planning is paying off!

Is it done yet?

Maybe I should have made it smaller / bigger / darker / brighter / denser / looser / etc. etc.

I’m getting close to finishing! I’ve made it through and it’s the perfect size / color / density / etc.

I can see the end! That really wasn’t so bad.

I love this weaving.

/ dramatization

Alright, so obviously this is not the case for every weaving and every weaver, but the point is that it is extremely common to go through a love it, hate it, and love it again relationship with your weaving or really any creative pursuit.

So when and how do we decide to keep going versus scrapping our project?





So maybe you have heard of this before as it relates to other things in life. Basically, the sunk cost fallacy says that just because you spent time on something does not mean you have to keep spending time on it. In this case, just because you started something one way, does not mean you have to continue that way or continue at all.

Continuing to spend time on a weaving just because you started it is not good for you or the weaving.

At the least, the weaving will take forever to finish and it will sit on your loom taking up space. Space that could be used for something that you do love.

What’s worse? Continuing like this could make it so you fall out of love with weaving! 

So what do we do with this?

Sometimes this might mean scrapping the entire project to begin with and sometimes it might mean unweaving until you get to a point where you are happy again.




Ultimately, the choice as to what to do at this point will be up to you, but let’s take a look at some things you may want to consider when making your decision.

Do you have any excitement for this weaving anymore? 

I am not talking about as it currently is, but more what it could be. Do you still like your original idea? Do you still like the colors, the pattern, or really anything else about the weaving? 

You may not have to start over completely. If it is just your weft that isn’t agreeing with you then you can un-weave it and start fresh. If it is your warp that isn’t working, then you will have to decide if you can save the warp. While we don’t want to hold onto something just because it took a long time to create, that doesn’t mean we want to waste yarn if we can help it!  Just one of the many great things about weaving is that an unwoven warp is essentially a clean slate!

Even if the current warp doesn’t work for your current weaving, you may consider using it for something else and coming back to your original weaving a different time. This way you are not wasting anything.

Of course, when it is time to work on the original weaving again, we need to make sure that the original issues don’t follow it. 

Take some time to diagnose your weaving and figure out how to not have the same issue again. Pay attention to what it was the did not sit right with you. Maybe create a sample with your new parameters before setting out to do a final piece. Samples are a really great way to try out an idea before you commit to it fully. And with weaving which can take a significant amount of time to set up, it is better to spend some time to sample rather than spend time unweaving later.

This could help clear up pretty much any issue that you may have encountered that led you to wanting to start over to begin with.


Want to learn how to weave tapestry? It is more than just imagery (although that can be a big part of it too!) Follow along with this self-paced online course that you can take from anywhere at any time.

There are now 2 ways to take it – either purchase the whole course at once for a discount or “create your own” course by purchasing just the parts you want! Either way, get 10% off for being a member of the Warped Community!




If the issue with your weaving is your weft then you really only have 2 options.

First option is to unweave your weft either entirely or to the point at which there was an issue.

This is generally the best option for starting your weft over. It ensures you get to use your weft again and don’t waste any expensive yarn! 

Unweaving is basically the same as weaving – except backwards. So step on those treadles in reverse order or take your tapestry needle over instead of under to undo the previous pick. 

TIP: Always make sure to wrap your freed weft around a shuttle or into a ball as you take it off to avoid annoying tangles. I would do this every few picks depending on the width of your weaving. Use your best judgement.



Second option is to cut your weft.

I use to be a weaver who said to NEVER cut out your weft. Generally, that is still true. Cutting out your weft is not only risky but potentially wasteful. Depending on how you cut out the weft you can’t really use that yarn for anything anymore. Except maybe as yarn scraps (which you could use in these projects.)

The more I weave, though, the more I am reminded that there is usually a time and a place for anything. That anything includes cutting out your weft instead of unweaving it. 

Of course, my opinion on the matter is never the end all when it comes to your project. When it comes down to it, you do what is right for you. I recently cut my weft for a weaving that was not working for me and I am very happy I did.

I cut the weft instead of unweaving because I knew that if I spent the time to unweave then I wouldn’t have the desire to start the weaving over anytime soon. My tapestry also contained a lot of eccentric weft – which means an extreme amount of back and forth in small areas. Plus, I only had about 2 inches woven overall and decided the amount of yarn really wasn’t worth the time it would take to unweave.

Since cutting out my weft, I have woven more of this tapestry in the past few weeks then I did all of last year. It jumped me back into the “love it” part of my creativity cycle!


Regardless of what you decide to do, know that this creativity cycle happens to everyone! And even when you plan and plan and plan, sometimes, a weaving just doesn’t live up to what you want it too.

When it comes down to it, you should be weaving because you enjoy it. So do what you have to in order to make sure you keep enjoying it.


-Nicole

Weaving Resolutions – Be A Better Weaver

Weaving Resolutions – Be A Better Weaver

Ok, so maybe this post should have been in January. That is when everyone does their resolutions, right? Well, January for me was more of a recovery from 2023. Plus, we can make resolutions to improve our weaving at any point, and really we should! We should continue to reevaluate our weavings goals throughout the year as new things pop up in our lives, we discover new techniques or materials, or really any time we just feel like it.

