Guide To Weaving Headers

Guide To Weaving Headers

Unless you were tie your warp onto your loom one warp at a time (not recommended…) you will end up with bundles at the beginning of your weaving. These bundles serve the purpose of attaching your warp to your loom, but they also make it so the spacing at the beginning of your weaving is off!

This is where weaving headers come in!



What are weaving headers?



Weaving headers play a really important part in setting up your loom and starting a successful weaving. 

No matter what way you warp your loom (front to back, back to front, direct, or indirect) you will need to tie your warp onto the front of your loom and space it out to create a perfect starting point. 

When you are ready to start your weaving you will be looking for a flat plane of evenly spaced warp with straight selvedges. This is because you will want to start your weaving off the same way you want it to continue throughout the entire weaving process. Have you ever heard the saying “set yourself up for success”? This is a perfect example of that.

To get that perfect starting point you will need to use a header at the beginning of your weaving! 

You can think of a header as sort of a “pre-weaving” because it is woven in your same pattern before you start your actual weaving to get your warps evenly spaced quicker than if you were to use up your regular yarn. 


Embroidery weaving is a hybrid technique of embroidery and weaving! It is a fun and portable weaving technique that is perfect for beginner and advanced weavers alike. The Warped Fibers Embroidery Weaving Kit contains everything you need for at least 3 samples and a finished embroidery weaving. Plus, if you have never done this technique before – don’t worry! The kit also comes with a download that will walk you through the process.


What can you use?


Different weavers may use different things for their headers depending on what their preference is or what they currently have on hand. 

Regardless of what you choose you can opt to either use short or long strips. Longer strips will require you to have a more continuous header which can be slightly easier to weave up (just make sure not to pull too tight!)

Shorter headers will mean inserting a new piece in each shed, but they may be easier to remove in the end. 

I usually do a mid range so that I can reuse them more often. If I keep longer ones than they will work for more weavings than if I only have shorter header pieces.

Some options for your weaving header are:


Fabric


fabric weaving header

Using fabric strips as a header is a really great way to get your warp evened out sooner because thicker fabric has a greater effect on the spacing. You might think you should just use the thickest fabric you can find then, but it does eventually have diminishing returns. 

I am a big fan of the fabric header and I usually stick with a fabric strip of about 1.5 to 2 inches wide. I also just use scrap fabric that I have left over from other things so that I am not cutting up virgin fabric for something that is ultimately not a part of the finished piece. 

Most of my weavings use an EPI of 6 -12 and this size works well for me. You might need to change it up if your EPI is different, so keep in mind there may be some experimentation involved!

Learn more about EPI and warp sett here.


Thick yarn



When I do not have any fabric strips available then I will usually use yarn that is thicker than my yarn that I am weaving with. Most often this is some chunky knitting yarn that I have sitting around in the studio, but any chunky yarn should do well.

You could also use a thinner yarn doubled over to make it weave thicker (you can see this in the first image of the post with the blue yarn). This is a really good use for scrap yarn that you have leftover from other weaving projects. For example, I have a scrap box of yarn from loom waste etc. that I keep for reasons just like this!

Learn about other ways you can use scrap yarn here.


Toilet paper


Yeah, I said toilet paper.

Never thought I would be talking about toilet paper here on Warped Fibers, but here we are.

While I have never used toilet paper myself as a weaving header, I have heard of other weavers using this as their preferred choice. If you do not have the fabric or yarn to use then this is something I imagine you have in your house that will be easy for you to use. 

A possible pro of using toilet paper is the ease in which you can remove it when your weaving is finished. Unfortunately, the toilet paper may not be as reusable as the other methods, though, so if you are looking for more sustainable options I would go with the other 2.


Getting the most out of your header


Your weaving header is doing a lot of work to get your weaving ready to go and set up for success. That being said, there are other things that you can do to make them even more successful and faster.

This can be really important because your header is taking up real estate on your warp but it is not a part of the finished piece. A large header will use up more of your loom waste and if it is too big then it may even eat into your weaving space!

If this happens then, at best, you will be wasting some yarn and, at worst, you will not have enough room to finish your planned weaving project!


