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                             HANDLOOM CONSTRUCTION
                     A Practical Guide for the Non-Expert
                            Written and Illustrated
                                  Joan Koster
                         Published and Distributed by:
                   Volunteers in Technical Assistance, Inc.
                       1600 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 500
                         Arlington, Virgnia 22209 USA
                     Tel: 703/276-1800 . Fax: 703/243-1865
     VITA acknowledges, with deep thanks and appreciation to
the author, this very special contribution to its development
     Handloom Construction was written and illustrated by Joan
Koster--educator, anthropologist, artist and weaver.   Koster, a
long-time VITA Volunteer, has provided assistance through VITA
to loom builders and weavers around the world.   VITA is very
pleased to be able to offer a portion of Koster's work collected
in one manuscript.
     Special thanks go also to VITA Volunteer Virginia Palmer
for her review and comments, to Margaret Crouch and Laurel
Druben of the VITA staff for editorial work, to VITA staffer
Carolyn Marcus, whose skill at layout and page design so well
highlighted the author's excellent work, and to VITA Volunteer
Kit Cone, for typesetting services.
                             Mt. Rainier, Maryland USA
                               TABLE OF CONTENTS
1  Which Loom to Build?
   Fibers:   Choice and Preparation
   What Products to Weave?
   The Looms
     Table I
     Table II
     Table III
2  A Weaver's Dictionary
3  The Simple Frame Loom
   Materials Needed
   How to Weave on a Frame Loom
   Variations of the Simple Frame Loom
   How to Weave on a Pegged Loom
4  The Inkle Loom
   Materials Needed
   Set Up the Loom for Weaving
   How to Weave on  an Inkle Loom
     Steps in Weaving
5  The Foot-powered Loom
   Pit Loom Version
     Materials Needed
   Free-Standing Loom Version
     Materials Needed
   The Moveable Parts for Both Loom Designs
   Warp the Foot-Powered Loom
   How to Weave on a Foot-Powered Loom
     Steps in Weaving on Both Looms
6  The Weaver's Tools
   The Beater
   The Raddle
   The Shuttles
   The Skeiner
   The Skein Winder
   The Stretcher
   The Warping Board for a Foot-Powered Loom
7  Weaves, Patterns and Finishing Touches
   Planning the Fabric
   Keeping Records
     warp-faced weave
     weft-faced weave
     balanced weave
   Color Pattern Weaves
   Tapestry Weave
   Knotted Weaves
   Finishing Touches
8  Where to Find More Information
With inexpensive machine-made cloth increasingly available almost
everywhere, it seems likely that fewer and fewer people will be interested
in producing their own cloth.   As a result, handweaving may
be in danger of becoming a neglected craft.   Yet there are many advantages
to handweaving--particularly in the home and on a cottage
industry basis.
Weaving can be done in one's spare time using free or inexpensive

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fibers available locally, and simple, efficient looms can be built
from local materials at
little cost.  Therefore,
as long as the loom and
fibers cost little, the
finished cloth requires
an investment in time
rather than money.
There are other advantages
as well.  Handwoven cloth
is often sturdier and
longer wearing than
manufactured cloth.
It can be designed
to meet special
needs: sacks
can be made in
a size and
shape that is
easily carried
and stored;
mats and rugs
can be made to
fit individual rooms.
A simple loom made

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from local materials.
Loomed products can provide extra cash income, especially for agricultural
or herding families.  Such products can be sold locally to
people unable to weave their own cloth, to the tourist trade, or
for export.  Cloth and cloth products are relatively easy to store
and ship, and they suffer little spoilage if cared for properly.
Because people all over the world have been weaving since the very
earliest times, there are many styles and varieties of looms.  This
is a book about building and using some of these.   Three types of
looms, including two variations of a foot-powered loom, are presented
here.  The book gives 1) detailed directions for building each kind
of loom, 2) the advantages and disadvantages of each, and 3) instructions
for weaving.
The most basic design for a loom is the simple frame loom.  This
loom has been used throughout the world by people as widely
separated as American Indians and the villagers of Upper Volta.
Foot-powered looms--sometimes called multiple harness looms--are
those on which the weaver operates foot pedals to shift moveable
parts of the loom, making it possible to weave more quickly and
easily.  Most foot-powered looms operate the same way but differ
in the design of the frame that holds the loom.   One version of
this loom, called a pit loom, sits in a pit dug for the weaver's
feet and the foot pedals.  The pit loom described here, which is
similar to looms used in Greece, Turkey, the Balkans, and northern
India, can be supported by being attached to a wall or suspended
from the ceiling.  The free-standing loom, on the other hand, has
its own supporting frame and a raised bench for the weaver.  The
free-standing loom depicted in this manual is like those used in
Greece, the Balkans, Turkey, Iran, northern Europe and colonial
Read this manual carefully before deciding which loom to build.  The
manual has been written to assist with thinking about the questions
which must be answered before a loom is built.   For example:
     -- What types of fibers are available and how much do
        they cost?
     -- What product or articles will be woven?
     -- If the handwoven article is to be sold, is there a market?
     -- If the articles are to be sold, can they be made and sold
        quickly enough to make the effort worthwhile?
     -- What materials are available for building the loom?
Once these factors--construction materials, purpose, fibers, and
so on--have been considered, it will be much easier to decide which
loom can or should be constructed.
This manual first describes briefly a range of fibers which can be
used and then presents a brief summary of each of the types of loom,
the construction materials needed and the products best produced.
As a guide to the potential loom builder, the looms are then compared
with each other in terms of all these factors.   The first
chapter provides a very good framework for making decisions concerning
which loom is best for a given purpose.   Chapter 2 is an illustrated
dictionary of basic terms used by a weaver and throughout
this manuscript.
Directions for construction and use of each type of loom are covered
in Chapters 3, 4 and 5.  Chapter 1 includes information on choosing,
treating and spinning fibers.   Other sections cover types of weaves
and finishings, and weaver's tools.   An annotated list of references
is also included.
1  Which Loom to Build?
The decision to build one loom rather than another should be made after
considering a number of questions.
1.  What kind of cloth or article is to be made?
    If there is only one kind of fiber available, then this fact
    can dictate the choice of product and the loom.  If there is
    a variety of fibers, choose a loom that can handle those fibers
    used most often in the type of products or articles being produced.
2.  What size cloth is needed?
    Will all the cloth you make be the same width, or do you want
    to make articles of varying widths? Some looms can weave
    cloth of varying dimensions, but most weave only within certain
    limits for width and length.
3.  How fast does the material have to be produced?
    Will you be weaving for personal use or to meet market demands?
    In general, the more complex the loom, the faster it weaves.
    However, a weaver's skill can often compensate for the slower
    rate of a simple loom.
4.  What materials are available locally for loom building?
    In general it is almost always cheaper to build a loom than to
    buy one.   In many places it may not be possible to find or
    import the type of loom needed.  The basic construction material
    for simple looms is wood.  Almost any kind of wood can
    be used as long as it is as straight as possible and well-seasoned.
    It need not be milled lumber.  Tree limbs with
    the bark removed make excellent loom supports.
With an understanding of the basic principles of weaving and a little
carpentry skill, the looms in this manual can be adapted to work
with most materials available anywhere.
This chapter will help the user make the decision by providing information
on each of these points, beginning with the discussion of
fibers.  This seems a good place to begin because it appears to be the
case that few people realize the range and variety of materials which
can be woven.  Guidelines are provided for preparing fibers and for
judging whether there is sufficient quantity to complete a product.
Fibers: Choice and Preparation
In order to compete with manufactured cloth,
handwoven cloth must be made from free or
inexpensive materials available locally.   If
weaving is done now, or was done in the past,
learn which materials are used and how they
are prepared.  Fibers from domestic plants

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and animals will usually be available in
greater quantities than those from wild
sources.  However, sometimes grain straw
or sugarcane residues can be used in weaving.
Domesticated animals such as sheep,
goats, rabbits, camels and many others can
also provide quantities of useful fibers.
Experiment with new materials as well.
Perhaps a nearby factory discards packing
materials of natural fibers, synthetics or
plastics.  Sheets of plastic or old plastic
bags can be cut into strips and woven to
make waterproof mats and raingear.   Old
clothing and cloth can be cut into strips
and woven into the rag rugs which are
traditional in many parts of the world. <see picture>

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Even cardboard and paper, when made into
strips, can be woven.
Almost any fiber, if it is clean, pliable and
either in strips or capable of being spun
into thread, can be used in weaving; the
range of materials that can be used is almost endless.   The following
list is just a sample of the variety of fibers and materials used in
different parts of the world for weaving.
Sources of Materials for Weaving
ANIMAL/INSECT     VEGETABLE                                          MAN-MADE
Buffalo           Amaryllidaceae-Agave, Sisal, Mauritius Hemp        Acrylics
Camel             Apocynaceae and Asclepiadociae-Milkweed            Cardboard
Cattle            Bombacaceae-Kapok                                  Old Cloth
Cat               Bromeliaceae-Kapok                                 Paper
Chinchilla        Bromeliaceae-Caroa, Pineapple, Spanish Moss        Plastic
Dog               Gratineae-Broomcorn                                Polyester
Fox               Leguminosae-Sunn Hemp                              Rayon
Goat              Liliaceae-Formio Flax, African Bowstring
Guinea Pig        Linaceae-Flax
Horse             Malvaceae-Bimili, Cotton, Henaf, Hibiscus, Mesta,
Llama               Okra, Urena
Musk Ox           Moraceae-Hemp, Paper Mulberry
Opposum           Musaceae-Abaca, Banana
Rabbit            Palmae-Coir (Coconut), Crin vegetal, Palmetto
Racoon              Piassava, Toquilla
Sheep             Tiliaceae-Jute Basswood
Silkworm          Thymeliaceae-Lace Bark
Vicuna            Urticaceae-Ramie (China Grass)
                  Also various grasses, reeds and bamboos, as well
                    as crop residues-grain straw, bagasse (sugarcane)
Preparing Fibers for Weaving
Part of the consideration of whether a certain fiber is appropriate
for use is the quantity in which it is available and, of course, the
amount of time and effort required to prepare it for weaving.  The
discussion here is not intended to be a complete guide to fiber preparation.
Indeed, that will be the subject of another book.   Rather,
the purpose of this discussion is to give enough information on fiber
preparation to enable wise decisions concerning the use of the looms
to be described in this manual.
Very few fibers are ready for weaving in their natural state.  Most
require some special preparation to make them flexible or thin enough
for weaving.  Although each fiber requires specific handling, the
following illustrations summarize the basic processes required by
most fibers.
Fiber Preparation
1.  Cleaning - Most fibers must have dirt, seeds, sticky sap,

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               husks or oils removed.  For some this involves
               washing or soaking.
2.  Drying - Fibers that are washed or soaked usually are air-dried

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             in sun or light shade.
3. Combing - Fibers are drawn through a

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             toothed tool in a manner
             similar to combing one's
             hair.  This straightens and
             smooths the fibers to prepare
             them for spinning.
4. Spinning or Twisting -

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Spinning:some fibers, such as wool, hair
         and fluffy plant materials - cotton,
         flax, milkweed, etc. - can be made
         into continuous strands by spinning.
         Spinning involves pulling off small
         bits of the fiber and twisting them
         tightly together.  This can be done
         with a drop spindle or spinning
         wheel as illustrated.

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Twisting:  strips of plant material - leaves,
           grasses, stalks, etc. - and of old
           cloth or plastic can be made thicker
           and stronger by placing a heavy
           weight on one end and turning the
           strip in one direction until it
           is round in circumference.
5.  Plying - Fibers can be made

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    stronger by twisting together
    two or more
    strands.   Spun or
    twisted fibers should
    be twisted in the
    direction opposite
    from which they
    were spun or
    twisted before.
    The same technique
    described for spinning
    or twisting
    can be used.   Two-ply
    means the yarn
    is made of two
    strands, four-ply
    from four, etc.
The potential builder now has some idea of the range of materials
which can be used for weaving and of the steps involved in preparing
them.  It is also important that the builder or user at this point
have an idea of what needs to be woven and of how fast the articles
must be completed.
Key to this knowledge is understanding of the kinds of products which
can be woven out of which fibers and of how much material is necessary
for a given product.
What Products to Weave
Many items can be woven.  Some woven products are not finished on a
loom, but must be sewn or fastened together after the material is
woven on the loom.  Bags, sacks, clothing
are good examples.  <see picture> Other products,

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such as belts, mats and rugs can be
almost completely finished on the
loom.  This is a time factor to be
Regardless of the fiber used or the
final product desired, all weaving
consists of alternating rows of
threads, yarn or strips made from
the raw material.  The vertical
threads are called the warp; the
horizontal threads are called the
weft.  (As indicated previously,
the fibers may be one-, two- or four-ply
depending upon the number of
strands twisted together.  Essentially,
the purpose of all looms,
no matter how complex, is to hold
the warp (fibers) very tightly so
that the weft (fibers) can be pulled across over one strand, under
the next, over and under as shown in the illustration on the previous

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When considering the product to be made it is useful to know that
warp and weft fibers do not have to be the same.
If you find you do not have enough of one fiber, it is possible to
combine two or more in the same cloth.   Always use the stronger for
the warp.  The following chart shows how fibers may be combined in
certain articles.
A selected warp from the chart may be used in combination with one
or more of the wefts listed for the same article.   For example, an
attractive and sturdy bag for carrying water bottles could be made
using a two-ply wool warp and a weft of alternating bands of one-ply
wool, coarse goathair and jute.   A similar bag might have a warp of
heavy cotton and alternating wefts of linen, cotton and jute.  Combinations
of different fibers will produce cloth of varying textures.
In choosing fibers for a specific article consider the textural effect
of the finished cloth:  clothing and linens should use fibers
that are soft to the touch; rugs, sacks, and mats can use the
coarser fibers.
Suggested Warps and Wefts
ARTICLE                  WARP                        WEFT
Bags                     Heavy cotton                Heavy cotton
                         2-4 ply wool                 1-2 ply wool
                         Linen                       Linen
                         Jute                        Coarse goathair
Belts                    Heavy cotton                Cotton
                         2-4 ply wool                1-2 ply wool
                         Linen                       Linen
                         Jute                        Jute
                         Hemp                         Hemp
Blankets                 Heavy cotton                Heavy cotton
                         2-4 ply wool                1-4 ply wool
                         2 ply coarse goathair       soft and coarse goathair
                         Linen                        Linen
Fabric (Heavy--for       Heavy  cotton                Heavy cotton
  jackets, coats          2-4 ply wool                 2-4 ply wool
  capes, pants)           2 ply coarse goathair        2 ply coarse goathair
                         Heavy linen                 Heavy linen
Fabric (Light--for       Medium, heavy cotton        Medium, fine cotton
  dresses, shirts,       Fine 2 ply wool              1 and 2 ply fine wool
  table linens)           Fine, medium linen           Fine linen
ARTICLE                  WARP                        WEFT
Mats                     Heavy cotton                Jute
                         Heavy linen                 Hemp
                         Jute                        Straw
                         Hemp                        Cardboard and many other
                                                       vegetable fibers
Raingear                 Heavy cotton                Loosely spun goathair
                         Heavy linen                 Plastic strips
                         2 ply coarse goathair
Rugs                     Heavy cotton                Heavy cotton
                         2-4 ply wool                1-4 ply wool
                         Heavy linen                 Old cloth cut in strips
                         Jute                        Jute
                                                     Animal Hair
Sacks                    Heavy cotton                Heavy cotton
                         2-4 ply wool                2-4 ply wool
                         Heavy linen                  Heavy linen
                         Jute                        Jute
Sheets                   Medium, heavy cotton        Medium, fine cotton
                         Fine 2 ply wool              Fine 1 and 2 ply wool
                         Medium, heavy linen         Medium, fine linen
Wall Hangings            Cotton                      Any
                         2-4 ply wool
Once there is an idea of what fibers are available and of the ways in
which fibers can be combined to produce a product, it is necessary
to make sure there is an adequate supply of fibers to produce the
thread or yarn for the desired products.   Or to look at the same
point in another way, it is necessary to find out how much yarn or
thread is needed to produce the cloth for a given article.
Here is a rough formula for estimating the amount of thread necessary:
  A.   Estimate how many vertical threads (warp) there will be in
      one square centimeter of cloth.  (The thinner the thread,
      the more there will be.
  B.   Estimate how many horizontal threads (weft) will be in
      the same square centimeter of cloth.
  C.   Determine the width of the finished
      piece of cloth. (in cm.)
  D.   Determine the length of the finished
      piece of cloth. (in cm.)
  (AxC) x D = the length of warp needed
  (BxD) x C = the length of weft needed
  (AxCxD) + (BxDxC) = total thread needed
                      for cloth.