There is never a bad time to improve.





When you are weaving, you have to make a lot of decisions. The type of weaving you do might require these decisions at different times, before you weave, during, or after, but those decisions are always there. 

Now, I am not saying to not plan your weaving. Not at all, because planning is essential for a weavings success. You can learn more about planning your weaving here.

While it can be a really interesting experiment to not do a lot of planning at the start to see what becomes of your weaving, what I am really talking about is trusting yourself to make decisions without overthinking while you are weaving. 

Overthinking as you weave will cause you to second guess yourself. Instead, you need to trust in yourself and the process. Try to be intuitive in your weaving and not only will it be more enjoyable, but it will also move along faster.

And really, what do you have to lose? If you don’t like it, you can always unweave and try again!

The act of unweaving may seem defeating, but really it is an opportunity to create exactly what you want. The fact that you can unweave so easily and without destroying your artwork is one of the things that makes weaving so wonderful. Everything is easy to fix. 

So in order to weave more, you need to think less. Trust yourself and see what you create.




Ok, now you probably think I have lost it.

I stand by what I said above, that we could all stand to think a bit less when we are weaving. We could also stand to think a bit more. It really just depends on when we are thinking and maybe what we are thinking about.

As I said above, thinking before we start weaving during the planning process is greatly beneficial to the overall weaving. Spending a little extra time thinking about our colors, materials, techniques, etc. can save us from having to unweave and reweave so. many. times. It can also help to ensure the final product is exactly what we want it to be and functions the way we want it too as well. 

Your practice may be completely different from mine, but the materials I use are incredibly important to the meaning of each piece. Each decision you make is a part of your final product. I am always thinking about the materials that I use and what they mean for my work.

For example, my tapestries never contain animal fibers even though wool is the most common weft for tapestry. (Learn more about tapestry here). Instead, I use all cellulose fibers like cotton, linen, and hemp. Since my tapestries are inspired by natural patterns found in rocks, trees, lichen etc. it just doesn’t make sense to me to use wool or alpaca for my weft.

This may not be the same for you but I invite you to think about what you are using and what it means.




Sometimes we get so caught up in making that we forget the reason why we make in the first place.

You probably got into weaving because you thought it would be interesting and you wanted to have a specific end result. Hopefully, you also think that it is fun! 

If you are weaving just to weave then you are missing out on the magic of the art. This can happen a lot if you start a weaving business or you are creating a lot for presents. Really any time you are weaving a lot that is not for yourself. 

Make sure that through all of this you are still making things that you want to create. If you have lost the spark then you might need a challenge or to experiment. Check out this post on breaking your weaving block.

I know that even with this site where I am constantly talking about weaving, it can be really easy for me to not weave for myself. The amount of weavings I create for classes compared to what I create for my own studio is vastly unproportional. 

Due to this I am trying to make sure that I am weaving, at least a little bit, almost every day. What is working for me right now is weaving smaller pieces that I can take with me anywhere. The image above shows just some of the embroidery weavings and fabric weaving that I have been doing on a small scale.

Of course, I always have multiple weavings going at once. So there is always a larger piece sitting on the loom for when I can dedicate the full time to it. 

Enjoying the process also means only weaving what you want to weave and not what you think you should. I weave small most of the time because I like to weave small. I do this for me. Make sure you are doing it for you.




It is 2024. There is no end to the amount of knowledge that is out in the world about literally everything. Weaving is no exception. 

Even if you love exactly what you are weaving you can always be learning new techniques, weaving history, about new materials, etc. All of these things can be helpful to add to your own practice. Learning more about weaving can never hurt your weaving practice. 

As someone who runs a weaving business, teaches weaving classes, and likes to think I have a lot of weaving knowledge – I also benefit from taking classes, reading books, and learning from other weavers.

Considering weaving has been around for over 10,000 years, it is safe to say that no one person knows everything. There are so many different types of weaving, different materials, techniques, and tools. Weaving has been done all over the world and has different origins and uses. 


Want to learn how to weave tapestry? It is more than just imagery (although that can be a big part of it too!) Follow along with this self-paced online course that you can take from anywhere at any time.

There are now 2 ways to take it – either purchase the whole course at once for a discount or “create your own” course by purchasing just the parts you want! Either way, get 10% off for being a member of the Warped Community!


You never know when learning something new will spark a moment of inspiration that you can apply to your weavings. This can also help you to keep things interesting and continue to enjoy the weaving process.

No matter what your goals are for this year, I highly recommend you make some plans to change things up. Even if your goal is just to weave more, the act of weaving can sometimes be inspiration in and of itself. As you practice and gain more control over your weaving then you can gain more confidence in what you are doing. Confidence allows you to take chances without overthinking things.

Let me know what you are going to try this year!


-Nicole

I’m New To Weaving, Where Do I Start?!?!

I’m New To Weaving, Where Do I Start?!?!