Smaller bundles (find your goldilocks)



When you are tying your warp onto your front apron rod you will be doing so in bundles. First, I always tie my warp on with a half-bow because it is easy to undo but is also just as strong as a double-knot.

You can learn how to do half-bows here.

Like a lot of things in weaving when you tie your warp onto your loom there is a goldilocks sized bundle that you will want to strive for. This size will change depending on your EPI and size of your yarn. 

Essentially, you are looking for bundles that are small enough that they space evenly without adding too much header while not being so small that they are frustrating to tie and untie. 

All bundles will produce some space between them when they are tied onto your apron rod. Larger spaces will take more header to close up than smaller spaces. Remember: the more header you need the more loom waste you need to account for.

My most used sized bundles include about 6 – 8 warps per bundle, but yours may be different due to your EPI, total warp ends, and personal preference. I usually like tie my bundles in even numbers that divide into my total warp ends. This is because that way they will all be the same size and will tie up simply.

Play around with different bundle sizes to find your goldilocks size. Unless you are changing up the types of weavings that you are creating often, you probably will not have to experiment constantly with different bundles and instead use the same size more often than not!


Weave 2 beat 1






One trick that I love to teach my students when they are warping their looms is to weave 2 beat 1. 

This means that I want you to weave 2 picks and then beat your header into place instead of the normal weave 1 beat 1.

This works well because having 2 full picks in place before beating your header will add a bit of extra friction to the warp and make it even out faster than if you were to weave it in normally. 

The images above show the progression of your warp with a thick yarn header beaten 2 picks at a time from bundles to evenly spaced in only 3 steps!


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!


Removing your header


Since your header is not a part of your finished weaving it will need to be removed during your finishing process. Depending on the material you used this could vary a bit, but generally you have 2 options for removing your header from your warp once it is off the loom.

A quick note before we get into that though: another advantage of your header is that it functions as a way to keep your weaving in place once it is no longer under tension before you finish off your warp! 

This is great for if you did not do a hemstitch on that end of your weaving. I have traveled with a weaving in my bag that was unfinished – just the header at one end – many times without worrying about it unweaving. So keep it in place until you are ready for your finishing!

Learn how to do a hemstitch here.

Learn about warp finishing options here.


Pull out with tapestry needle



Regardless of what you are weaving, every weaver should own at least a few tapestry needles. They are great for weaving in your tails on balanced woven projects and for helping you to remove your header without disturbing your finished weaving.

While you can, of course, also use your fingers to do this, I have found the dull point of the tapestry needle does a better job at moving only the header and not the weft once I get up to the weaving.

To do this: lay your weaving flat on a table with the header towards you. Use the blunt end of your tapestry needle to gently tug your header out of your warp one pick at a time. If you try to do multiple picks at a time then your warp could get a bit tangled. 

Removing your header this way is perfect for when you want to reuse it for later projects. 

Learn more about different types of tapestry needles here.


Cut it out



If you can not be bothered to slowly take the header out with your tapestry needle and you don’t care about reusing your header then you can cut it out! Just be careful not to accidentally cut your weaving in this process.

You can cut your header in a few different spots along your weaving and it should easily come out without much hassle. Shorter pieces should not get tangled if you tug them out.

Check out my favorite supplies (like tapestry needles and yarn snips!) here.


Regardless of what you choose for your header and how you opt to remove it, the importance of using one is something I cannot say enough! Just find out what works best for you and use that.

Do you use something other than what I mentioned for your weaving header? Let me know!


Hands On Rigid Heddle Weaving Book Review

Hands On Rigid Heddle Weaving Book Review

When it comes to weaving books there is always something new.

There is pretty much always something “old” too.

Just because a book is not new and flashy doesn’t mean that it isn’t a valuable addition to your weaving studio library!

One such book that you can always find when searching for rigid heddle books is Hands On Rigid Heddle Weaving by Betty Lynn Davenport. So I figured it was finally time to look it over and see if it’s worth it.


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!



About the book


hands on rigid heddle weaving review

Hands On Rigid Heddle Weaving is 120 pages of text, black and white illustrations, and color photos throughout that walk you through the process of rigid heddle weaving from start to finish. It was first published in 1987, so it is not a new weaving book. That being said, weaving has been around for over 10,000 years so it is still technically on the newer side if you think of it that way.