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Remember that this is just an estimate.
It is always a good idea to have extra
warp and weft.  (See pages 127 & 128
for a further discussion of determining
amounts of warp and weft needed.
The Looms
The Simple Frame Loom is the most

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basic design for a loom.  The
frame, a structure of four pieces
of wood, serves to keep the warp
(vertical) threads taut and
straight so that the weft (horizontal)
can pass through more
The loom has a shed stick and
heddle which make the weaving
go faster and more uniformly than
on an even simpler loom where
the weaver must intertwine the warp
and weft with just the fingers.   The frame loom requires less time
in construction and in setting up the warp than the more complex
foot-powered loom, but requires a greater investment in time spent
in the actual weaving of the cloth.
Even though it is slower and simpler than other looms, the frame
loom has certain advantages to be considered.   Only the frame loom
can be made big enough to weave large, one-piece fabrics, rugs and
mats.  Variations of this loom are used, for example, to weave
Persian or Oriental rugs in Afganistan and Iran.   Another advantage
of the frame loom is that it is especially suited to weaving very
coarse fibers and is useful for weaving
heavy mats of straw, grasses or similar
fibers.  The frame loom is also
very suitable for weaving pile or
shag rugs, and tapestries.  The
knotted and tapestry weaves used
for such rugs require slow painstaking
fingerweaving by the weaver
no matter which style loom is used,
and so the foot-powered loom loses
its advantage of greater speed
when this kind of work is being
The Inkle Loom is designed to

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produce very strong continuous
bands or strips of fabric ranging
from about 2 to 28 centimeters.
This loom is popular for weaving
belts and decorative trims.  Although
the inkle loom produces
a limited size and type of material (the strips range in length from
90 to 180 centimeters), it has advantages for some situations and uses.
The Inkle Loom is fairly small; some versions are small enough to
hold in one's lap or work on a table.   This can be an advantage if
working space is limited.  An ingenious system of changing the warp
makes setting up the loom and weaving on it a very rapid process.
Many beautiful and intricate patterns can be developed and carried
out on the loom.  The fabric produced is warp-faced which means that
the weft does not show at all in the finished cloth.   This means that
if fibers for weaving are limited, excellent cloth can be produced by
using good fibers for the warp and poorer ones in the weft.  Even if
one of the other looms is chosen, the Inkle Loom is a good supplementary
loom on which to weave straps and trim for bags, blankets, and
clothing woven on the other looms.
The Foot-Powered Multiple Harness Loom has been used with success in
many places throughout the world.   It incorporates most of the features
necessary for a smooth, consistent production of fabric.  Although
designs for more complex versions exist, and can be found in some of
the sources listed on pages 157-162, the foot-powered loom design presented
here has been chosen as more suitable for construction where
materials, carpentry skills and tools are in limited supply.
Two versions of this loom are presented.   The Pit Loom is built

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permanently into the floor and wall or ceiling of a dwelling.  Because
it uses the structure of the building in this way, it requires
a minimum of wood and is, therefore, very suitable for construction
in areas where wood is expensive or in limited supply.   The design
for this loom is based on models in current use in Greece, the
Balkans, Turkey, and Northern India.
The other version presented is a Free-standing or Self-supporting

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Loom.  The moveable parts of this version are supported by a large,
sturdy wood frame which can be disassembled for storage.  This
loom requires more wood and carpentry skill than all the others presented
in this manual.  However, it does not have to be made of
commercially milled lumber, but can be constructed from unmilled
tree limbs.  Looms of this design are also used in Greece, and the
Balkans, Turkey, Iran, and were once common in northern Europe and
Colonial America.
Both versions, the Pit Loom and the Free-Standing Loom, use the same
moveable parts.  The advantage to this is shown particularly in
cases where it is not possible to construct enough frames for every
family that wishes to weave.   When this is the case, a village may
choose to build a few of either or both types.   Each family then
has a set of moveable parts and the families share use of the several
loom frames.  This allows more people to weave than might otherwise
be possible.
Some other important features of these last two loom designs are
the use of multiple harnesses and footpedals (or treadles).  Multiple
harnesses refer to the combination of pulleys and heddles
which raise and lower the warp.   These looms can use up to eight
harnesses.  This means the loom is smooth and fast operating, and
also that there is a great variety of weaves and patterns possible.
(See Chapter 7.) The use of footpedals frees both hands to deal
with the weft and shuttles.
The warp used on these looms must be very strong and even.  Cotton,
wool, linen, jute and silk have all been used on this type of loom.
(See chart on page 20.)  The weft, however, can be quite variable--from
yarn to rags, raw wool and plant fibers.   And although the
warping process is complex and time consuming, the foot-powered
loom can hold a great quantity of warp, enough for several large
articles, so warping need not be done frequently.
This loom is particularly suited for cottage industries where an
investment in the more complex framework will pay off in the resulting
uniformity and strength of the fabric.
The tables on the following pages bring much of the information which
has been presented together in a form which enables easier comparison.
Table I presents an overview of the looms from the standpoint of
size of finished material, fibers best used, speed, etc.  For example,
the loom builder can see from Table I that if speed is not a consideration
and ease of construction is, the frame loom may be a good choice.
Table II shows some common fibers and their suitability for use in
warp and weft on these looms.   Table III presents some guidelines as
to the products which can be woven on each loom.
Table I--A Comparison of these Looms
                     FRAME LOOM          INKLE LOOM          FOOT-POWERED LOOM
Size Range of      h.30 cm and up     30 to 90 cm          120 to 150 cm
  Loom Frame        w.30 cm and up       6 to 30 cm            90 to 120 cm
Width of             4 cm and up       2 to 28 cm             2 to 100 cm
Finished Cloth
Length of Warp     2 X Loom hgt.            90 cm           200 cm to 3600 cm
Held on Loom
Ease of            Easy, little       Easy, some           Complex, some
Construction       carpentry skill    carpentry             carpentry skill
                   needed             skill helpful        needed
Type of Materials  Wood               Wood                  Wood
needed for         Nails              Dowels                Reed or Bamboo
Construction       Sticks             Screws                Cement, Shovel
                   Cord               Saw, Chisel          Saw, Chisel, Drill
(See specific      Hammer, Drill      Screwdriver          Rope, Cord, String
sections on        Knife              Drill                 Knife
construction       Rocks
for more detail)
Best Fibers        Fine to Coarse     Good quality         Good quality
                   of all kinds       warps - thin to       warps - thin to
                                      thick; Weft does      medium thickness;
                                      not show - can be     All kinds of weft
                                      of varying quality   
Speed              Relatively slow    Fast                  Fast
Handling           Small sizes very   Small, easy to       Large; Pit Loom
                   convenient to      use and store        style is a permanent
                   use and store;                          installation in
                   Large sizes (90cm                       home; Self-supporting
                   and over) harder                        can be disassembled
                   to handle.  Looms                        to store. Both are
                   wider than 120cm,                       easy to use - both
                   may require two                          hands are free to
                   weavers.                                deal with weft.
Table II--Sample Fibers and their Suitability for
          use on these Looms
                     Warp     Weft      Warp     Weft    Warp      Weft
Cotton - fine        no       yes       no       yes     yes       yes
Cotton - heavy       yes      yes       yes      yes     yes       yes
Flax (Linen)
  - long fibers       yes      yes      yes       yes     yes      yes
  - tow               no        yes      no        yes     no       yes
Wool - 1 ply         no       yes       no       yes     no        yes
Wool - 2-4 ply       yes      yes       yes      yes     yes       yes
Jute - loose spun    no       yes       no       yes     no        yes
Jute - 2-4 ply       yes      yes       yes      yes     yes       yes
Angora rabbit        no       yes       yes      yes     yes       yes
Goathair (coarse)
  - loose spun        no        yes      no        yes     no       yes
  - 2 ply             yes       yes      yes       yes     yes      yes
Mohair - loose spun  no       yes       no       yes     no        yes
Silk                 yes      yes      yes       yes     yes      yes
Straw                no       yes       no       yes     no        yes
Plastic strips       no       yes       yes      yes     no        yes
Table III--What to Weave on Which Looms
ARTICLE             FRAME LOOM            INKLE LOOM           FOOT-POWERED LOOM
Bags                yes                  no                    yes
Belts               yes                  yes                   no
Blankets            yes                  no                    yes
Fabric (heavy)      yes                  no                    yes
Fabric (light)      no                   no                    yes
Mats                yes                  no                    no
Rugs                yes                  no                    yes
Sacks               yes                  no                    yes
Sheets              no                   no                    yes
Straps              no                   yes                   no
Towels              yes                  no                    yes
Trim                no                   yes                   no
2  A Weaver's Dictionary
Before continuing with the text familiarize yourself with these words.  Listed
here are some of the words used in this manual which refer to specific tools or
processes used in loom construction or in weaving.   Words referring to parts of
looms have been defined in terms of their function rather than their construction,
since actual construction may vary with the loom type.
Balanced Weave (n) The warp and weft show equally

balweave.gif (437x437)

               in the finished cloth.
Beater (n) A special tool used to push against the

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       finished row of weaving to create a tight,
       firm cloth.  Beaters of different types are
       used depending on the fiber being woven and
       the loom in use.  (See page 113 for a more
       complete description.)
Bobbin (n) A small spool used in some shuttles to hold the thread

bobbin.gif (600x600)

       or yarn being used as weft.  (See page 118 for a more
       complete description.)
Bobbin winder (n) A machine used to wind yarn on to a bobbin.
Beast beam (n) Another name for the cloth beam, or
           the crosspiece of the loom which is
           closest to the weaver during weaving.
           It is usually applied to looms having a
           continuous warp.
Cloth beam (n) The crosspiece of a loom frame, or on
           some looms a separate bar which holds
           the rolled up finished cloth.  See also

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           Breast Beam.
Comb (n) 1.  A part of more complex looms which separates

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     individual warp threads to keep them straight and evenly
     spaced and which also serves as a Beater, pushing
     the newly put in weft against the finished edge of
     the weaving.  It is sometimes called the Reed,
     because it may be constructed of thin slivers of
     reed.   2.  A toothed tool used to straighten and
     untangle fibers before spinning.  (See page 114
     for a further description.)
Comb (v) The process by which fibers are straightened and
     smoothed to prepare them for spinning into yarn.
     (See page 9 for a more detailed description.)
Dents (n) The spaces between the teeth of the Comb.

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Drafting (v) Drawing a diagram of a threading pattern

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         for the warp.  (See page 130)
Fiber (n) The raw material, from a plant, animal or synthetic

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      source, from which thread, yarn or pliable strips are
      made for weaving.
Handloom (n) Any frame which holds the threads taut for

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         human-powered weaving.
Harness (n) A combination of pulleys and heddles which raise

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        and lower selected warp threads.
Heddles (n) A special device, of varying design, which

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        holds selected warp threads in the proper position
        for weaving.
Heddle stick (n) A rod or stick which supports the heddles.
Lease Sticks (n) Two lightweight sticks or poles woven
             into the warp behind the heddles.  They increase
             warp tension and help keep the warp
             straight and evenly spaced.
Knotted weaves (n) A style of weaving in which the weft

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               is tied to the warp with one of several
               special knots.
Macrame (n) A technique for making fringes, braids, laces
        and openwork designs using several types of knots,
        especially the square knot.
Multiple Harness Loom (n) Any loom having more than one set of harnesses.
Overhand knot (n) A simple knot used to join two

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              threads together, and also used to tie
              together the warp left at each end of a
              woven piece.
Pile  (n) A soft, upstanding weft, similar to fur or

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      velvet, produced by knotted weaves that have
      been cut short.  (See page 143)
Plain weave (n) The simpliest of all the weaves.   The weft is

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            woven over and under alternating warps.   Also
            known as Tabby Weave.  (See page 131)
Plying (v) Twisting together two or more strands of fiber or

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       yarn to produce a thicker or stronger thread or yarn.
       (See page 10 for a more detailed description.)
Raddle (n) A special tool used to guide

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       the warp on to the warp beam
       during the warping process.
Selvedges (n) The edges of the woven cloth that are

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          parallel to the warp.
Shag (n) A soft, upstanding weft, similar to pile,

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     except that the weft is left uncut and so has an
     uneven, fluffy appearance.  It is produced by the
     knotted weaves.  (See page 144)
Shed (n) The space created when selected warp threads

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     are raised and lowered through which the weft
     is passed.
Shed stick (n) A stick used on simple looms to create

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           the shed, or space through which the weft
           is passed.
Shuttle (n) A tool of various design that holds the weft
        as it is passed through the shed.  (See page 116 for a more
        complete description.)
Skein (n) A measured length of continuous yarn wound in a loose

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      circle and tied at opposite ends.
Skeiner (n) A tool used to wind yarn into a skein.   (See page 119 for
        more detail.)
Skein winder (n) A tool used to hold a skein of yarn as it is

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             unwound on to a shuttle or bobbin.  Sometimes called
             a Reeler.  (See page 120 for more detail.)
Spindle (n) A quickly rotating stick on which spun yarn is wound.

