Tuesday, January 27, 2009

woven together

Get ready to be blown away by this radical weaving tutorial from Bobbi Clothes on ThreadBanger. More than amazing. It brought back memories of rag rugs that my mom and grandmother would keep at the front door and in the kitchen when I was growing up. I can't think of a more perfect way to put your random fabric scraps to use. Make a simple homemade loom (it's not as hard as you think, I promise,) tear up some fabric or use up some scraps and make something cool.

I used fabric from a pair of thrifted pants, two old t-shirts and some $1.00 remnant fabric from Wal-Mart. (Some cotton, some jersey, but you can use anything.) All you need to make your homemade loom is a piece of wood and an even/equal number of nails on each side of the board. Screws also work. (I used 12 on each side.) Tear your fabric into strips. Any size will do, but mine were about 2-3 inches wide. Don't attach them to each other yet – it's easier weaving the strips one at a time into the loom, and attaching a new one when you need to (so you're not pulling enormously long pieces through your loom.) Umm, I found that out the hard way.

Use yarn to thread your loom. Tie a knot at the beginning and thread back and forth until you reach your last nail/screw, then tie another knot. Keep the yarn as taught as you can. Use a large scrap of fabric (I used a clean dish towel) as a buffer on one end to leave enough space so that you can tie your yarn ends when you're done. Weave it through before you use any fabric strips.

Then start weaving! It's fun and it goes surprisingly fast. I tied the end of my fabric to the first piece of yarn so it would stay put.

Weave under/over in alternating rows - just like those construction paper projects from elementary school.

When you reach the end of a strip and need to join the new one, cut a small notch in your end strip. Pull a new strip through (just an inch or two) and cut a small notch in that as well.

Pull the new strip's tail end through this opening (yes, you're pulling the strip through itself)...

... and you will create a knot of sorts. (This joining technique is genius and from the video above!) Keep going until you have finished a piece that is your desired length/width for whatever you are creating.

When you're done, cut the yarn ends two at a time...

... and tie them together. The tutorial shows a narrower, longer loom and the end result is a rad belt or scarf. So very very cool.

Embrace the imperfections/bumps/stray ends in your weaving! Depending on how tight you want your end fabric to be, you can shove the rows together as tight as you want as you work, or you can leave them loose. Either way, your yarn strands may show through and that's okay!

I made a bag out of this. Believe it or not. I'll show you how I did it.

First, I wove two placemat-looking rectangles. I used the same colors but the two pieces do not match.

Then I used extra fabric strips threaded through a large darning needle to lace/weave the edges that needed to be joined; the two sides and the bottom. I used lots of strips on the bottom edge to make it more substantial (and so things I was carrying in the bag wouldn't fall out!)

(You'll see it has a very messy look.) I used six more fabric strips to make the handles. I braided them together (three strips for each handle) and then wove and tied the ends securely inside the bag.

It turned out to be so textural and I adore the feel of it!

So let's see what you've got. Find some old clothes that you just don't know what to do with. Rip them up – it's way fun. Then weave those scraps into something new and fantastic. Show us what you've done here and share the love.

And now the winner from our victorian inspo challenge ... Diane!

Check out her lacy loveliness. Alright girl – email your addy to jgeigley [at!] gmail.com for your awesome prize from EveryJotAndTittle! Sweet.


metrochic said...

dude. are you freaking kidding me? that is CRAZY awesome. WOW.

Alexa said...
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Alexa said...


Ok so mine is more plait then weave, but still, i tried! And i think i'm the first to post my project, so that's good effort i say! Thanks for the inspo girly.

Alexa said...
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Christina C. said...

Oh that is so lovely!
My grandma and I used to do that together!