Also, it is always good to keep in mind that we can learn new weaving tips from ANY source no matter the age of the information.

Unlike some other subjects, weaving information does not expire so don’t be turned off by the age of the book.


Hands On Rigid Heddle Weaving has 6 sections (not including the index)

  • Introduction
  • A First Project
  • Discovering Plain Weave
  • Hand-controlled Weaves
  • On Your Own
  • Appendix

Within these different sections you can expect to learn:

How to plan your weaving , choosing yarns, how to choose a rigid heddle, troubleshooting, warping variations, and more!


Embroidery weaving is a hybrid technique of embroidery and weaving! It is a fun and portable weaving technique that is perfect for beginner and advanced weavers alike. The Warped Fibers Embroidery Weaving Kit contains everything you need for at least 3 samples and a finished embroidery weaving. Plus, if you have never done this technique before – don’t worry! The kit also comes with a download that will walk you through the process.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Embroidery-Weaving-Kit-banner-min-1.jpg

What I like about Hands On Rigid Heddle Weaving


hand on rigid heddle weaving illustrations

While most often you will probably be direct warping your rigid heddle loom, this book has instructions for how to warp your rigid heddle indirectly instead. While I wish this book had both sets of instructions in case this was your only rigid heddle book, I like that it gives you another option if you want it. Especially because indirect warping is not nearly as popular for rigid heddle weaving and it has it’s own pros.

Having more options helps to eliminate barriers that can come up when you are weaving (or doing really anything). So I will always praise having more options!

Read more about direct vs indirect warping here.

Keep in mind that if you are indirect warping then you will need a warping board. You can learn how to use one here.

This rigid heddle book contains both color photographs and illustrations.

The illustrations that are peppered throughout the book are really well done and add some whimsy. This is a very welcome part of this book because they never feel dated!

Illustrations can also be a great addition to any book because they are solely focused on what they are trying to show you and not competing with a background or anything else. This allows them to be precise and to the point – something that you want in a book that is teaching you how to do something!


Get It On Amazon!


What I don’t like about it


hands on rigid heddle weaving 80s fashion

Visually speaking, most newer books definitely benefit from feeling fresh and bright. As previously mentioned, since Hands On Rigid Heddle Weaving was published in the 80s (not old by any means, but not recently published either) it can feel and look a bit dated. 

Should we hold that against this book?

No, we shouldn’t, but that does not make me wish for brighter, more inviting photos any less. Some of the projects in the book are also a bit dated (think 80s fashion.) That being said, just because something is not exactly as you would want it, it does not mean that you can’t learn from the projects themselves. It is always a good idea to look through the projects regardless of whether you are interested in making them or not because it can help you to better understand how to plan your own projects.

Another thing that I do not love about this book (and other rigid heddle books like it) is it’s sections on tapestry weaving.

I have said it before, and I will probably say it again, but I generally do not recommend rigid heddle looms for tapestry weaving. 

Can it be done?

Of course it can. 

Will you be getting the best tapestry weaving experience?

Nope.

That being said, if you want to weave tapestry on a rigid heddle loom, I am not going to stop you and no one else should either. Do what is going to be best for you. If you are interested in tapestry and a rigid heddle loom is all you have then go for it. Just know that if you love it (I’m sure you will!) then you may want to invest in a more suitable loom in the future.

If you want a recommendation for a great and inexpensive loom for tapestry then consider a simple frame loom. More looms is always better in my opinion!


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!


Who this book is for


hands on rigid heddle weaving book review

Hands On Rigid Heddle Weaving is for any weaver that is looking to expand their weaving library!

If that is you then will find this book great to keep on hand. While it can be easy to think that if you have 1 book you will not need any others, having books by different people is always a great thing if you have the space and the means. 

Learning from more than 1 person can only help you to become a better weaver and develop a style and rhythm all your own. So while I always recommend Inventive Weaving On A Little Loom by Syne Mitchell, I also recommend this book for rigid heddle weavers.
I wouldn’t say that Hands On Rigid Heddle Loom is for true beginners, especially considering it does not contain information about direct warping.

But instead it is for someone that already has some knowledge and is looking to expand upon that.