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        The rotating motion of the spindle twists the fiber into
        thread.   (See page 9 for more detail.)
Spinning (v) Twisting together animal, plant or synthetic

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         fibers to create continuous strands of thread.
         (See page 10 for more detail.)
Spinning wheel (n) A human-powered mechanical device which serves

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               to rotate the spindle for spinning fibers into yarn.
Square knot (n) A strong knot used to join two threads

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            together; also used in Macrame.
Stretcher (n) A metal or wooden bar that holds the

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          edges or selvedges of the woven cloth
          parallel.  (See page 122 for a more detailed
Tapestry weave (n) A variety of plain weave in which

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               several colors are woven into a design or
               picture.  (See page 140)
Taut (adj) A string or thread pulled as tightly as possible.  The tauter (or tighter)
     a thread is pulled the higher the pitch sound will be made when the
     string is plucked with the fingers.
Thread (n) A continuous strand of fiber, in this manual

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       synonymous with yarn.
Threading (v) Drawing the warp through the heddle and teeth of the comb.
Treadles (n) Another name for the footpedals which operate the harnesses on the
         foot-powered loom.
Twill weave (n) A weave produced when a

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            warp or weft thread, or both, go
            over and under more than one
            thread at a time in a regular
            pattern.  (See page 133 for a more complete description.)
Twist (n) The direction in which yarn is turned in spinning or

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      plying.   A Z twist turns clockwise.   An S twist turns
Twisting (v) The process of placing a weight on one end of a
         pliable strip of fiber and turning the strip to produce
         a rounded circumference.  (See page 10 for more detail.)
Warp (n) The group of threads or yarns stretched across the loom

warp.gif (486x486)

     frame, and extending perpendicularly from the weaver's body.
     Also, called Warp Threads.
Warp beam (n) A bar or crosspiece found on most looms

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          which hold the unwoven warp threads.
Warp chain (n) A simple finger crochet stitch used to gather measured warp and
           prevent it from untangling.
Warp-faced (adj) A cloth in which only the warp threads show.

warpface.gif (486x486)

Warping (v) The process of winding the warp on to the loom frame or warp beam
        and threading it through the heddles and comb.
Warping board (n) A special tool used to measure

warboard.gif (486x486)

              out long length of warp in a confined
              area.  (See page 124 for a complete
Weave (n) The pattern or arrangement in which the warp and weft intertwine.  (See
      Chapter 7 for a complete discussion of the different weaves.)
Weaver (n) The person who is operating the loom.
Weaver's knot (n) A special knot used only for joining a

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              broken warp thread.  It does not slip.
Weaving (v) The process of intertwining the warp and weft together to create a
        piece of cloth.
Weft (n) The threads woven in and out of the stretched warp

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     to produce a piece of continuous cloth.  Also referred
     to as weft threads.
Weft-faced (adj) A cloth in which only the weft threads show.

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Yarn (n) A continuous strand of fiber, in this manual

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     synonymous with thread.
3  The Simple
   Frame Loom
The following directions explain
how to build a very basic loom.

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No dimensions are given since there
is no real limit on the size of the
loom.  The smallest practical size,
however, is probably about 30cm in
either direction.  While it is possible
to build looms smaller than 30cm, it is not practical because weaving
narrower than 30cm can be done on the 30cm framework.   Therefore, loom
size can vary from one made small enough to hold in the lap (30 by
60cm is a good size) or large enough to weave a room size rug.  Such
large-size looms must be worked by several weavers at one time.
Materials Needed

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Two (2) sturdy pieces of wood(*) slightly
larger than the desired width of the
finished cloth.  These will be horizontal
pieces of the frame (AB and CD).
Two (2) sturdy pieces of wood(*) slightly
longer than two thirds the desired
length of the finished cloth.   These
will be the vertical pieces (EF and GH).
(*) NOTE:  This wood and any other wood used
           for this loom need not be commercial
           lumber.  Tree limbs with the bark
           removed may be used instead.
Lashing or Nails to join the frame.

nails.gif (317x317)


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One (1) strong stick, the width of
the loom frame.
A length of cotton or synthetic cord
(such as is used in fishnets) about
four (4) times the width of the loom.
Two (2) blocks of wood or two (2) flat
ended stones.  (See page 92, "Heddle
Construction" for proper size.)

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One (1) rounded piece of wood, the width
of the loom.  For looms between 30 and
60cm wide, it should be about 4cm in
diameter; for looms between 60 and
120cm wide, 8cm in diameter; for
looms between 120 and 180cm wide,
12cm in diameter, and so on.   Increase
4cm for every 60cm in width.

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Two (2) lightweight poles, such as reed
or bamboo, the width of the loom.

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Hammer            Drill         Sharp Knife
Sandpaper         Oil for Wood
Before beginning to build, please note the following:
1.  The wood used must be as straight as possible and well-seasoned
    so it will not warp during use.
2.  Smooth and sand the wood so there are no rough spots that will
    catch the thread or yarn.
3.  Oil the wood rather than use paint or varnish.  Oil keeps the
    wood from drying and cracking, and provides a smooth renewable
    finish for the yarn to move against.
4.  The top and bottom crosspieces (called the cloth and warp beam

hcax35.gif (600x600)

    on the foot-powered loom) must be at right angles to the warp
    threads and parallel to each other.  Measure carefully during
    construction to make sure they are parallel.
A.  Prepare wood pieces
    1.   Remove bark if necessary
    2.   Sand and smooth rough places
    3.   Oil wood to prevent splitting
B.  Build the Frame
    1.   Join the four pieces of wood to make a
        rectangular frame.
    2.   The pieces AB and CD (width) should
        overlap the pieces EF and GH (length)
        as shown in the illustration.  AB and

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        CD must be on top of EF and GH.
    3.   Lash or nail the joints together so
        that the pieces do not move and are
        at right angles to each other--as
        shown below left.

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C.  Prepare the Heddle Stick

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    1.   About 2 to 3cm in from each end of the stick cut
        a groove 0.3cm deep completely around the circumference.
D.  Prepare the Lease Sticks

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    1.   About 2cm in from the ends of each stick, drill
        a hole completely through to the other side.  The
        hole should be large enough to put a piece of
        string through.
The Frame is Now Complete
Set Up the Loom for Weaving
NOTE:  Before setting up the warp, you may wish
       to read Chapter 7 , Weaves, Patterns and
       Finishing Touches.  This may help you choose
       a weave and/or a pattern to set up.  Plain
       weave or a basket weave and/or a striped or
       plaid pattern are recommended for your first
       weaving attempt.
A.  Warp the Loom
1.  Gather the warp into a ball, or in the case
    of very stiff fibers, into an easily undone
2.  Tie one end of the warp, in an easily undone
    knot such as a half-hitch, to the far inside
    corner of crosspiece AB (as shown above).

hcax37a.gif (486x486)

3.  Unwind a small length of warp and bring
    it up and around crosspiece CD (as shown at

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4.  Bring the warp down and around AB in the
    same direction you started as illustrated
    at bottom left.
5.  Continue Steps 2 thru 4 until the desired
    number of warp threads is reached (as shown

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    below).   (See page 127, for calculating the
    number of warp threads.)
6.  Untie the beginning end and join with a square knot
    to the other end, so that they stretch diagonally
    across the back of the loom. <see picture>

hcax38a.gif (393x393)

7.  Make sure all the warp threads are stretched as
    taut as possible.
NOTE:  If your pattern calls for several different
       color warp threads, such as in a plaid, start
       warping as indicated in Steps 1 thru 4, and
    a.   When the desired number of the first color
        warp is reached, do not cut off the extra
        warp but set aside the whole ball of remaining
        warp still attached to the loom.
    b.   Pick up a ball or skein of the next color.
    c.   Tie the end of the new color to AB using a
    d.   Wrap the new color around as described in
        Steps 2 thru 4.
    e.   When the desired number of threads have been
        wound, set aside this ball like the first;
        do not cut it off.
    f.   Start the next color in the same way.   If
        you must repeat a color, just pick up the
        original ball of that color, pull it taut
        and continue winding.
    g.   When all the required warp is wound around
        the frame, untie all the beginning ends from
        AB and hold them in one hand.
    h.   Pick up the free ends of all the colors of
        warp and tie both groups together using a
        square knot.  On very wide looms it may be
        necessary to tie the ends in several groups. <see picture>

hcax38b.gif (393x393)

Your Loom is Now Warped
B.  Place the Shed Stick on the Loom
NOTE:  Look at the warped loom frame.  Notice that there
       is one set of warp threads on the top side and
       another set on the bottom.  If you grabbed all
       the warp on one side and pulled on it, the warp
       would slide around the loom, so that the side
       that was in back moves to the front, or
       top.   This is a continuous warp--there
       is no beginning and no end.  In
       the following directions, you
       will be attaching the working
       parts to the loom.  They must be
       attached only to the top side of
the warp, so that the warp will continue to slide around freely.  When the warp is
referred to as being lowered or raised, this refers only to the top warp threads.

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1.  Lay the loom flat on a table or the
2.  Place the shed stick across the middle
    of the loom, at right angles to the
    warp threads.
3.  Weave the stick in and out of the top
    warp threads, going over and under
    every other top warp for Plain Weave.
    If you are using another weave check
    for the proper order. <see picture>

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4.  This shed stick will be left in place during

hcax39b.gif (600x600)

    the entire weaving process, but it should be
    free to slide up and down the loom at right angles
    to the warp.
C.  Place the Lease Sticks on the Loom
    1.   Take one of the lease sticks and place
        it above the shed stick, going over and
        under the same top warp threads as did
        the shed stick.  (Loom should still be lying flat on ground.)
    2.   Push this stick towards the top of the loom or crosspiece CD as shown above.

hcax40a.gif (600x600)

    3.   Take the other stick and place it in the space between the shed stick and
        the other lease stick as shown below.
    4.   Weave the second stick in and out of the top warp, going under the warp
        threads lowered by the shed stick, and over the ones raised by it.   This
        will tighten the warp on the loom.
    5.   Slide the two lease sticks together
        until they are 4 to 8cm apart. <see picture>

hcax40b.gif (600x600)

    6.   Tie them together by putting a string through the
        holes at each end and tying as illustrated (left)

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        using a square knot.  This will keep the sticks together
        and prevent them from slipping sideways.
D.  Make the Heddle
    1.   With the loom still lying
        flat on the ground, lay the
        heddle rod across the lifted
        top warp threads that are
        in front of the shed stick as

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    2.   Move the heddle rod closer to the shed
        stick so that the bottom edge of the heddle
        stick is even with the top edge of the shed
        stick.   Check this by looking at the loom
        from the side.  The heddle rod
        should still be resting directly
        on the raised top warp threads.
    3.   Place a block of wood or a flat

hcax42a.gif (486x486)

        ended stone of the right size at
        each end of the heddle stick so
        that the heddle remains at the
        same height as the shed stick.
        If the loom will be used on the
        lap or in an upright position
        lash the blocks or stones to the
        frame.   Do not permanently fasten
        them, however, as the heddle rod
        must move up and down the loom
        during weaving.  A simple lashing
        that can be untied easily works best.
        On small looms tape can be used.
    4.   Tie the end of the cord
        of string in the groove
        at one end of the heddle

hcax42b.gif (486x486)

    NOTE:   The next Steps 5, 6, 7 and 8
        describe the process
        of attaching the heddle to
        the warp.  Read the directions
        through and study the
        illustrations before beginning.
        Remember that raised and
        lowered warp refers to the top
        warp only.
    5.   Loop the cord once completely around the heddle stick,
        bring the end of the cord down, under the first lowered warp thread and then
        back up between the same two raised warp threads. <see picture>

hcax42c.gif (600x600)

    6.   Continue the cord over the
        heddle stick again, and then
        repeat the process of going
        between the two raised warp
        threads, under a lowered one,
        back up between the same two
        warps and over and around the
        heddle stick.
    7.   As each lowered warp thread is
        looped by the cord, pull the
        lowered warp up to the same
        height as the raised warp
    8.   Repeat the above process until all the lowered top warp threads are raised to
        the same height by the cord.  Tie the end of the cord in the groove at the other
        end of the heddle stick. <see picture>

hcax43.gif (393x600)

E.  Check the Position of Heddle and Shed Stick
    1.  Position the heddle stick relative to the shed stick so that there is enough
        room for your fist behind the heddle rod.
    2.   Press down on the warp behind the heddle with your fist.
    3.   This should create a shed or space in front
        of the heddle and between the top warp threads
        that is large enough to pass your shuttle
    4.   Lift up on the warp threads behind
        the heddle using your fingers and
        palm.   This should also create a
        shed big enough for the shuttle.
    5.   If your shuttle does not
        fit through easily, adjustments
        can be made in the
        size of the shed by moving
        the heddle and shed stick
        either further apart or
        closer together. <see picture>

hcax43a.gif (600x600)

F.  Positioning the Loom

hcax44.gif (600x600)

    1.   Depending on the size and shape of the loom it can be used in one of
        three positions:
    1) Held on the lap
    2) Leaned against a wall or tree, the weaver either sitting on the
       ground or a stool, or if the loom is tall, standing.
    3) Laid flat on the ground.  As the weaving progresses the weaver
       can sit on the finished cloth.
                          You Are Now Ready to Weave
How to Weave on a Frame Loom
You will need a Beater, Shuttle and a Stretcher to help you weave.
Consult Chapter 6, "The Weaver's Tools" for directions for making
these and other helpful tools.
Steps in Weaving
1.  Wrap weft on to shuttle.
2.  Press down on warp behind
    heddle with fist.
3.  Slide shuttle into shed
    created in front of heddle.
4.  Move fist to next section
    of warp, press down and
    slide shuttle along.*
5.  Repeat this process until
    shuttle has reached other
    side of the loom. With
    practice you will develop a
    steady rhythm. <see picture>

hcax45.gif (600x600)

(*) On very large looms you may prefer to use a piece of wood instead
    of your hand.
6.  Pull shuttle out and beat
    weft tightly into place with
    a Beater.
7.  Repeat from Step 3, but start
    at the other side of the loom
    and instead of pressing down
    on the warp, lift it up using
    the fingers and palm.* <see picture>

hcax46a0.gif (600x600)

(*) On very large looms you may prefer to
use a piece of wood instead of your
8.  Beat the weft in after each row.

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    Remember to alternate each row - one
    pushing down, one pulling up.
9.  After you have woven about 10cm of fabric,
    put a Stretcher in position as shown in
    illustration at left.

hcax46d.gif (540x540)

10.  Continue weaving until you reach the
     heddle and can no longer fit the shuttle
     through the shed.
11.  Release the tension on the warp by
     removing the blocks or rocks holding
     the heddle rod.  Holding the
     finished weaving on both sides,
     pull down slowly and steadily so
     that the finished cloth moves down
     and under the bottom crosspiece AB. <see picture>

hcax47a.gif (486x486)

12.  Adjust the position of the heddle,
     shed stick and lease sticks so
     that the shed is the proper size.
13.  Weave as before on the new warp.
14.  When you reach the top beam of the
     loom with the lease sticks and shed
     stick you can advance the warp by
     pulling down on all the warp threads
     so that the finished woven cloth moves under the bottom beam and
     around to the back side of the loom.  The unwoven warp will slide
     over the top beam to the front.  Adjust the diagonal warps so
     they are parallel on the front side.  (They will remain twisted
     on the back) Move the heddle, shed stick and lease sticks into
     proper position and continue weaving. <see picture>

hcax47b.gif (486x486)

15.  When the weaving can be advanced no further, or the cloth
     is the desired length, the weaving is finished.
16.  Cut the warp so that there is an

hcax48a.gif (486x486)

     equal length of extra warp threads
     on both ends of the cloth.  Remove
     from loom and tie ends to prevent
     unraveling <see picture> (See pages 145-155.)

hcax48b.gif (600x600)

Variations of the  Simple Frame Loom
The Pegged Loom:  This loom is suitable for places where the weaver

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                  can work outside or where dwellings have earthen
Materials Needed:  Same as Frame Loom except instead of four crosspieces
                   only two are needed.  These should be
                   slightly longer than the desired width of cloth.
            Prepare the materials as described for the frame loom.
Warp the Loom

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1.  Put the two crosspieces upright in the ground, slightly farther
    apart than the desired length of the weaving.
2.  Place the two lease sticks upright in the ground, between the two
    crosspieces and about 30cm apart.
3.  Tie the end of the warp to one crosspiece.  Wrap the warp around
    the four uprights as shown, until the desired number of warp threads
    are reached.
Each warp thread is tied to the loom separately. <see picture>

hcax50b.gif (256x600)