I have been getting more and more questions from new or prospective weavers about how to actually get started with weaving. The world of weaving is vast and if you do not already have a clear idea of where you want to go it can be overwhelming trying to figure out where to start. 

Warped Fibers has well over 100 posts to teach you all about different types of weaving, tutorials for techniques, material and tool spotlights, weaving philosophy and so much more. That being said, you don’t know what you don’t know, so how do you know where to go first?



Weaving Guide For The Absolute Beginner


First, you will want to start your weaving journey by grabbing my FREE guide.

This guide will walk you through the very basics of figuring out where to start – including the most common weaving terms, types of weavings, types of looms, and more. This guide also includes many links that will help you move forward.

These links all go to various beginner friendly posts here on Warped Fibers that are great to read through to help you with the basics.

What happens after all of this though?


Go exploring


weaving options infographic

Instagram and pinterest are both perfect for finding inspiration to try and figure out what types of weaving you want to learn. Weaving comes in many different shapes and forms. By doing a bit of research and answering a few questions you can get a better idea of what you want to pursue.

See if you can answer these questions to get started:

Do you want to weave tapestry?

Are you interested in: 

  • Imagery?
  • Abstract? 

Do you want to weave functional work?

Are you interested in: 

  • Scarves?
  • Towels?
  • Yardage for pillows etc.?

Are you interested in:

Do you like to work big?

Do you like to work small?

What is your material budget?

What is your equipment budget?

All of these questions can lead you to a good place to start with figuring out what is right for you. If you said yes to all of the above, well, then try to narrow it down to what is the most accessible for you to start out with. There will be time for you to try out everything eventually!


Want to learn how to weave tapestry? It is more than just imagery (although that can be a big part of it too!) Follow along with this self-paced online course that you can take from anywhere at any time.

There are now 2 ways to take it – either purchase the whole course at once for a discount or “create your own” course by purchasing just the parts you want! Either way, get 10% off for being a member of the Warped Community!


Take a weaving class


floor loom weaving class
Floor Loom Weaving @ Pine Camp Cultural Arts Center

One of the best ways for anyone to start weaving is to take a class. 

Taking a weaving class allows you to not only learn from a weaver and ask questions, but if the class is in-person then it also allows you to use the tools and materials without purchasing them for yourself! 

This is especially great for classes that involve large equipment like floor looms that you may want to try out before you invest the money and space in your home. I have had many students use this method and many who continue to take the class to keep access to the floor looms without purchasing and housing one themselves.

Classes can also help you to get started faster because the planning is usually already done for you. This way you can get into the weaving faster! Hopefully, the class will also teach you the planning, but admittedly it sometimes helps to get to the fun stuff before the tedious things when starting something new.

You can learn about planning your weaving project from my Weaving Planning & Process Guide.


rigid heddle weaving class set up

Taking a weaving class is also great because it allows you to dedicate a specific time to learn something. Sometimes it can be hard to sit down and learn on your own time. That being said, you might want something you can do on your own time.

Online classes are great options if there are no classes near you or you can’t make them work with your schedule. These classes can usually be done on your own time so you don’t have to worry about learning to weave around someone else’s schedule, instead you get to learn on your own!

You can learn more about my online Tapestry class that you can take whenever you get the chance here!




Just start


tapestry weaving sampler 2 and 4 selvedge weaving

If after everything else, you are still not sure where to start, then I recommend just starting anywhere. I know that can be easy to say and not always easy to do, but tough love time.

Just start!

Let me let you in a little secret:

Your first weaving does not have to be perfect. Either does your second or your 100th.

It can be really easy to get caught up in the idea that you have to learn every little thing before you get started. And while I recommend learning about the techniques and mediums you want to use, if you wait to start anything until you know everything then you will never start.

So grab some cardboard, wrap some yarn around it, and try bringing weft to warp. 

Learn how to make your own cardboard loom here.

Starting with a simple plain weave, you can get a feel for the act of weaving itself by playing with your materials. Think about color, texture, and more. Then think about what you wish you could be weaving and that is probably a good place to go next!

Samples can also be a great way to try things out before you devote your time and materials to a full project. If you go into a weaving knowing that it is a trial then it can help allow you to take chances and make mistakes. This is what will really help you to learn.

Learn more about why samples are important here.

If you are just trying things out then weaving with paper can also be a really good starting point. It is a surprisingly versatile weaving material that can go far beyond children’s crafts. It is also inexpensive which means it can be an accessible option for just about anyone.


Weaving with paper isn’t just for kids! Learn all about how you can take this simple material and bring it to the next level in this 35-page ebook with full-color images, infographics, and instruction! Plus, use the provided pattern at the end of the ebook for exploring beyond plain weave!


The question of where to start your weaving adventure doesn’t have only one answer. Figuring out why weaving is calling to you can be one of the most helpful ways to find a starting place, and so does just starting literally anywhere.

One of the things that I love about creating this site is that I can bring weaving information to anyone who is willing to come find it. You can join my mailing list at any time and get an email whenever there is a new post. That way you can learn things you didn’t even know you didn’t know.


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