Fixing Weaving Floats – Warp & Weft

Fixing Weaving Floats – Warp & Weft

Sometimes we want floats in our weaving. Sometimes we don’t. 

When you don’t want floats and they sneak up on you – DON’T PANIC – it is not the end of the world! Like most things in weaving, floats are fixable.

They are also avoidable!

Let’s take a look at how to keep ourselves from creating accidental warp and weft floats and how to fix them if we do.



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 are floats


weaving on rigid heddle loom with accidental warp and weft floats

First things first, what are floats? 

A float in your weaving occurs anytime your warp goes over or under more than 1 weft or when your weft goes over or under more than 1 warp.  

We have talked about floats a few different times here on Warped Fibers, so if you are interested in creating floats on purpose then make sure to check out these posts:

Weaving with weft floats

How to use pick-up sticks on your rigid heddle loom

As you can see, you might want to have floats in your weaving if you are going for a certain look or you are using a pattern that includes floats (pretty much any pattern other than plain weave – overshot, waffle weave, or huck lace). 


How to avoid floats in your weaving


large vs small warp shed

But what happens when you don’t want weft floats? The best thing to do is to avoid them to begin with if they do not fit into your weaving plan. There are a few good ways to help keep your weaving float free if that is what you want!

Your shed is important.

The size of your shed can make a big difference when it comes to avoiding floats in your weaving. 

As a reminder, your shed is the opening created in your weaving while using certain types of looms that are created when the warps you want to weave under are pulled up or the warps you want to weave over are pushed down. 

Your shed plays an important role in avoiding floats because the larger your shed, the easier it will be to bring your shuttle through without grabbing or missing any unwanted threads. If your shed is small and narrow, then you may struggle to glide freely – making it easier to make a mistake.

To avoid this, make sure to advance your warp whenever you notice your shed shrinking. As a plus, this can also help keep your selvedges straight because you don’t have to struggle to get your shuttle through causing you to pull too hard on your selvedges.


Always be touching your heddle or reed


shuttle position in heddle or reed to avoid floats

Regardless of the size of your shed, it will always be widest right next to your reed or heddle. Whenever you are bringing your shuttle through your shed it can help to slide your shuttle against the reed in order to help you avoid unwanted floats.

Something to keep in mind, “sticky” yarns will create more accidental floats if you are not careful. A sticky yarn would be one that is not smooth but instead is probably hairy. These little hairs tend to want to combine with others making them “stick” together. This can create a “messy” shed instead of a clean one. This is not a technical term, just what I like to call it.

If you have a hairy yarn that tends to stick you will need to pay attention and clear your shed before passing your shuttle through. Beating with your heddle or reed before passing your shuttle can usually clean this up for you.


clean vs messy weaving shed

Another possible reason for a messy shed is if you have twisted warps. This is usually the result of either incorrect threading or warps that are twisted around one another. Both of these need to be fixed prior to weaving.

Learn about fixing threading mistakes here.

Regardless, it is always a good idea to look through your shed to make sure it is clean before you start weaving. That way you know what to expect from the weaving process.


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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!


How to fix warp and weft floats


If you end up with a warp float anyway, that’s ok – we can fix it!

Here’s how:

*In the images below I will be using a different colored yarn to what is in my weaving to better show you what I am doing. Please note that you will be using the same yarn as you are fixing to keep your weaving clean and any fixes inconspicuous.

When your weaving is off the loom, cut some extra yarn that is the same as your warp or weft thread depending on what you are fixing. This piece should be a few inches longer than the float itself so we can anchor it to the weaving. 


how to fix a warp or weft float

Using a tapestry needle (I am using an extra long tapestry needle) locate the warp or weft that has the float and start to weave alongside it following the same pattern as that specific yarn – in this case over 1, under 1. Once you get to the float keep weaving the desired pattern and continue past it another inch or so.

This is a supplemental yarn (shown in blue.)

When you get to the area where the float is you may notice that you will have to dig a bit to find the missed yarns in the pattern. This is normal. You can also turn your weaving to the back if it helps you to find those yarns and catch them.


how to fix a warp or weft float

Once your supplemental yarn is in place you can carefully cut your float yarn to release it from your weaving.