4.  Untie the first warp end and tie it to the other end.
5.  Taking care to keep the warp in place, pull up the crosspieces
    and lease sticks carefully from the ground and lay them flat
    where the weaving will be done. <see picture>

hcax51.gif (600x600)

6.  Drive stakes on the inside ends of each crosspiece.  Make
    sure the warp is stretched tightly.
    NOTE:   An important difference between the Frame Loom and
           the Pegged Loom is that the Pegged Loom does not
            have a continuous warp.   This means that all the
            warp threads both top and bottom will be picked up
            by the shed stick and heddle as the weaver works.
Place the Shed Stick on the Loom
1.  This is done the same way as the Frame Loom except all the
    warp threads are used.
The Lease Sticks
The sticks are already in position because of the way the loom was
The Heddle
1.  The heddle is put into position the same way as on the Frame
2.  The blocks or stones that support the heddle will rest on the
    ground, since there is no frame.
3.  When looping the lowered warp with the cord, remember to pick
    up all lowered warp threads. <see picture>

hcax52.gif (600x600)

How to Weave on a Pegged Loom
Weaving progresses in much the same way as it does on the Frame
Loom--except that the warp does not move.   Instead, as the cloth
approaches the heddle, the heddle, shed stick and lease sticks are
moved back.  The weaver moves forward by sitting on the finished

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4  The Inkle
The loom shown here produces

hcax55.gif (600x600)

strips of fabric about 1 meter
long by 2 to 18cm wide.  The
size of the loom can be increased.
DIMENSIONS: Height 25cm
            Width 20cm
            Length 45cm
Materials Needed
  One (1) board 3 by 5 by 45cm long
  Two (2) boards 3 by 5 by 25cm long
  Two (2) boards 1 by 5 by 15cm long
  Five (5) dowels or rounded sticks 20cm long, 1.5cm in diameter
   About 5 meters of cotton or synthetic string

hcax56.gif (600x600)

  10 Wood screws
A. Prepare the Wood
   1. Sand and smooth all rough spots
      and edges
   2. Oil wood to prevent splitting
B. Build the Base
   1. With chisel, carve out two rectangular
      slots on the bottom of
      the 3x5x45cm board exactly as

hcax57a.gif (393x393)

B. Build the Base (cont'd.)

hcax57b0.gif (393x393)

   2. Place the two 1x5x15cm boards in the slots so that they are flush and
      project equally on both sides
   3. Screw in place, using three screws
      for each board.
   4. Turn the piece over so that the two projecting boards become the base.
C. Build the Frame
   1. Drill holes A and D in the 3x5x45cm board. Holes should be 1.5cm in diameter
      and spaced as shown.

hcax58a.gif (108x393)

   2. Drill holes B, E, F in one 3x5x25cm board and hole C in the other 3x5x25cm
      board.   Holes should be 1.5cm in diameter and spaced as shown.

hcax58b.gif (317x317)

   3. Screw the 3x5x25cm boards to the side of the 3x5x45cm board as shown.   Use

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      two screws in each.
   4. The base with uprights should now look like this.

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   5. Place dowels in holes.  They should be tight.   Loose dowels can be made

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      tighter by wrapping paper around the ends before putting them in the holes.
      (NOTE: Right-handed weavers should have dowels projecting to right,
      left-handers to left)
D. Make the Heddles
   1.   Place dowels in holes B and F
   2.   Wrap a piece of string from the ball around the dowels
       and tie with a square knot.  Remove the string circle
       from the dowels.  This is the heddle.

hcax60b.gif (486x486)

   3.   Repeat for each heddle needed.   You will need half
       as many heddles (or string circles) as number of
       lengths of warp you will use.  For example 18 heddles
       would be needed to weave a 18cm wide belt made up of
       36 lengths of coarse 2 ply wool.  In general the
       thinner the yarn the more heddles you will need.

hcax60c.gif (393x393)

       If you run out of heddles, do not be concerned as
       more can be made at any time.
Set Up the Loom for Weaving
NOTE: Before warping the loom, choose a weave and/or pattern to set up.  Plain
      weave and a striped pattern are good choices for a first weaving project.
A. Warp the Loom
   1. Note the letters on the accompanying
      drawing of the loom.  Each letter represents

hcax61a0.gif (486x486)

      the hole and the dowel in that
      position.   This will be used to help
      you guide the warp on to the frame.
   2. Move the dowel from hole F (where it
      was for making the heddles) to hole E.
   3. Make one ball or easily undone skein
      of each color warp to be
   4. Tie the end of the first color to
      dowel A, in an easily undone knot
      such as a half-hitch.
   5. Wrap the warp three times around dowel A, clockwise.
   6. Take the warp from dowel A, between dowels B and E, and then over dowel
      C as shown.
   7. Bring yarn down and around dowel D and then back along bottom of dowels
      to A.
   8. Pull warp taut.
   9. Repeat this winding from A, between B and E, over C and down to D
      returning to A with the second warp. <see picture>

hcax62a.gif (486x600)

  10. Bring third warp thread from A up and over B, then over C, down to D and
      return to A.
  11. Lay ball of warp down.

hcax62b.gif (486x600)

  12. Place a heddle (string
      circle) over the third
      warp as illustrated.

hcax63a.gif (600x600)

  13. Bring the two loops of the heddle
      down and over the end of dowel E.
      Slide back toward frame.

hcax63b.gif (600x600)

  14. Pick up ball of warp.  Bring yarn
      from A to C around D and return
      to A.
  15. Repeat Steps 10 through 14
      until warp is desired width.
      Remember to alternate one
      warp with a heddle and
      one without. <see picture>

hcax64a.gif (600x600)

  16. To end: For last two warps wrap the yarn around twice from
      A to C to D to A, without heddles.  Locate the first
      warp end and untie it.  Cut other end from ball.
      Tie in a square knot under dowel A. <see picture>

hcax64b.gif (600x600)

NOTE: If your pattern calls for changing
      the color of the warp,
      procede as follows:
a. Lay aside the first
   color when the warp
   is at dowel A.
b. Tie new color to A
   using half-hitch,
   wind around A three
   times in a clockwise
c. Continue warping as
   before (Steps 10 to
d. When desired number has
   been wound, lay aside color
   and either take up the previous
   one or tie on the
   next new color and
   continue warping as
   Do not cut off any balls
   of warp.
e. To end: Locate all ends
   and untie from A.  Cut
   off balls of warp leaving
   enough to tie a knot.
   Knot the ends together in
   one knot, using the square
   knot. <see picture>

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Your Loom is Now Warped
                        How to Weave on an Inkle Loom
You will need a Beater
and a Shuttle for weaving.
Consult Chapter 6, "The
Weaver's Tools" for directions
for making these
and other helpful tools.

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Steps in Weaving
1.  Wrap weft on shuttle.
2.  Move the dowel in hole E to hole F.  This will pull the warp much
3.  Place hand under
    warp behind dowels
    B and F.   Pull
    up as illustrated.

hcax65b.gif (486x486)

    This creates
    the shed (or
    space) in front
    of dowel F.
4.  Pass shuttle through shed.
5.  Place hand on top of bottom warp
    threads behind B and F, as illustrated.

hcax66a.gif (600x600)

6.  Push down.   Pass shuttle through.

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7.  Beat weft into place with a Beater.
8.  Repeat Steps 3 to 7 until you can no longer fit shuttle
    through shed. <see picture>

hcax67a.gif (600x600)

9.  Advance warp by grasping it in your hands between A and B
    and pulling toward yourself.  The woven cloth will go under
    the loom and the unwoven warp moves forward between A and B. <see picture>

hcax67b.gif (600x600)

10.  Continue weaving until the beginning of the cloth is
     behind dowel B.  Cut warp between A and B at the heddle. <see picture>

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11.  Slide heddles off (they can be reused) and tie end of
     warp to prevent unravelling (See pages 145-155).
5  The Foot-Powered Loom
There are two versions of the Foot-Powered Loom presented here.  Directions
are given first for building the frames for the Pit Loom
(which can be fixed to a wall or ceiling) and the Free-Standing Loom.
Instructions for constructing the moveable parts and for warping and
weaving on the looms follow and are the same for both of these foot-powered
Pit Loom Version <see picture>

hcax69.gif (600x600)

DIMENSIONS: Height: 120cm or height from floor to ceiling
            Width:  100cm
            Length: 200cm
  HELD: 200 to 3600cm
  WEAVING: 2 to 100cm
Materials Needed
For the Frame of both wall-mounted and

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ceiling-mounted types:
Four (4) appropriately shaped forked
tree branches at least 15cm in
diameter at the base, and at
least 60cm in length from the
base to the bottom of the fork.
Commercial lumber, 5x20x75 with
a notch cut out as indicated,

hcax70b.gif (600x600)

may be substituted.
For the Frame of the wall-mounted
type only:
One (1) forked tree branch at least 15cm in diameter at
base and 120cm long.  Commercial lumber 5x20x120cm with a
notch cut out as indicated, may be substituted.
One (1) piece of
wood 115cm long
and 5cm in
Tools and Supplies (for both types)

hcax71.gif (317x317)

Oil for Wood
Wood Preservative
Cement (Optional)
Pit Loom Construction
A.  Find a Site
This loom is permanently built into the house or other building.
Locate so that it will not interfere with other activities and where
the weaver will be comfortable while working.
    1.   Locate the loom in a building with an earthen floor.  After
        the loom is constructed the floor may be cemented over.
    2.   Place the front of the loom in such a way that light from a
        door or window will come from the weaver's side or over his
        or her shoulder.
    3.   Leave clear access to both ends of the loom from at least
        one side.
    4.   Build a loom supported by a wall so that one of the long
        sides of the loom runs along the wall.
    5.   Build a loom supported by the ceiling so that there is a
        beam about midway over the loom from which to hang the
B.  Prepare the Wood
    1.   Remove bark
    2.   Sand and smooth any rough places or edges
    3.   Put wood preservative on the bases of the five forked posts
    4.   Oil the wood to prevent splitting
C.  Erect the Frame

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    1.   Mark off a rectangle one meter wide by two meters long on
        the floor where the loom will be located.
    2.   Dig a hole in each of the four corners.   The hole should be
        about 30cm deep.
    3.   Place the four short forked posts in the holes and fill the
        earth firmly around them.  Clay or mixed clay soils will
        provide the firmest base.  Make sandy soils firmer by adding
        clay or cement.
D.  Build the Pit

hcax72b.gif (353x353)

    1.   Mark off a second rectangle 20cm in from the front of the
        loom, 60cm wide, 80cm long.
    2.   Dig the pit 40 to 50cm deep, about the length of the
        weaver's leg from the back of the knee to the sole of the foot. <see picture>

hcax73a0.gif (353x353)

E.  Attach the Wall-Supports for the Wall-Supported Type
    1.   Dig a hole 30cm deep midway along the outside edge of
        the rectangle.
    2.   Place the end of the 120cm forked post in hole and fill
        as described earlier.
    3.   Place the meter length of wood in the fork and push until
        it touches the wall.  It should be parallel to the ground
        and at right angles with the wall.  Mark the wall where
        it touches.
    4.   Remove pole and make a hole in the wall at that spot, the
        same diameter as the stick.
    5.   Put pole back into the fork and push until it is firmly
        in the wall.
    6.   Seal with plaster or cement.
                   The Wall Supported Frame Is Now Complete <see picture>

hcax74.gif (353x353)

OPTIONAL:  If desired the floor and pit can be coated with a
           smooth layer of cement.
Free-Standing Version <see picture>

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DIMENSIONS:  Height:  130cm              TOOLS AND SUPPLIES:
             Width:    98cm
             Length:  200cm              Drill                 Wood Glue
                                        Saw                   26 Wood Screws
LENGTH OF WARP HELD:  200 to 3600cm     Hammer                Sandpaper
                                        Rasp                  Oil for Wood
WIDTH OF CLOTH WOVEN: 2 to 90cm          Screwdriver
Materials Needed:
For Frame: (Letters are used to identify pieces in text)

hcax76.gif (600x600)

    (A) Four pieces of wood - 110cm long, 6cm in diameter OR 4x6x110
    (B) Four pieces of wood - 132cm long, 8cm in diameter OR 8x8x132
    (C) Two pieces of wood - 5x10x30
    (D) Two pieces of wood - 200cm long, 8cm in diameter OR 6x8x200
    (E) Two pieces of wood - 4x9x30cm
    (F) Two pieces of wood - 200cm long, 6cm in diameter OR 3x6x200
    (G) Two pieces of wood - 3x4x55
    (H) One board - 32x110, thickness ranging from 2 to 5cm
    (J) Two poles or sticks - 110cm long, 2cm in diameter
        Fourteen (14) wooden pegs or dowels 15cm long, 3cm in diameter
Free-Standing Loom Construction
A.  Prepare the Wood
    1.   Remove bark of unmilled tree limbs
    2.   Sand and smooth all rough spots and edges
    3.   Oil wood to prevent splitting
B.  Build the Frame (all dimensions in centimeters)
    1.   Trim both ends of pieces A as illustrated.

hcax77a.gif (486x486)

    2.   Cut four slots in each of the four B pieces using the dimensions
        indicated.  Slots must go completely through piece. <see picture>

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    3.   Shape piece C as illustrated.
        Drill hole as diagramed.  Sand
        inside until smooth. <see picture>

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    4.   Trim ends of piece D as illustrated.   Cut a slot 2x7cm 32cm

hcax78b.gif (486x486)

        in from one end of each piece D.  Slot should be 7cm long.
    5.   Trim bottom ends of E
        as shown. Cut out

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        notch as shown on
        pattern. Sand inside
        until smooth.
    6. Trim ends of each piece F as illustrated.

hcax79b.gif (486x486)

C.  Join the Frame
    1.   Attach each piece C to piece B in the position diagramed
        using two wooden pegs and glue. <see picture>

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    2.   Place the trimmed end of piece E in the slot in piece D.
        The notch must face toward the shorter end as shown.

hcax80b.gif (393x393)

        Glue and peg in place. Make sure it is securely attached:
        this piece undergoes great stress during weaving.
    3.   Place pieces A into the corresponding slots of pieces B. Note the position
        pieces C in illustration glue and screw together.

hcax81.gif (587x587)

    4.   Place the trimmed ends of D and F into the appropriate slots in pieces B.
        Hammer them so that the trimmed end projects as far as possible.
    5.   Drill a hole 2cm in diameter, as close as possible to the
        crosspiece at each point where the trimmed ends project.
    6.   Taper the remaining eight pegs so that they are 3cm at the
        top and 2cm at the bottom.
    7.  Drive the tapered peg into the drilled holes. <see picture>

hcax82a.gif (486x486)

    8.   Place Piece H, the seat, between the end of the loom and
        piece E.
D.  Make and Attach the Rod Holder
    1.   Cut ten semi-circular notches out of the top edge of piece G
        with the dimensions illustrated.

hcax82b.gif (486x486)

    2.   Smooth inside edges of cutouts with rasp and sandpaper.
    3.   Glue and screw pieces G to the top of pieces F in the location

hcax83a0.gif (393x486)