If you are on the front of your weaving then bring these new cut warp tails to the back of the weaving. Depending on the length of the float and subsequently the length of your new tail you may be able to finish it off like any other tail!

Learn how to finish your tails here.

If this float was small and the cut tails are also small then you can just push it to the back and cut it flush to the weaving.

When you have to fix a warp yarn you will have a tiny bit of overlap where the old warp is and where your new supplemental warp is. This is how we want it!

This overlap keeps everything in place and does not allow for any holes in our weaving. 

Once everything is in place, the tails of your supplemental yarn can also be trimmed flush to your weaving.


how to fix a warp or weft float

trimming supplemental yarn from accidental weaving float

When it comes to fixing weft floats, well, it is basically the same as fixing a warp float except we are now working horizontally instead of vertically!

Seriously, there is no difference!


weaving with fixed accidental floats

If you used the same color to fix your weaving then you will not even be able to see where your supplemental wefts are. Everything will blend into itself perfectly.

That being said, adding in some fun colored supplemental weft might be an interesting way to add something extra to your weaving. No one said that you can’t add supplemental yarns on purpose!

It can be really annoying when you finish your weaving only to turn it around and see a float just waiting there, but luckily with these fixes, you can get your weaving to exactly where you want it with very little effort or time!


Huck Lace – Weaving Pattern Spotlight

Huck Lace – Weaving Pattern Spotlight

When it comes to weaving patterns, there really is no limit to what you can create. Just look at any weaving pattern book and you will find so many different interesting patterns to play with! 

Previously we have talked about overshot and waffle weave, so make sure to check those out too!

As far as today goes, we are talking about huck lace (huck weave.)



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 huck lace


huck lace with colored stripes on the loom

Huck lace (also called huckaback or just huck) is a loom-controlled lace pattern that creates bundles within the fabric using floats.

First, what is “loom-controlled lace”? 

This is a lace that is created through the use of heddles on your loom as opposed to manual manipulation of the yarn with your hands or tools. These types of lace usually require a bit more set-up with a more complicated draft, but they will weave up faster than hand-manipulated laces because the loom is doing the work for you. Yay!

If you are interested in other types of lace that are hand-manipulated (brooks bouquet, Spanish lace, and leno) then make sure to check out this post here! These types of laces are great for any type of loom including a rigid heddle or frame loom.


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!


The main characteristics of huck lace are its double vertical floats on the front and double horizontal floats on the back of the weaving. Once off the loom, these floats create compressed sections of your weaving to make it look like your warp and weft and bending!

One thing to keep in mind is that while you are weaving is that even though the vertical floats are on the front and the horizontal floats are on the back, once your weaving is off the loom, you get to choose which is the front and the back! So if you have a preference for the horizontal floats, there is nothing saying that you can not use that as the primary side. 

When it comes down to it, the weaving is your own and you get to make the rules.


Weaving draft


huck lace (huckaback) pattern draft diagram

As I mentioned previously, the draft for huck lace is going to be a bit more complicated than your typical straight or point draft that you would find for plain weave or different types of twills. That being said, as long as your pay attention while you are warping your loom, you should not have any issues.

If you are not sure how to read a weaving draft then make sure to check out this post first. 

So let’s take a look at the draft for huck lace:

The first thing to note is that huck lace is easily woven on a 4-shaft loom with 4 treadles. I also usually like to set up 2 extra treadles if they are available for plain weave. This is helpful for setting up your header or for any breaks in your weaving that you may want between areas of lace.

For this pattern though, it is unnecessary! If you look at the draft, you can see that alternating treadling 1 and 2 will get us the plain weave that we are looking for without setting up anything extra. 

The threading for huck lace follows a pattern of 1,3,1,3,1,2,4,2,4,2 repeat. This treadling pattern has 10 total steps which means that you will probably want to have an EPI that is divisible by 10 in order to make sure that you get your full pattern.


huck lace (huckaback) on the loom with pattern reminder

Another important thing to note is that when you are weaving a huck pattern you will want to use floating selvedges in order to weave easier and cleaner. You can see them in the image above and below.


huck lace with floating selvedges on the loom

You can learn more about floating selvedges including how to set them up, how to use them, and how to create them when you forgot… here!