    4.   Place pieces J, the rods, across the top of the loom frame,
        resting in the notches of piece G.
The Moveable Parts for Both Loom Designs
The following parts--the beams, beater, comb and heddles--are designed
to be interchangeable for both foot-powered looms. These parts are
not a permanent part of the loom frame. When necessary they can be
removed--even when there is still cloth being woven--and stored away.
This means that more people can weave than might be possible otherwise;
it is not necessary for each weaver to have his or her own frame. It
is possible to construct a set of moveable parts for each weaver so
that several people can share the same loom frame.
    A. Materials Needed:
       One (1) straight tree limb - 125cm long, 10cm in diameter,
       or milled lumber - 10 x 10 - 125cm.
    B. Construction
       1. Trim the piece of wood to 6cm in diameter for 115cm of
          its length.
       2. Leave the remaining 10cm in diameter, but drill and
          chisel a hole 2cm by 5cm completely through one side.
       3. Drill a similar hole from the other side at right
          angles to the first.
       4. Cut a notch 2cm by 90cm completely through the beam in
          the 6cm diameter section.
The Cloth Beam Is Now Complete <see picture>

hcax84.gif (486x486)

II. The Warp Beam

hcax85a.gif (600x600)

    A. Materials Needed:
       One (1) straight
       tree limb, 125cm
       long, 10cm in
       diameter, or
       milled lumber
    B. Construction
       1. Construction proceeds as described for the cloth beam
          from Step 1 to Step 3.
       2. Cut groove 2 x 90cm only to a depth of 2cm; do not cut
          completely through the beam. <see picture>

hcax85b.gif (600x600)

The Warp Beam Is Now Complete
     A. Materials Needed:
        Two (2) pieces of wood - 5 x 5 x 120cm
        (labelled A).
        Two (2) pieces of wood - 1 x 4 x 120cm
        (labelled B).
        Two (2) pieces of wood - 1 x 2 x 4cm
        (labelled C).
      B. Construction
        1. Drill and chisel a hole 1cm by 4cm
           in each end of both pieces A.
           Smooth the insides of the
        2. Carve a groove 1cm deep the length
           of both pieces A between the two
           holes as shown.

hcax86.gif (600x600)

        3. Nail piece C to the bottom of
           each piece B.
        4. Sand and smooth each piece B.
           Taper the top end to a point,
           to ease assembly.
        5. Slide pieces B into the holes in pieces A so that the
           grooved edges of pieces A face one another.
                          The Beater Is Now Complete <see picture>

hcax870.gif (600x600)

C.  Attach the Beater to the Loom
    Pit Loom
    1.   Ceiling type: suspend
        a rod one (1) meter long
        from 2 hooks in a ceiling
        beam. <see picture>

hcax88a.gif (486x486)

    2.   Wall type: suspend from
        a crosspiece which is
        attached to the wall and
        supported by a fork. <see picture>

hcax88b.gif (486x486)

    3.   Free-Standing:
        Attach to rod (J)
        which rests
        across top of
        frame on
        pieces G. <see picture>

hcax88c.gif (486x486)

        a) Tie arms of beater to rod as illustrated. A leather

hcax88d.gif (486x486)

           shoe sole may be used to create a simple hinge.
        b) The beater should swing freely at the same height as
           the top edge of the cloth beam. <see picture>

hcax89.gif (486x486)

    A. Materials Needed:
       1.   Four (4) pieces of lightweight wood - 0.2 x 0.8 x 100cm.
       2.   Reed - 220 pieces - 0.3 x 0.5 x 12cm for heavy two-ply warp.
                - 380 pieces - 0.15 x 0.5 x 12cm for medium cotton warp.
                - 500 pieces - 0.1 x 0.5 x 12cm for fine cotton warp.
       NOTE: The size and number of reed pieces is determined by
             the diameter of the warp thread used. You may have
             to make adjustments in the above recommendations to
             suit your particular warp.
       3.   Two pieces of wood - 0.5 x 2 x 12cm
       4.   Cotton string, about 20 meters, and the same diameter
           as that of the warp to be used.
       5.   A sharp knife.
    B. Construction
       1.   Take two of the pieces A and one piece C and place
           them together sandwich style as shown.

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       2.   Securely knot the end of
           the cotton string around
           one piece A at the end
           as shown. A small notch
           can be made with the
           knife to prevent slipping
           if necessary.
       3.   Loop in and out of the two ends of
           pieces A in a figure eight about six

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       4.   Bring the string parallel to piece A
           on one side past piece C.
       5.   Holding it in that position with
           one finger, bring the rest of
           the string under and up around the
           top of it.
       6.   When it meets the string being held
           by the finger thread it through the
           loop as shown.

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        7.   Pull down and then up to tighten the
            loop. Knot should be on the side
            of the meter length.
        8.   Repeat Steps 1 through 7 with the
            other two (2) pieces of A, attaching
            them to the bottom of piece C.

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        9.  Place one of the slivers of reed between
            the two sticks. Loop the string
            around as diagramed.
       10.   There should be a space of about 0.1cm
            to 0.2cm created by the string. If
            there is no space, or if the space is
            too small for your warp, either start
            over using the string doubled, or make
            a second loop as done in Step 9.
       11.   Repeat Step 9 at bottom, fastening the
            reed in place at both ends.
       12.   Place another sliver of reed in position. Repeat the knot
            as shown in Steps 9 through 11.

hcax91b.gif (486x486)

       13.   Continue, doing both top and bottom, until you are 3cm from
            the end. You may not be able to fit all the reed because
            of variation in the spacing, or for the same reason you may
            need a few more pieces to complete the length.
       14.   Place the remaining piece C at the end and tie off the string
            as You did in Step 3 with a figure eight, and a secure knot.
            At this point the string should hold all of the reeds
            securely enough so that they do not slip out.
                           The Comb Is Now Complete <see picture>

hcax92a.gif (540x540)

    A. Materials Needed for two (2) Heddles.
       Note: Both looms may use up to
          eight (8) heddles each.
       1. Four (4) rods of strong wood
          2-4cm in diameter, 130cm long.
       2. One (1) kilo of strong cotton
          string divided into four equal
       3. A board similar to the rod in
          width, 15cm high and 60cm long, to serve as a form.
    B. Construction
       1. Cut a groove 3cm from the end of each rod.

hcax92b.gif (353x353)

    2.   Cut a piece of string 140cm
        long and tie it in the notch
        at one end.
    3.   Tie one end of a ball of
        string to the same notch.
    4.   Place the rod on top of the
    5.   Hold the shorter string taut
        along the top length of the
        rod.   (This string is shown as
        black in the illustrations).

hcax93a.gif (437x437)

    6.   Steps a thru f show the "looping" process.  Pass the
        ball of string under the board as shown in Step f.

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        Every ten loops pass the ball between the rod and
        the board to fasten it to the rod.
        NOTE: The total number of loops made should be even
              and they should be double the number of spaces
              in your comb.
    7.   As the loops are made they are slipped off the board and
        the board is moved forward.
    8.   When the desired number of loops is reached, tie both
        strings in the groove at the other end. <see picture>

hcax94a.gif (437x437)

    9.   Using the second rod, repeat
        the above except this time
        when each loop is passed
        under the board pick up a
        loop from the first rod
        and pass the ball of
        string through that as
   10.   When all the loops are
        picked up, one heddle is
        complete.   Tie off in
        the grooved end.
   11.   Repeat all of the above
        directions for the second
        heddle. <see picture>

hcax94b.gif (486x486)

The Heddles Are Now Complete

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VI.  Machinery for the Harnesses
     A.   Materials Needed:

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         1.   Two (2) small
         2.   Light rope, 1cm
             in diameter.
         3.   Four (4) hooks,
             either of heavy
             wire or appropriately
             shaped twigs.
         4.   Two (2) pieces of wood about 3cm x 8cm x
         5.   Heavy rope, 2cm in diameter.
         6.   A piece of pipe, metal tubing or strong
             wood 30cm long, and about 1.5 - 2cm in
     B. Foot Pedal Construction
   1.   Drill holes 2cm in
       diameter in the
       top of the two
       wooden pieces as

hcax96c.gif (486x486)

   2.   Drill holes 2cm
       in diameter in
       the side of the
       same wooden pieces
       as shown.
C. Machinery Set Up
   1.   Tie a loop of light rope to each end of the heddles about
       10cm in from the end on the top rod.
   2.   Tie a similar loop in the center of the heddle from the
       bottom rod.
   3.   Hang pulleys from the same rod the beater is attached to
       on the pit loom and to a separate rod laid across pieces
       N on the self-supporting loom.
   4.   Cut two pieces of light rope, Tie one end to
       a hook, thread it over the pulley wheel and
       tie the other end to another hook.
   5.   Hang heddles by loop from the hooks.   <see picture> They

hcax97a.gif (486x486)

       should hang evenly and at the same height
       or slightly higher than the beater and the
       comb.   Adjust lengths of ropes if necessary. <see picture>

hcax97b.gif (600x600)

   6.   Put a secure knot in the ends of
       two short pieces of heavy rope.
       Thread them through holes in
       drilled blocks of wood so that
       the knots are on the bottom.
   7. Thread metal pipe, tube or stick through holes in
      the side of wooden blocks.
   8. Tie two pieces of rope to the ends of the pipe.
   9. Tie rope at front of the blocks to the loop in the
      bottom of the heddles.
  10. Tie rope at back of blocks to the cloth beam supports.
The Harness Is Now Functional
NOTE: During warping, the

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      heddles are removed
      from the machinery
      for threading.

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hcax98b.gif (600x600)

Warp the Foot-Powered Loom
NOTE:  Before warping the loom, read Chapter 7: Weaves Patterns and Finishing
        Touches for help with selecting a weave and/or pattern for a first project.
       Plain weave, basket weave and/or a striped or plaid pattern are
       recommended for the first weaving.  It is also necessary to have the
       raddle (p. 115) ready before beginning.
I. Measuring the Warp (See also Warping Board pp. 31 & 124.)
   A. Equipment Needed:
      Four wooden or metal stakes about 30cm high
   B. Measuring Procedure:
      1.   Place two stakes in the ground: the total distance apart
          desired for the piece of weaving (2 to 36 meters).
      2.   Place two more stakes about 30cm inside the two stakes.
      3.   Tie the beginning of the warp (wound in a ball) to one
          of the outer stakes.  Walk between the stakes wrapping
          the warp in the pattern illustrated.

hcax99a.gif (437x437)

      4.   Count each length.   It helps to tie warp threads in
          groups of tens when working with a large number of
          threads.  When desired number is reached, untie the
          beginning of the warp and tie it to the end.
      5.   Tie a string around the warp where it crosses between
          the stakes. <see picture>

hcax99b.gif (486x486)

      6.   Ending: when the desired number of warp threads have
          been counted, untie the beginning end and tie in a
          weaver's knot to the other end.
      7.   Changing color: Warp colors can be changed as was
          cribed for the frame loom (page 38, Steps a-h).
C. Gather up Warp in a Warp Chain.
   1. Slide the loop off at one end of the stakes.
   2. Open the loop and put your hand through.  Draw up a
      section of warp and bring it through the first loop
      to make a second loop. <see picture>

hcax100.gif (600x600)

   3. Continue until end is reached.  Pull the end through
      and pull snugly, but not tight.
   4. To undo: Take the end out of the last loop and pull;
      chain will release.
II. Wind the Warp
    A. Equipment Needed:
       One (1) stick cut to fit the groove in the warp beam.
       One (1) stick that fits the hole in the end of the warp beam.
       Several thin sticks - 90cm long.
    B. Procedure:
       1.   Place one of the open loops over
           the end of the warp beam.  Slide
           to center.
       2.   Place warp beam on either of the
           beam supports of the loom.  It
           does not matter which support or
           which direction the warp is going
           as long as it can be extended full
           length.  This, of course, will depend
           on the location of the loom. <see picture>

hcaxa101.gif (486x486)

(If it is impossible to use the loom supports because of inadequate space, you can
set up two forked posts similar to the beam supports on the pit loom (see page 97)
in an open space.  These can then be left in place permanently for future warping.
       3.   Prevent the warp from slipping as it is wound by:
           a) Cutting a stick to fit into the groove in the warp beam.
           b) Pushing the stick against the warp and into the groove.
           c) Turning the warp beam in a clockwise direction so that the stick
              is locked into place by the covering warp. <see picture>

hcaxb101.gif (600x600)

       4. The following steps require two or three people:
           a) One person inserts a stick in the hole in the
              warp beam and slowly turns the beam in a clockwise
              direction winding on the warp.  Every turn or so,
              he or she inserts a thin stick between the layers
              of the warp.
           b) Another person holds the end of the warp extended
              at full length, keeping it taut and straight as
              it is wound.
           c) A third person opens the raddle and lays groups of
              warp threads between the nails.  The raddle is
              closed and tied shut.  Then, holding the raddle,
              he or she guides the warp as it is wound, making
              sure it is evenly spread.  If no other person is
              available to assist, the raddle can be tied to
              the other beam. <see picture>

hcax102.gif (600x600)

       5. Place the lease sticks (two (2), one meter-lengths of
          reed or bamboo) in the positions shown just before
          winding the end of the warp on to the beam.  Tie
          together as shown.

hcax103.gif (600x600)

III. Thread the Heddles and Comb
     The following process requires two people if it is to be done
     quickly and efficiently.  (It is possible for one person to
     perform the task if he or she threads small sections of the
     warp - - first through the heddle and, then, reversing his or
     her position, threading the warp through the comb.)
     A.   Equipment Needed:
         Small size crochet hook or bent piece of wire or sharp knife.
     B.   Threading Procedure:
         1. Two people sit facing one another with the two heddles
            (removed from the loom) and with the comb suspended
            between them from the backs of two chairs or from the
            beam supports. <see pictures>

hcax104.gif (600x600)

         2. One person holds the warp
            beam, warp and lease sticks
            in his or her lap, and faces
            the heddles.  The other
            person faces the comb.
         3. Cut the end loop of the warp after
            sliding the two lease sticks back to
            free about 30cm of warp.
        4. Take one piece of warp at a time
           in order check order against
           lease sticks) and thread it
           through the heddles following
           the steps below:

hcax1050.gif (600x600)

       5. In Plain Weave, every other
          thread is inserted through a
          twist in the near heddle.  The
          alternate thread is inserted in
          a twist in the far heddle.  (For other weaves, and in cases where
          more than two (2) heddles will be used, see Chapter 7).
       6. Insert (second person) a crochet hook, needle or sharp knife edge
          through one of the dents of the comb after the thread is inserted. <see picture>

hcax106.gif (600x600)

          Loop the thread over and pull
          it through.  Take care not to
          miss any threads or spaces,
          nor should threads cross.
       7. Tie every group of ten
          threads in an overhand
          knot to prevent them from
          slipping out of the comb.
       8. Put two warp threads
          through the same heddle
          at both ends.
IV.  Place the Warp on the Loom
     1.   Place the warp beam on its supports
         so that the warp extends out to the
         cloth beam, and unrolls from the top
         of the beam. <see picture>

hcaxa107.gif (437x437)

     2.   Use a pole such as a broomstick
         to wedge between the hole in the
         warp beam and the floor, to prevent
        it from turning.
     3.   Replace the heddles on the pulleys
         and attach the footpedals (see pages
         96 & 97).
     4.   Open beater and insert the comb in the
         grooves.  Close it snugly so that the comb is firmly caught
         and does not bend or move when the warp is pulled.
     5.   Place the cloth beam in position.   Find a stick that fits
         the hole in the beam.  Drill a small hole in the end of
         it and insert a strong piece of wood.  Tie the beam in
         position as shown above.

hcaxb107.gif (486x486)

 V.   Attach the Warp to the Cloth Beam
     1.   Tie a piece of cord to one end of the
         beam.   Wrap it loosely around the
         beam twenty to thirty times.  Tie off.

hcaxc107.gif (486x486)

     2.   Sit down at the loom.   Tie each group of ten (10) warp threads
         to the looped cord on the beam (do not undo the knots made
         during threading). <see picture> Use the following knot to tie them.

hcaa1080.gif (486x486)

     3.   Tighten the tension on the warp when all have been tied on
         by removing the cloth beam counter clockwise and tying in
     4.   Test the tension of the warp by running your finger across
          the warp threads.
     5.   If necessary, release the tension on the warp slightly and
         retie any loose bunches of warp.
     6.   Tighten the warp as much as possible.
    You Are Now Ready to Weave
How to Weave on a Foot Powered Loom
You will need a shuttle and stretcher for weaving.   Consult Chapter 6
The Weaver's Tools, for directions for making these and other helpful
Steps in Weaving on Both Looms
1.  To start or end weft:  take end and bring
    through several opposing warps.  After
    weaving several more rows cut off end
    even with weaving. <see picture>

hcaxa109.gif (486x486)

2.  Wrap weft on the shuttle.
3.  Depress right footpedal and feed weft through shed. <see picture>

hcaxb109.gif (600x600)

4.  Place weft at oblique angle
    to the warp. <see picture>

hcaxa110.gif (600x600)

5.  Depress left footpedal.
6.  Push weft firmly into place
    using the beater. (below)

hcaxb110.gif (600x600)

7.  Feed weft through from opposite side with left foot still depressed.
8.  Depress right footpedal.  Beat weft into place.
9.  Release tension on warp and adjust. <see picture>

hcaxc110.gif (600x600)

10.  Repeat steps 2 to 7 until there is about 10cm of woven fabric.
11.  Put the stretcher into place and
     continue weaving. <see picture>

hcaxa111.gif (600x600)

12.  Release the warp beam and cloth beams
     and turn them forward one hole when
     there is no more space between the
     fabric and the beater.  Refasten and
     continue weaving.
13.  Untie the warp from the beam and thread the
     cloth through the slot in the beam as shown

hcaxb111.gif (437x437)

     after 1/2 meter of cloth or more has been
Cross section of
cloth beam showing
cloth wrapped around.
14.  As the warp shifts to the cloth beam on the free-standing loom,
     it may be necessary to balance the weight of the weaver and the
     cloth by placing a rock on a board at the back of the loom. <see picture>

hcaxc111.gif (600x600)

6  The Weaver's Tools
Each loom requires certain tools to help with the process of weaving.
The following chart lists these tools as well as which looms require
them.  Instructions for making the tools follow.
                          TOOLS NEEDED FOR EACH LOOM
TOOL               FRAME LOOM           INKLE LOOM           FOOT-POWERED LOOM
Beater              yes                  yes                      no
Raddle              no                   no                       yes
  carpet             yes                   yes                      yes
  boat               optional              no                       optional
Skeiner             yes                  yes                      yes
Skein Winder        optional              optional                 optional
Stretcher           yes                  no                       yes
Warping Board       no                   no                       optional
The Beater
While it is extremely important that
the warp be kept taut during the
weaving process, it is equally important
that the weft threads be put
in as close together as possible.
In general, the more threads per
centimeter of cloth, the more durable
and long wearing the fabric
will be.
A "beater" is used to push the weft

hcax113.gif (486x486)

threads together.  There is no set
design for a beater for simple looms.   It is usually a toothed tool
which can be slipped between the warp threads and beaten against
the weft.  It should have some weight behind it, but at the same
time not be so heavy as to tire the weaver's hand.
The frame loom and the inkle loom both require similar beaters.
Beaters can be constructed specifically for the looms, or they
can be made from objects found about the home.
A.  Improvised Beaters
    1.   Forks:  metal table forks make

hcaxa114.gif (230x353)

        suitable beaters, especially when
        used with a medium warp on a fairly
        narrow piece of weaving.
    2.   Metal Hair Comb:   a metal toothed

hcaxc114.gif (317x600)

        hair comb can be used for weavings
        having rather fine warps.
B.  Constructed Beaters.
    1.   Nail and Wood Beater:   drive a

hcaxd114.gif (437x437)

        row of nails completely through
        a length of wood about 30cm long.
        The heads of the nails should
        project evenly.  Sand and smooth
        the wood to make it easy on the
    2.   Carved Wooden Beater:   from a piece
        of well-seasoned, fine-grained
        wood, carve a toothed fork as

hcaxe114.gif (353x353)

    3.   Iron:  if iron-working is done in
        your area, have a blacksmith fashion
        a beater as illustrated.

hcaxb114.gif (393x393)

The Raddle
The  "raddle" is used to guide the warp evenly onto the warp beam
during the warping of the foot-powered loom.
         Materials Needed:
         2 pieces of wood about 3 x 3 x 100cm
         1.   Hammer nails 5cm apart, in an even row into one of

hcaxa115.gif (437x437)

             the pieces of wood.
         2.   Chisel a groove in the other pieces about 1/3 the
             depth of the projecting nail heads.
         3.   Grooved piece should fit snuggly over the nail heads.
         1.   Place the piece with the nails upright under the warp.
         2.   Put even amounts of warp in the spaces between the
         3.   Place grooved piece
             on top.
         4.   Tie pieces together
             with string or strips
             of cloth. <see picture>

hcaxb115.gif (486x486)

The Shuttle
A shuttle is often used to thread the weft through
the warp.  Stiff fibers, such as cane,

hcaxa116.gif (486x486)

reed, straw and leaves, can probably
be pushed through the shed by hand
and no shuttle is needed.  Coarse,
but flexible fibers such as goathair,
jute, old rags and plastic strips as
well as some finer threads can be put
into place using a "Carpet Shuttle."

hcaxb116.gif (393x393)

Very fine wefts such as linen, cotton
and silk can be put into place using
a "boat shuttle."
The Carpet Shuttle
   Materials Needed:
  Flat pieces of wood 60cm long or smaller if your loom is smaller
  (You will probably require one for each color weft).
  Oil for wood
  1.   Sand the wood as smooth as possible.
  2.   Cut a notch at each end of the stick as shown.
  3.   In the notch at one end, make a small cut
  to hold the end of the weft. <see picture>

hcaxc116.gif (393x393)

  4.   Oil wood to prevent splitting.
  5.   Wrap weft around shuttle as shown.

hcaxa117.gif (486x486)

The Boat Shuttle
  Materials Needed:
  One piece of light, easily carved wood about 5 x 8 x 20cm
  Carving knife
  Small, hollow tubes 7cm long such as bamboo or plastic tubing.
  Piece of wire 15cm long
   1.   Shape the wood so that the two
       ends come to a graceful
       taper, like the bow of a
       boat. <see picture>

hcaxb117.gif (486x486)

   2.   Sand smooth.
   3.   Carve out a retangular
       hole in the center, 4x8cm.
   4.   Using the knife point, drill
       a small hole in the front
       side opening.
  5.   Dig a groove about 5cm long at
      back opening.
  1.   Wind yarn on to the tube - or bobbin.

hcaxa118.gif (486x486)

  2.   Slide the wire through the tube.
  3.   Place bobbin in hole in shuttle, putting
      one end of the wire in the hole and
      the other in the groove. <see picture>

hcab1180.gif (587x587)

The Skeiner
In almost all weaving, there are times when yarn has to be measured.
The "skeiner" will help you measure continuous strands of yarn and
also make skeins to prevent the thread from tangling.
         Materials Needed:

hcaxa119.gif (486x486)

         A tree branch 60cm long which has two
         smaller branches projecting from the
         same side which are at least 40cm
         1.   Trim off any other branches and
             cut the two selected ones so that
             they project 5 to 10cm.
         2.   Remove bark and sand and oil
         1.   Yarn is wound onto the skeiner,
             looping it around the two projecting
             branches.  If necessary,
             the thumb holds bottom Toops in
             place. <see picture>

hcaxb119.gif (540x540)

         2.   To determine the length of yarn:
             a.   Measure the distance between the two projecting
             b.   As you wind the yarn count the number of
                 turns you make (T).
             c.   Multiply the number of turns by the distance
                 (D) between the two projections.
                     T x D = length of yarn
             3.   Before removing a completed
                 skein, tie at top and bottom
                 as shown.

hcaxc119.gif (486x486)

The Skein Winder
The "skein winder" is used to hold and turn skeins of yarn as they are
unwound either into balls for warping, or onto shuttles and bobbins.
The skein is opened up and placed over the top, so that there is no
chance of it tangling, and then rotated so that the weaver can stay
seated at the loom as the yarn is unwound.
Although it is not an essential tool, it is an extremely useful one,
and well worth the effort of construction.   It will save many hours of
untangling skeins of yarn.
         Materials Needed:
         Two (2) pieces of wood (A) 1 x 4 x 30cm
         Two (2) pieces of wood (B) 1 x 4 x 50cm
         Four (4) pieces of wood (C) 1 x 4 x 60cm
         One (1) length of pipe 2-3cm in diameter, 120cm long
         One (1) old bucket or gallon can with lid removed
         Cement, saw, hammer, drill, nails
         1.   Place pipe in center of bucket or can.
             Make sure it is perpendicular. <see picture>

hcaxc120.gif (486x486)

         2.   Pour cement around pipe until container
             is full.  Let set.
         3.   Take pieces of wood (A).   Drill
             a hole in the center of one
             piece, the diameter of the pipe. <see picture>

hcaxa120.gif (353x353)

         4.   Overlap both pieces (A) at right
             angles so that they form an X.
             Nail together. <see picture>

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5.  Take pieces of wood (B).  Drill a hole
    through the midpoints of both pieces.  The
    hole should be slightly larger than the
    diameter of the pipe. <see picture>

hcaxa121.gif (353x353)

6.  Overlap both pieces (B) at right angles
    so that the holes line up and the pieces
    form an X.   Nail together. <see picture>

hcaxb121.gif (353x353)

7.  Nail pieces (C) from the ends of cross-pieces
    (A) to the ends of the crosspieces
    (B) as shown.

hcaxc121.gif (437x437)

8.  When cement is set, slide
    frame over pipe.  Pipe should

hcaxd121.gif (486x486)

    pass through bottom hole and
    rest in the top hole.  The
    wood frame should spin
Open the skein into a circular shape and
drop over the frame.  Untie the strings
holding the skein together and find the
outside end.  Pull on the end to rotate
the winder.
The Stretcher
You may add the weft in one of two ways.
(1) Each length of weft can be a single strip
slightly longer than the width of the loom.
Each length is put in individually and the
ends hang freely on each side and later become
a fringe on the finished piece.   This technique

hcaxa122.gif (437x437)

is often used with mats.  (2) Or you can
wrap a much longer weft on a shuttle and pass
it through the shed.  When it reaches the
other side, the shed is changed and the
shuttle is turned and put through the shed
in the opposite direction.  This technique
produces a finished edge called the Selvedge,

hcaxc122.gif (437x437)

which makes the cloth much stronger.   However,
there is a tendency for the edges of the cloth
to pull in slightly as the weaving progresses.
You can make a "stretcher,"
described below, to keep

hcaxb122.gif (437x437)

the edges parallel.
A - Cloth with non-parallel selvedges.
B - Cloth with parallel selvedges.
    Materials Needed:
    Two (2) very strong straight pieces of wood of the same diameter.
    Together, their combined length should be slightly wider than
    the weaving.
    Piece of string or leather.
    Sandpaper, knife.
    1.   Sand both pieces of wood.
    2.   Cut three deep teeth in one end of each piece of wood. <see picture>

hcaxa123.gif (353x353)

    1.   After weaving progresses about 10cm from the beginning,
        hook the teeth of each stick into the selvedge or end
        warp threads just below the last row of weft.
    2.   Push downward on both sticks until the edges are parallel.

hcaxb123.gif (486x486)

    3.   Bind the sticks
        together where they
        overlap, using the
        string or leather. <see picture>

hcaxc123.gif (486x486)

    4.   Where the two ends meet, make a mark with a pencil or
        a light scratch in the wood to facilitate resetting
        the stretcher when it must be moved up. <see picture>

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    5.   After every 5cm of weaving, move
        the stretcher up to the new edge
        of the weaving. <see picture>

hcaxf123.gif (486x486)

NOTE:  A similar stretcher
       can be made of iron
       by an iron worker.
       Design is shown in
       the illustration.

hcaxe123.gif (486x486)

The Warping Board for a
Foot-Powered Loom
If it is inconvenient because of climate, or space to measure the
warp outside on the ground (as described on page 99), the following
tool can be used.  It may be made of wood or built directly into
the wall of a house.
         Materials Needed:
             Two (2) pieces of wood 0.5 x 4 x 60cm (A).
             Two (2) pieces of wood 0.5 x 4 x 100cm (B).
             Eighteen (18) dowels or rounded pieces of wood,
             2cm in diameter by 15cm long.
             Nails or screws or four (4) bolts and wing nuts
             if the warping board will be taken apart for
             Drill, hammer, sandpaper.
       1.   Nail, screw or bolt pieces (A) and (B) together
           to make a rectangle that measures about 50 x 90cm
           on the inside.
       2.   Drill holes in the positions shown on the illustration.

hcaxa124.gif (486x486)

       3.   Sand and smooth all wood.
       4.   Place the dowels in the drilled holes(*)
(*) Note:  If the warping "board" is built into a wall, all that is
           necessary is to put dowels or sticks into the wall in the
           pattern shown.
1.  Determine the length the warp will be.
2.  Measure a piece of yarn or string the length of
    the warp.
3.  Wrap it around the posts on the board to determine
    how many posts will be used.  Follow the pattern
    of wrapping shown in the diagram.
4.  Tie warp end to first post A.  Follow pattern set
    by string.   When you reach last post reverse and
    retrace your steps back to A.
5.  Continue wrapping, counting each length.  Tie into
    bundles of ten (10) or twenty (20), to prevent losing
6.  When done, tie the end of the warp to the beginning
    of the warp.
7.  Tie a piece of contrasting string where the warp
    crosses between A and B and R and Q.
8.  Remove from board by chaining as described on pages
7  Weaves, Patterns and
   Finishing Touches
Planning the Fabric
Before warping the loom, it is necessary to decide:
   -- Width
   -- Length
   -- Amount of warp and weft needed
   -- Weave to be used
   -- Pattern
   -- Finishing needed or desired
Determining Length and Width
      Cloth Width:  The width of the loom frame limits the maximum
      width of the cloth, but the same loom can be used to make
      narrower cloth.  It is wise to use an uneven number of warp
      threads; in this way both edge warps are in the same position
      and patterns can be more easily centered.
      Cloth Length:  The ranges of warp lengths for each loom are
      listed on page 19.  The cloth cannot be the maximum length
      because it is necessary to leave some warp at the beginning
      and end for fringe or ending off.  However, weaving several
      articles on the same warp is possible, if you make articles
      less than the maximum length; for example, on a warp of
      3,000cm, you could weave ten rugs 270cm long with a 10cm
      fringe at each end.
Determining Amount of Warp and Weft
It is not easy to determine the exact quantity of thread needed for
weaving a particular article.   A formula for making rough estimates
of the warp and weft needed was given on page 119.   The formula is
summarized below:
    Number of vertical threads per [cm.sup.2] x width x length = warp needed
    Number of horizontal threads per [cm.sup.2] x width x length = weft needed
There are several adjustments which can be used to get a more accurate
result from this formula.
      Fringe Allowance:  Make an allowance for fringe at both
      ends of each article woven.  Even if the edge will be hemmed,
       leave at least 10cm for tying off the warp before hemming.
      Very elaborate fringes will, of course, require much more
      than 10cm of warp at each end.
      Fiber Allowance:  If using more than one type of fiber for
      the weft, adjust the amount of thread needed to take into
      account the different diameters of weft being used:
      1.   Determine the number of horizontal threads per cm for each fiber.
      2.   Determine the length of cloth containing each fiber.
      3.   Multiply the result of step 1 by the result of step 2 for each fiber.
      4.   Multiply the result of step 3 by the total width of the cloth. <see picture>

hcaxa128.gif (486x486)