Huck lace variations


huckaback weaving pattern on floor loom

Like most weaving patterns there are different variations that you can do to change it up without really doing any more work. 

The original draft for this pattern that I followed came from The Handweaver’s Pattern Directory (review in link) and one of my favorite things about this weaving draft book is that it shows you all of the different variations you can do while still using the same threading, tie-up, and treadling (or just slight, simple variations of each).

The simplest variation is always to change up the weft as you go to create stripes of different thicknesses. You can also warp your loom with different colors to create vertical stripes as well. Both of these options are incredibly simple, but can still create dynamic and interesting variations for this already impressive-looking weaving structure. 

If your loom has up to 6 treadles that you can use, then you can actually vary your huck weaving even more! This allows you to create daintier areas of lace with bundles in different areas of the fabric. 

Like most weaving patterns, huck is not just a single style. You can play around with it and create drastically different weavings with the same threading and tie-ups!


What huck lace is good for


huck lace weaving off loom

Traditionally huck has been used often for towels or other fabrics that need to be absorbent.

Depending on the type of fiber that you use (most commonly cotton or linen yarns), this can be a really great option for using this pattern. In fact, the actual definition for huckaback is a strong linen or cotton fabric with a rough surface, used for toweling. (“Huckaback.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/huckaback. Accessed 8 Mar. 2023.)

That being said, huck lace can also be a fun option for more delicate projects like scarves or shawls, or for decorative projects like pillows. Despite the lace name, it really is quite durable since it has a base of plain weave. This creates a stable fabric even with the small floats on its surface. 

Once your weaving is off the loom it will relax a bit and really lean into the “cinched” characteristic created by the floats. This pattern is impressive on the loom, but even more impressive off of it! The image above shows how this pattern really comes alive once it is no longer under tension.

Keep all of this in mind when you are planning your project since it changes so much after it is off the loom.

If you try it out then let me know! I would love to hear about what you create with huck lace!



Best Inexpensive Weaving Looms On Amazon

Best Inexpensive Weaving Looms On Amazon

Starting out as a new weaver or trying a new type of weaving can be intimidating when it comes to finding and purchasing materials – especially looms.

Let’s face it, weaving can be expensive. Luckily, though, it does not have to be! There are definitely ways that you can start weaving that do not require you to purchase expensive equipment – especially not when you are first starting out. 

In fact, there are quite a few really good options for inexpensive looms that you can get on Amazon

Depending on what you are wanting to create, what you already have, and/ or your current level of weaving expertise there is a loom for you.

While I already have a post on the best beginner looms overall, today’s focus is on price and fast shipping!


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!


Loom with a heddle rod


heddle bar loom from Amazon

When you are weaving on a frame loom you have a few different options as to how you actually weave. What I mean by that is you can weave manually with a tapestry needle or use a tool to create a shed. 

One of the least expensive options for a loom with a heddle rod that you can get on Amazon is this one by kissbuty.

The advantage of this is that you can weave faster and with less wrist movement. If you have issues with your wrists then this may be a really good option for you.

This loom more closely mimics the shed creation that you find on floor looms, table looms, and rigid heddle looms and also allows you to more easily use shuttles to wind on more yarn. The fewer yarn pieces you have to use, the fewer tails you have to deal with when you are finished!

Learn more about dealing with your weft tails here.

Learn more about weaving shuttles here.


warped heddle bar loom from Amazon

This loom comes fully put together and includes your heddle rod, a comb, a shuttle, and some yarn to start with! This means you have everything that you need to get started experimenting with your loom. 

I will say that the yarn it comes with is not the best – so keep that in mind, but it will get you started if that is ultimately what you are looking for in a weaving loom.



Travel Loom Set


simple travel loom from Amazon

This is probably one of the simplest looms that you can get that is not cardboard! This makes it one of the best looms for beginner weavers who just want something to get them started.

Not ready to purchase a loom yet? Learn more about cardboard looms here.

The wood really brings them up one notch from cardboard looms because they will last and you can weave on them for a long time. The issue with cardboard is that it can fall apart and does not hold the same amount of tension as a wood loom will.

This is also a really good deal because it comes with almost everything you need (x2)! Beyond getting yarn, there is not much else you need to get started!

When you buy the wool queen loom you get 2 frame looms, 2 wood tapestry needles, 2 shed sticks, and 1 comb. Granted the comb is almost comically small, but it works, and that is what matters!

If you are looking for a better tapestry beater then make sure to check out this post!

You may also want to look at other tapestry needle options to find the one that works best for you!

These looms are both very flat which makes them great for travel. You can set one up for your kid and one for yourself for traveling to keep everyone entertained and busy. Or just have 2 projects going at once! You do you.

When you are done weaving you can put them back in the envelope they came in so that everything stays together.

The EPI for the wool queen looms is on the low side so keep that in mind when choosing your weft yarns. The warp sett comes out to about 4.25 ends per inch. Doubling up your warps will get you an EPI of about 8.5 – in case you want to work with thinner yarns or create more intricate weavings.

Learn more about EPI here.



Upright tapestry loom


Beka tapestry loom from Amazon

My go-to for weaving tapestry on a frame loom is always a simple frame loom. I won’t go into the reasons for that here – you can read all about simple frame looms in this post.

That being said, I understand the desire from new students to have something that is a little more straightforward to warp or for weavers who already know what they want to do – to get a loom that is set up for exactly that. 

When you start looking for tapestry looms in general you may notice that they can get pricy. With that price, you get some extra bells and whistles, but for just starting out or if you want something on the simpler side then grabbing an upright tapestry loom from Amazon can be a really great option.

The one that I like is the upright tapestry loom by Beka. There are a lot of different options to choose from, but the biggest reason that I chose the Beka loom is that it has more notches per inch than the others and its sturdy design will keep your warp tension tight – just as you want it for tapestry.

Learn more about tapestry here. 


Beka tapestry loom single and double warped

It should be said that first, your preferred EPI is just that – your preferred EPI. So a loom that allows for one EPI may work well for me, but not as well for you. It always helps to know what you want to weave before purchasing a loom so that you are not limited.

Second, finding out the EPI for these looms on Amazon is not the easiest thing to do. Since Amazon is not a weaving or fiber art-specific website like The Woolery it does not always have all the information that you may be looking for. 

The Beka loom has an EPI of 5 which means you could also double up your warp for a denser or more balanced weaving to get 10 EPI (seen in the image above).

Generally speaking, 6 EPI is really good for tapestry, so 5 EPI is pretty close and usually still does the job well. 

The fact that the Beka loom is made to stay together is also a plus because you can expect that the warps will not loosen up as you keep weaving. Some looms that I have seen on Amazon have more moving parts to allow you to create a smaller weaving.

This is unnecessary because you can stop your weaving at any part on your warp for a shorter finished project! The tension on your warp is way more important to your tapestry than potentially saving a bit of yarn by shortening the overall height of your loom.


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!


Beka tapestry loom from Amazon

The Beka loom comes completely deconstructed but is simple to put together. It also comes with a heddle stick, shuttle, and tapestry needle to get you started. 

The legs on the loom are adjustable for angle and therefore you can move it around to best suit your weaving position. This allows you to make sure you are sitting at the best angle for prolonged weaving sessions.

The teeth of this loom are made of plastic and while I usually like to avoid a lot of plastic pieces, the plastic on this loom makes it incredibly easy to warp. You do not have to worry about any snagging from wood that has not been sanded properly – an issue you may run into when purchasing a loom on the inexpensive end of the spectrum.

The Beka is also the largest loom on this list and sits at 20” x 23”, which means it really is not a travel loom, but it is great to set up and leave up wherever you get your weaving on. This also means you can create a decently sized wall hanging or larger pieces for a weaving that will be pieced together later!

Learn about sewing your woven artwork here.



Get started weaving!


When it comes down to it you need very little to weave most of the time. I never want you to feel like you need to spend a lot of money to get started weaving! Just find the best loom that works for you and go for it!

Once you get your loom and you are ready to get started, make sure to check out my supplies page to order some yarn and anything else you might want for your weaving projects. You can also check out where to buy yarn online and of course, check out my tapestry course to learn how to put your yarn to use!