      EXAMPLE:   The total length of this piece of fabric is
                        30cm; the width is 9cm.  The warp is a 2 ply
                        wool, the weft a 2 ply wool with three stripes
                        each of heavy goathair 3cm wide.  The number
                        of threads per cm2 for the wool is 3 and for
                        the goathair 2.
      1.   Wool threads per cm = 3
          Goathair threads per cm = 2
      2.   Length of wool weft = 30 - 9 = 21
          Length of goathair weft = 3 x 3 = 9
      3.   Number of wool threads needed = 3 x 21 = 63
          Number of goathair threads needed = 2 x 9 = 18
      4.   Total length of wool needed = 63 x 9 = 577cm
          Total length of goathair needed = 18 x 9 = 162cm
Keeping Records
It is hard to remember all the different threadings, yarns, patterns,
etc. that are used in weaving a piece of cloth.   Keep a record (as
illustrated) of this information on a card or in a notebook.  Then
it will be possible to make the same cloth again without doing the
calculations over again each time.   If there is a small piece of
the fabric left, attach that to the record as well.
                        SAMPLE WEAVING RECORD
                     Dates Woven:
                        type -
                        # per cm -
                        total length -
                        type -
                        # per cm -
                        total length -
Types of Weaves
Interesting textural patterns can be created by varying the ways in
which the warp and weft interlock.   In this section a number of
different weaves will be described.   The following chart lists these
weaves and the looms for which they are best suited.
          Loom                             Weaves
      Frame Loom                           Plain weave
                                          Basket weave
                                          Rib weave
      Inkle Loom                           Plain weave
                                          Basket weave
                                          Rib weave
      Foot-Powered Loom                   Plain weave
                                          Basket weave
                                          Rib weave
                                          Twill weave
                                          Herringbone twills
                                          Double weave
Drafting Threading Patterns
After chosing a weave or pattern, the warp is threaded
through the heddles in the proper order to produce that
weave.  The diagram shows the order in which the warp

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will be threaded.  This order, or pattern, is called the
draft of the weave or pattern.
The long rectangle or bar represents the heddle rod.   Each
square represents one heddle eye or hole.   A black square
means a warp thread passes through that hole.   The white
squares represent a thread that does not pass through the
In all drafts two squares at each end will either be black
or white.  This is because two warps should be threaded
together at each end to strengthen the selvedge and to make
the cloth longer wearing.
The pattern is indicated between the double selvedge squares.
Some patterns will require an even number of warp threads;
others require an odd number of warps.
The Inkle and Frame looms have only one heddle rod - so only
one draft will be shown.
The foot-powered loom, on the other hand, has two or more
heddle rods.  Every thread must pass through one, and only
one, heddle.  Drafts for this loom will show two or more

hcaxa131.gif (540x540)

bars.  The lowest bar on the page represents the rod closest
to the weaver.  The numbers represent the foot pedals running
left to right (make sure the foot pedals are tied in this
Plain Weave

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In plain weave the weft crosses over and under alternate warp
Drafts of Threading for Plain Weave

hcaxa130.gif (393x393)

Basket Weave

hcaxc132.gif (486x486)

In basket weave two or more adjacent
warp threads are lifted together
and two or more weft threads are
inserted together, in other words,
2 warp/2 weft or 4 warp/2 weft.
Drafts of Threading for Basket Weave

hcax132b.gif (486x486)

Rib Weave

hcaxa133.gif (486x486)

In rib weave, different numbers of
warp are lifted alternately; for
example 3 warp/1 warp or 4 warp/2
Drafts of Threading for Rib Weave

hcaxb133.gif (486x486)

Twill Weave (Foot-Powered Loom only)
Twill can only be woven on a four-heddle loom.   Twills are very sturdy
and durable and this weave is suitable for heavy woolen fabric used
in pants, jackets and suits.
Draft of Threading for Basic Twill

hcaxd133.gif (486x486)

Draft of Threading for Herringbone Twill

hcaa1340.gif (486x486)

Variation of Twill Weaves

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After a twill is threaded, different twill weaves can be created by
pressing the foot pedals in a different order.   For example, if the
loom is threaded in the herringbone twill above, a diamond twill can
be produced by pressing the foot pedals in the following order:
A basic twill threading treadled
in a different order might
produce the following:
1/3 Broken Twill:

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      1 2 4 3 1 2 4 3, etc.
Two foot pedals can be pressed
together. For example: (1-2)
(2-3) (3-4) (4-1) will produce
a 2/2 twill.

hcaxb135.gif (486x486)

Color Pattern Weaves
Use different colored warps and/or wefts in the same article to
make attractive patterns. Because it is important to know what
kind of facing--warp or weft--the finished cloth will have when
planning a color pattern, facings are discussed first. If this
step is overlooked it is possible that warp or weft threads may
hide some of the pattern.
Balanced weave: Both the warp and

hcaxa136.gif (486x486)

weft show equally: most looms
produce this kind of weave when
the warp and the weft are the
same diameter and evenly spaced
Warp-faced weave: Only the warp shows

hcaxb136.gif (393x393)

on the finished cloth: usually produced
when the warp is thicker than
the weft, or if the weft is more
widely spaced than the warp. The
Inkle loom usually produces a warp-faced
Weft-faced: Only the weft shows

hcaxc136.gif (393x393)

on the finished cloth: it is
usually produced when the weft
is thicker than the warp and
the warp is more widely spaced
than the weft.
Color Pattern Weaves
Stripes: Thread the loom for

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plain weave but alternate the
color of either the warp or
weft. The facing can be either
warp or weft-faced. If the
warp varies in color, the result
will be vertical stripes; if the
weft varies in color, horizontal
stripes will result.
Broken Stripes: On warp or weft-faced

hcaxa138.gif (600x600)

cloth, one thread of a contrasting
color placed between groups of
another color produces a broken
or dotted line.
Simple Check: On warp or weft-faced

hcaxb138.gif (486x486)

cloth, alternating single threads
of two different colors produce a
feathery check design.
These three stripe patterns presented above can be combined to

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produce a great variety of attractive designs.
Plaids: When the color of

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both the warp and the weft is
varied, and the facing is
balanced a plaid will result.
Threading as for plain weave.

hcaxb139.gif (540x540)

True Checks: Checks are most

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suitable for balanced weave
cloth: use the same type of
warp and weft in two contrasting
colors.  Thread as for
plain weave.
Tapestry Weave
Tapestry weave is used to create designs or pictures in the cloth
as it is woven. The loom is threaded for plain weave. The cloth
must be weft-faced (thin warp, thick weft).
In plain weaving, the weft is threaded back and forth across the
entire width of the warp. In tapestry weave, wefts of different
colors are woven within selected areas of the planned design.
 1.   Planning the Design:

hcaxa140.gif (486x486)

     Draw the design on paper
     and lay it beneath the
     warp threads. Using a
     water soluble material,
     draw the design directly
     on the warp. This will
     help guide the weaver.
2.  Putting in the Weft:
    a.   Shuttles are not used in tapestry
        weaving. Rather, lengths of
        colored weft are tied in "butterflies"
        (see illustration) and

hcaxb140.gif (486x486)

        worked in the area needed.
    b.   In tapestry weaving, all the colors of the pattern are
        put in row by row. In other words, if the row has part
        of a red flower, a green leaf and a yellow background,
        then you must put in red, yellow and green weft for that
        row before you change the heddle position (see illustration.

hcaxa141.gif (587x587)

        c.   Within the row the adjacent colored wefts can be interlocked
        in one of several ways.
Slit Method:  This method creates

hcaxc141.gif (486x486)

a slit between the two colors.
Although this method produces a
clean definition line between
areas of the design, it weakens
the fabric and should, therefore,
not be used where weakened
strength or slits in the cloth
would be undesirable--as in
sacks or in blankets. It is a
useful method for rugs or decorated
bags, where the slits
do not extend more than 8cm.
Interlocking over Common Warp:

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Produces a strong, continuous fabric;
the edges between the different colors
of the design are feathery or saw-toothed
in effect and not as sharp
as in the slit method.
Interlocking Wefts: Produces a

hcaxb142.gif (486x486)

strong, continuous fabric; the
edges between the design are
sharp, but a slight raised bump
may show at the join.
Knotted Weaves
Knotted weaves produce a pile or shag-faced cloth. Thread the loom
for plain weave. Knot short lengths of weft around two warp threads,
as shown. The knots are illustrated below. After a row of knots,

hcaxa143.gif (587x587)

several rows of plain weave are woven to strengthen the cloth. Then
the tails of the knots are trimmed to produce the pile or are left
long to produce a shag.
Knotted weaves are used generally for heavy rugs and carpets. They
can also be used for Jackets and blankets. When worn with the shag
on the inside, an insulating effect results and the garments are
extra warm.
1.  Varieties of Knotted Weaves
    a.   Velvet Pile: The velvet

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        finish of oriental type rugs
        is produced by using a good
        wool for the knotting and
        by tying about 40-150 knots
        per square centimeter. After
        several rows of knots are
        tied and two to three rows
        of plain weave are in place,
        the pile is cut very short--about
        0.5 to 1.0cm.
    b.   Shag Finish: A shaggy finish

hcaxa144.gif (486x486)

        does not require as many
        knots per cm2 as does the
        pile. A good range is from
        4 to 5 per cm2. Wool, mohair
        and soft synthetic mixes
        produce attractive shags.
        Tails of knots should be
        about 5 to 8cm.
    c.   Looped Shag: A shag can also be
        produced by putting a weft
        through the warp and then pulling
        the loops out of the weft (as
        shown left). This row is alternated

hcaxb144.gif (486x486)

        with several rows of very
        tightly woven plain weave. The
        tightly woven plain weave is
        necessary because there is no
        knot to hold the loops of weft
        in place.
2. Cutting the Weft for Knotted Weaves
In order to cut uniform lengths of yarn
for knotting, make a gauge from a piece
of wood or heavy cardboard. Wrap yarn
around so no loop overlaps another and
slice off with a knife as shown.

hcaxc144.gif (486x486)

3.  Placement of Knots
    a.   Knots can be alternated to
        avoid small openings on the
        back as shown (left).

hcaxd144.gif (486x486)

    b.   At the selvedge, take the yarn over

hcaxa145.gif (486x486)

        and under the two outside warp
        threads. Do not make a knot. This
        will give you a smooth edge.
Finishing Touches
This section describes techniques for finishing off woven articles.
After an article is woven, it is necessary to secure the weft at both
ends to prevent it from unraveling. Several methods of tying off the
warp are presented here. You will also find directions for joining
two woven pieces of cloth as well as suggestions for bag handles.
Overhand Knotted Fringe
1.  Cut the warp at both ends; leave about 15cm.
2.  Separate the warp into groups each having the same
    number of threads in each. Groups should not be wider
    than 1cm.
3.  Take one group and make a loop as shown below.

hcaxb145.gif (486x486)

4.  Pull ends through loop.
5.  Push knot as close as possible to the end of the cloth
    as you tighten it.
6.  Repeat for each group until all warp is tied.
7.  Make sure all knots are made in the same direction.
Simple Hemming

hcaxa146.gif (486x486)

1.  Cut the warp at both ends, leaving about 8cm in length.
2.  Separate the warp into groups having the same number
    of threads in each.
3.  Tie each group with an overhand knot.
4.  Fold over the edge to the back.
5.  Tuck under the tied warp.
6.  Hem with an overcast stitch.
Variations on Overhand Knotted Fringe
The following illustrations show some of the many possibilities

hcab1460.gif (486x486)

longer the warp must be left.
1.  Cut a piece of weft six times the
    width of the cloth.
2.  Mark the center of this length and
    wind each end into a butterfly.
3.  Place midpoint of yarn around the
    first 4 warp threads at right edge. <see picture>

hcaxb147.gif (486x486)

4.  Bring end on top of the warp under
    the next group of four.
5.  Bring end below warp, up and over
    the same 4 warp threads.
6.  Repeat steps 4 and 5 until the left
    edge is reached. Turn and return
    to right end continuing twining the
Philippine Tie
1.  Separate warp into groups of eight.
2.  Begin at left edge.
3.  Take the fifth and sixth ends of the
    first group and wrap around the first
    to fourth ends making a half-hitch as
    illustrated (right).

hcaxc147.gif (486x486)

4.  Take the seventh and
    eighth ends and wrap
    over and back the third
    to sixth ends.
5.  Repeat for each group of eight
    warp. <see picture>

hcaxa148.gif (486x486)

Square Knotted Fringes (Macrame)
1.  Secure the weft using twining or the
    Philippine Tie.
2.  Separate the warp into groups of four, or multiples of four.
3.  The following illustrations show how to make a square knot.

hcaxb148.gif (486x486)

4.  After the first row of knots,
    divide the warp from each knot
    into halves and make a knot
    using the half from two adjacent
5.  Square knots can be used in
    patterns similar to these
    shown for the overhand knot.
6.  More patterns and techniques for macrame can be found in
some of the sources listed at the end of this manual.
Finger Woven Edges

hcaxa149.gif (486x486)

This technique, although time-consuming, produces a strong,
durable edge very suitable for bags where the warp edge
forms the opening of the bag.
1.  Leave about 8cm of warp on each end.
2.  Lay fabric on flat surface and separate the first 5 or
    7 warp threads.
3.  Take the first thread and weave it in and out of the
    next four threads. <see picture>

hcaxb149.gif (486x486)

4.  Pull end down toward the fabric.
5.  Pick up next warp thread, so that you continue to have
    an odd number of threads. <see picture>

hcaxc149.gif (486x486)

6.  Weave second thread through the next four.  Pull
    down toward fabric.
7.  Repeat steps 3 to 6 picking up a new thread each time
    one is woven and pulled down.
8.  With this technique the warp lays against the fabric.
    It can be braided and tacked down to produce an
    attractive edge. <see picture>

hcaxa150.gif (486x486)

Adding Fringe
Sometimes you may want to put a fringe on the selvedges, or
you may wish to make a fringe of yarn different from the
warp threads.
1.  To Add Fringe to Warp Ends.
    a.   Hem edge as described under hemming (page 146)
    b.   Cut yarn for fringe twice as long as desired.
    c.   Using a needle, insert each piece of yarn into
        edge from front to back, and then through front
        again as shown (below).

hcaxb150.gif (486x486)

    d.   Fold ends over and pull through loop.
    e.   Repeat for each piece of fringe desired.
2.  To Add to Selvedge.
    a.   Skip step 1 above, and continue as described in
        steps 2-5.
Handles for bags of all kinds can be made in many ways.   A
handle should meet the following requirements.
    Support the weight of what will be carried in the bag.
    Be attached well.
    Match the yarn and colors used in the bag.
1.  Monk's Cord
    This is the easiest and quickest way to make a handle.
    Use a strong but flexible fiber that will stand heavy
    use - such as 4 ply carpet wool, heavy linen or cotton.
    a.   Determine how many strands you need, by taking
        two or more pieces of yarn and twisting them
        together tightly to see how thick a handle it
    b.   Cut the desired number of strands three times the
        finished length.
    c.   Put an overhand knot in one end and place on a hook
        on a wall or stake in the ground. <see picture>

hcaxa151.gif (486x486)

    d.   Twist as tightly as possible for the entire length.
    e.   Take the end you are holding and fold it back to
        the end on hook.
    f.   Remove hooked end and let the two pieces twist together. <see picture>

hcaxb151.gif (486x486)

    g.   Whip stitch the ends (see below).