Waffle Weave Pattern – Weaving Dimensionally

Waffle Weave Pattern – Weaving Dimensionally

When it comes to weaving there are so many different types of patterns that you can create! That is one of the wonderful things about it. 

So full of possibilities!

Waffle weave is a really fun and dimensional weaving pattern that can be used for both practical and decorative purposes.

We have talked about different weaving patterns a few times and you should check those out too!

Learn about the 3 basic weave structures.

Learn about the overshot weaving pattern.



What is waffle weave?


Waffle weave is a 3-dimensional weaving pattern that is woven on multi-shaft looms. It is characterized by its warp and weft floats that create gradually built-up squares throughout the weaving.

Each of these squares sort of looks like a divot in a waffle! AKA, where your syrup goes… on a normal waffle that is. 

When you are weaving your waffle weave you will be able to see the build-up somewhat, but it truly shines once it is no longer under tension on the loom AND washed/ dried. 


How you weave it



Waffle weave is woven on multi-shaft looms (either 4 or 8 shafts). This means you can weave it on either a floor loom or a table loom. 

Since you are using a floor or table loom the weaving process of waffle weave is not any harder than setting up and weaving plain weave!

Since you probably started with plain weave and it is the most common weave pattern you will come across, we are going to compare our waffle weave draft to a plain weave draft to help you better understand. We will also be assuming you are weaving this on 4 shafts instead of 8, but understanding 8 shafts versus 4 is not much different.

Make sure you know how to read weaving drafts! You can learn how here.

Unlike plain weave which utilizes a straight draft heddle pattern, waffle weave uses a point draft pattern.

That means that instead of threading your heddles 1, 2, 3, 4 repeat – you will instead thread them 1, 2, 3, 4, 3, 2, 1 repeat. 

What does this mean?



Your full pattern is wider than that of plain weave. In order to get only full waffle cells in your weaving you should aim for a total warp count that is divisible by 7. If you do not need to have full cells on your selvedges then this may not be an issue, but it is something that you may want to consider.

Your tie-ups for waffle weave require 4 treadles to create your pattern. Unlike plain weave which only requires 2. Your treadles will be attached to different numbers of shafts, so make sure to pay attention to your tie-up pattern.

Treadling is very similar to your threading pattern because it is done in a pointed pattern. Instead of just switching back and forth between 1 and 2 heddles, you will instead be moving your way across your heddles and then back. 

Your treadling pattern for plain weave is 1, 2, repeat. The treadling pattern for waffle weave is 1, 2, 3, 4, 3, 2, 1 repeat. You can see this better in the graphic below.


waffle weave pattern draft

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!



One important thing to keep in mind when weaving waffle weave is that your selvedges are not always going to catch as you weave. Due to the pattern sometimes having your selvedge warp yarn not being woven in adjacent picks you will not catch that last warp yarn unless you use floating selvedges. You can learn all about setting up floating selvedges here.

If you do not want to set up floating selvedges for whatever reason you could also fake it. To do this you will manually weave under your last warp if it is not catching. You do this by taking your shuttle underneath your selvedge warp and then proceeding through the shed. You will not have to do this every time you go through it, but you will have to do it on the same treadling steps every time. 



Both of these options work it is mostly a matter of preference and forethought. A floating selvedge generally makes it easier to make sure you are catching your selvedges, though, which will allow you to focus more on the weaving itself.


What waffle weave is good for


waffle weave finished

Once your waffle weave is finished (this includes washing) it will actually shrink a bit more than a plain weave fabric. This is because all of the floats will no longer be laying as flat as they did prior to finishing. 

Due to the 3 dimensionality that occurs your waffle weave fabrics make fantastic towels. This is especially true if you make them with cotton yarn. Cotton is already a fantastic choice for towels due to its ability to easily absorb liquids, so adding in this weave structure only enhances that.

Learn more about weaving with cotton here.

Beyond towels, waffle weave is also great for blankets or anything you want to keep your warm. 

Once again, since the weave structure is dimensional it more easily traps and maintains heat. As an example of this, just take a look at any thermal shirt you have. Thermal shirts are made with waffle weave fabric!

Waffle weave is a great versatile fabric that is both simple and fun to weave! Let me know if you weave some up and tag the photo on Instagram @cole.bun!


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