hcaxa152.gif (486x486)

2.  Braids
    a.   Select a number of strands to make
        the handle the thickness desired.
    b.   Cut into lengths twice as long as
        desired handle.
    c.   Separate into 3 groups for a three-strand
        braid, or into 4 groups for
        a four-strand braid.
    d.   Braid as illustrated.   (It is helpful

hcab1520.gif (587x587)

        it to a hook, while you are braiding
J.  Attaching the Handles
    Attach the handles securely to the body of the
    bag.   The following method offers the most
    strength, plus the option of quickly adding a
    new handle if the original breaks or becomes worn.
    1.   Detachable Handle.
    a.   After bag has been sewn together and all edges finished,
        take a piece of cord and with a heavy needle insert
        it into the right corner of the bag opening.  Go through
        both front and back of bag, several times making a loose
    b.   Tie into ring.

hcaxc153.gif (486x486)

    c.   Select a sturdy yarn that matches the bag and tie
        end around cord.
    d.   Draw end of yarn through cord ring and then back
        through its own loop making a half-hitch.
    e.   Repeat, making half-hitches completely around the
        cord until it is completely covered. <see picture>

hcaxa154.gif (540x540)

    f.   Repeat steps 1 to 5 on the left corner.
    g.   Tie handle to loops.
2.  Permanent Handles
    Other methods involve
    sewing the handle to the
    bag.   Use very heavy
    thread and a large eye
    needle.   A 3" shoemaker's
    needle is helpful on heavy
    woven fabrics.  The styles

hcaxb154.gif (600x600)

    of handle attachment presented
    here are in order
    of strength.
    Joining Two Pieces of Woven Fabric
    Most looms make cloth of only limited width; therefore, it
    is sometimes necessary to join woven pieces together for
    larger articles such as rugs, bedspreads, sheets, or
    When joining two or more pieces, weave each section so that
    the pattern and weave match on the edges being Joined.  Use
    strong thread or yarn in a color that either matches or
    contrasts with the fabric, depending upon the effect desired.
Ball Stitch
1.  Butt the selvedges of the pieces to be joined together so
    that the pattern matches.
2.  Baste lightly with large stitches to keep

hcaxb155.gif (353x353)

    the pieces in place.
3.  Fasten thread on right selvedge at top.
4.  Bring needle diagonally across left to
    right. <see picture>

hcaxa155.gif (486x486)

5.  Go under left selvedge and push needle from back to front
    2-3 threads lower than beginning stitch. <see picture>

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6.  Repeat steps 4 and 5 going from right
    to left.
7.  Stagger the stitches so no stitch is opposite one on the
    other selvedge. <see picture>

hcax156.gif (353x353)

8.  Continue steps 4 to 6 until bottom is
    reached.   Tie off Joining thread.
8  Where to Find More
Bress, Helene.  Inkle Weaving.  New York:   Charles Scribner's Sons, 1975.
    Complete information for creating all kinds of patterns using the Inkle loom.
    Contains plans for a floor model Inkle loom that weaves longer strips than the
    loom in this manual.  An invaluable tool for anyone interested in all the
    possibilities of the Inkle loom.
Channing, Marion L.  The Magic of Spinning.  New Bedford, Mass.:  Reynolds-DeWalt,
  4th edition 1971.
    Directions for spinning with an emphasis on wool and its preparation.   Information
    on using traditional English and American spinning wheels.
Davenport, Elsie G.  Your Handspinning.  Tarzana, California:  Select Books, 4th
  edition, 1971.
    Most comprehensive book on spinning.  Covers a wide variety of wheels and
    their use.   Describes several methods of spinning, with an excellent section
    on spinning fibers from rabbit, camel, angora goat, silk, cotton, jute, hemp,
    sisal and flax.
Duncan, Molly.  Spin, Dye and Weave Your Own Wool.  New York:  Sterling Publishing Co.,
  Inc., 1973.
    Very good description of preparing wool for spinning.  There is also a discussion
    of spinning wheels and handspinning.  Weaving section gives plans for an
    inkle loom of unusual design made from plywood, and tells how to weave on a
    small commercial table loom.  Warping section is well-illustrated and pictures
    some useful tools for winding and measuring the warp.
Garrat, Cay.  Warping - All By Yourself,  Santa Rosa, California:  Thresh Publications,
    Describes how to warp a two- or four-harness loom with just one person.   Uses
    more elaborate technology than presented in this manual, but it is clearly
    illustrated and written and may prove helpful to those attempting to warp a
    large loom by themselves.
Gilly, Myriam.  Free-Weaving.  New York:   Charles Scribner's Sons, 1976.
    Describes history of loom design and construction and gives directions for
     techniques used in contemporary style wall-hangings.
Gonsalves, Alyson Smith ed.  Weaving Techniques and Projects.  Menlo Park, California:
  Lane Books, 1975.
    Good discussion of weaving problems and techniques, with plans for a very
    simple loom.   There is a large section of patterns and projects usable with
    the looms presented in this manual.
Harvey, Virginia I.  Macrame:  The Art of Creative Knotting.  New York:   Van Nostrand
  Reinhold, 1967.
    Complete information on macrame, with many suggestions for fringes.
Hope, Elizabeth, Estine Ostlund and Lisa Melen.   Free Weaving on Frame and Loom.
  New York:   Van Nostrand Reinhold,
    Mainly deals with tapestry weave techniques.  Many color illustrations.
Ingers, Gertrud.  Flemish Weaving.  New York:   Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1967.
    Guide to techniques and patterns for pictorial tapestries.
Innes, R. A.  Non-European Looms.  Halifax, England:  Halifax Museum, 1959.
    Catalog of African and Oriental looms should interest those looking for other
    styles of looms that are basic in design and simple to construct.   Not all
    looms are illustrated; however, many details such as pulleys, heddles, reeds
    and beaters are pictured.  The Mende Tripod Loom from Sierra Leone and the
    Egba Narrow Loom from Nigeria are interesting versions of the foot-powered
    loom presented here.
Kluger, Marion.  The Joy of Spinning.  New York:   Simon and Schuster, 1971.
    Emphasis is on preparing and spinning wool.  Includes directions for spinning
    with a drop spindle and a treadle spinning wheel.  Brief section on other
    fibers - flax, cotton, dog hair, quivit.
Marlin, Shirley.  Off the Loom:  Creating with Fiber.   New York:  Viking Press, 1973.
    Directions for using the Inkle Loom; plans for a simple frame loom and techniques
    using macrame.
Mosely, Spencer, Pauline Johnson and Hazel Koenig.   Crafts Design.   Belmont,
  California:   Wadsworth Publishing Co., Inc. 1962, 1967.
    Chapter 4 offers clear, well-illustrated directions for building very simple
    looms.   Good section on weaves and patterns for the Inkle loom.  Weaves for
    two- and four-harness foot-powered looms are well-diagramed.   Knotted weaves
    and tapestry weaves are also discussed.  Sections on decorated textiles and
    leatherworking may also be of use to weavers.  Well-illustrated.
Murray, Rosemary.  Practical Modern Weaving.  New York:  Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1975.
    Well-illustrated collection of patterns and weaves for all types of looms.
Parker, Xenia Ley.  Creative Handweaving.  New York:  Dial Press, 1976.
    Techniques and patterns suitable for the Frame, Inkle and Foot-Powered Looms.
Pendleton, Mary.  Navajo and Hopi Weaving Techniques.  New York:  Macmillan, 1974.
     Describes Navajo and Hopi rug weaving techniques.  Special attention paid to
    techniques of putting in the weft in creating tapestry patterns.   Patterns
    presented for the belt loom can also be used on the Inkle Loom.
Plath, Iona.  The Craft of Handweaving.  New York:   Charles Scribner's Sons, 1972.
    Patterns and weaves intended for use on a jack harness loom.   Some are suitable
    for use on a four-harness, foot-powered loom.
Redwood.  Backstrap Weaving of Northern Ecuador.  Redwood, 1974.
    A limited edition of a very beautiful book giving complete and easy to follow
    direction for building and weaving on a backstrap loom.  (Available from The
Regensteiner, Else.  The Art of Weaving.  New York:  Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1970.
    Covers all aspects of weaving.  Brief discussion of animal, vegetable and
    mineral fibers and their use in weaving.  Most looms discussed are commercially
    made, although there are rather complicated plans to make a backstrap loom in
     the Appendix.   Deals extensively with types of weaves and patterns with a good
    section on tapestries and rugs.
Reed, Tim.  Loom Book.  New York:   Charles Scribner's Sons, 1973.
    Directions for building a foot-powered loom slightly more complex in design
    than the one presented in this manual.
Reichard, Gladys A.  Weaving a Navajo Blanket.  New York:  Dover, 1974.
    Directions for building a Navajo loom with patterns and techniques for
    weaving Navajo rugs and blankets.
Rubenstone, Jessica.  Weaving for Beginners.  New York; J. B. Lippincott, Inc., 1975.
    Describes construction of a very simple loom - a rigid heddle backstrap type
    loom using tongue depressors.
Schery, Robert W.  Plants for Man.  Englewood, New Jersey:  Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1972.
   Chapter 7 discusses a wide variety of vegetable fibers and their potential
   for use in weaving.  Good source of information for those looking for new
   sources of fiber from domestic and wild plants throughout the world.
Scabey, Joan.  Rugs and Wall Hangings.  New York:   Dial Press, 1974.
    Excellent section on the historical significance of tapestry weaving throughout
    the world.   Many illustrations.   Contains techniques and patterns for
    rugs based on traditional designs.
Svinicki, Eunice.  Step-By-Step Spinning and Dyeing.  Racine, Wisconsin:  Western
  Publishing Co.   (Golden Press), 1974.
    Very clearly illustrated methods of spinning using several types of drop
    spindles.   Includes section on dyeing fibers and a very brief section on
    simple weaving techniques.
Swanson, Karen.  Rigid Heddle Weaving.  New York:  Watson-Guptill, 1975.
    Describes construction of a rigid heddle loom of the backstrap type (similar
    to Rubenstone's) but on a larger scale.  The patterns and techniques presented,
    however, are suitable to any loom and may interest those constructing
    any of the looms in this manual.
Tacks, Harold and Sylvia.  Band Weaving.  New York:   Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1974.
    Techniques and patterns for weaving strips of cloth such as those produced
    by the inkle loom.
Tidball, Harriet. The Weaver's Book.   New York:  Collier, 1977 (soft-bound).
    Instructions for weaving on a multiple harness loom.  Some techniques may be
    useful on the Foot-Powered Loom presented in this manual.
Weir, Shelagh.  Spinning and Weaving in Palestine.  London:  British Museum, 1970.
    Looms described here are similar to the Frame Loom in this manual.   Those
    interested in constructing it may find the photographs of the looms in
    use very helpful.  A Foot-Powered Pit Loom is also illustrated.  (Available
    from The Unicorn)
West, Virginia M.  Finishing Touches for the Handweaver.  Newton, Mass.:  Charles
  Branford, 1968.
     Directions for making fringes and handles and for Joining woven fabrics
Wigginton, Eliot, ed.  Foxfire 2,  Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1970.
    "From Raising Sheep to Weaving Cloth" describes the preparation of wool for
    spinning, the spinning of the wool on a wool wheel, and gives plan for
    building a skein winder (vertical), a spool rack, a boat shuttle similar in
    design to the one in this manual, and a warping board.  Photographs and
    drawings are of a foot-powered loom slightly more complex in design than
    the one in this manual.  Brief directions for warping and weaving may
    interest builders of the foot-powered loom.
Wilson, Jean.  Weaving is Fun.  New York:   Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1971.
    Excellent section on fibers, especially animal sources, and their preparation.
    Geared toward teaching children to weave with Simple looms.  Interesting
    section on basketry.
Wilson, Jean.  The Pile Weaves.  New York:   Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1974.
    Detailed descriptions for making and using twenty-six different pile weaves.
    Very useful for anyone considering making pile rugs.
Worst, Edward.  Foot Treadle Loom Weaving.  Mayne Island, British Colombia, Canada:
  Cloudburst Press, 1976.
    Collection of traditional weaves and patterns, many suitable for use with
    the Foot-Powered Loom in this manual.
Zielinski, Stanislaw.  Encyclopedia of Handweaving.  New York:  Funck and Wagnalls,
  1959.   (Soft-bound)
    Definitions and illustrations of the many confusing terms used in describing
Znamierowski, Nell.  Step-By-Step Weaving.  New York:  Golden Press, 1967.
    Very complete book which includes plan for a frame loom (different in design
    from the one in this manual), directions for warping, planning a fabric,
    dyeing yarns and directions for many types of weaves.  Contains suggested
    projects for the frame loom and for a four-harness, foot-powered loom.
                           Book Distributors
Most of the books listed, plus a great many more, can be obtained from the following
Craft Book Distributors.
Earth Guild, Inc.   15 Tudor Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts.   (Catalog $2.00)
The Mannings        R. D. 2, East Berlin, Pennsylvania 17316 (Catalog $.50)
The Unicorn         Box 645, Rockville, Maryland 20851 (Catalog $.50)
The following periodicals often contain articles of interest to weavers.
The Mother Earth News, P.O. Box 70, Hendersonville, North Carolina 28739 (One year
  Back issues can be ordered.  Articles of interest are listed below.
  Lindeman, Joan.  "A Very Primitive Loom" Mother Earth News.  No. 22, July 1973,
    p. 49-51.
      Describes the construction of a very simple loom, built into the ground,
      suitable particularly for weaving mats of heavy fibers.
  Lichtenstein, Bernie.  "We Built A Spinning Wheel for $2.50" Mother Earth News.
    No. 39, May 1976, p. 106.
      Describes construction of a spinning wheel (wool wheel type) using a
      bicycle wheel.  Very rough design, but may get a creative person
      thinking of other possibilities.
Shuttle, Spindle and Dyepot.   Published by the Handweavers Guild of America, Membership
  includes subscription.  998 Farmington Avenue, West Hartford, Connecticut
  06107.   ($12.50 in U.S., $12.50 outside)
  The chart in Figure 3 is useful

hcax164.gif (600x486)

for quick conversion from meters and
centimeters to feet and inches, or
vice versa.  For more accurate results
and for distances greater than 3 meters,
use either the tables in Figure 2 or

hca2x163.gif (600x600)

the equations.
  The chart in Figure 3 has metric divisions
of one centimeter to three meters,
and English units in inches and feet
to ten feet.  It is accurate to about
plus or minus one centimeter.
  An example will explain how to use
the tables.  Suppose you wish to find
how many inches are equal to 66cm.   On
the "Centimeters into Inches" table look
down the leftmost column to 60cm and then
right to the column headed 6cm.   This
gives the result, 25.984 inches.
1 inch = 2.54cm
1 foot = 30.48cm
       = 0.3048m
1 yard = 91.44cm
       = 0.9144m
1 mile = 1.607km
       = 5280 feet
1cm    = 0.3937 inches
1m     = 39.37 inches
       = 3.28 feet
1km    = 0.62137 miles
       = 1000 meters