Inkle Loom beginnings

I’ve long wanted an inkle loom, so decided to take the plunge and get myself one (bc Christmas!). First time warping was a bit of a struggle to figure out, which was to be expected, so I gave myself a whole afternoon to figure it out. Expectations were also set low as to the quality of my first piece, which was a good decision as I learned a lot about how to maintain tension and keeping the edges neat. Very glad I spent extra and bought 5/2 cotton from the same vendor (Wheels & Whorls), as I think cheap substitution from my stash would have delivered a disappointing result. As it is, the resulting strap was very satisfying, including that ‘fresh cotton’ scent. The other challenge was keeping a close eye on the warping path. The number of times I missed a peg and didn’t notice till later! All in all, this is a fun and satisfying addition to my textile collection.

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First weaving

Finally got around to using my 4-shaft table loom. I’d warped it ages ago but hadn’t been inspired to finish the piece. The warp yarn is ugly as hell, I think it’s carpet wool. But it was free, and good for a practice. This is plain tabby weave, just playing around with colour. It’s FUGLY! But I hope to learn a few things from it, such as why the selvedges beat so unevenly, and how/when to hem.

Woven Table Runner

Weaving sample

Been meaning to post a pic of my weaving efforts. This is my first attempt. Going round the beam is tabby (I think) and then some twill, which I figured out after poring over a draft for what seemed like HOURS! I’m sure it will get easier… I think.

Weaving sample

Warping my loom

Spent the day at a friend’s house as we were taught how to warp our looms. It was an excellent, productive day, but pretty tiring, physically – all that stretching and standing over the loom for hours on end. Still, at the end of it, I managed to flick the shuttle through a couple of times and I was so chuffed! Am looking forward to really cracking into this weaving lark.

First came the maths:

  • I want an 8″ wide tablerunner, about 40″ long
  • My loom is 8 epi (ends per inch)
  • 8″ x 8 epi = 64 ends (lengths of thread)
  • waste was calculated at Depth of Loom (23″) plus Ties (12″) = 35″
  • 40″ + 35″ = length to be wound on warping board
  1. Wind on yarn to warping board – 64 lengths of 75″. Form a cross between first pegs – this is where the leash sticks will go
  2. Tie off lengths at various points before removing from warping board. Tie final thread through loops at end of board
  3. Tie off stacks of 10 threads
  4. Remove from warping board, chaining as you go (form a circle, reach through, and pull through next handful in a loop
  5. Insert leash sticks either side of the cross and tie off. One end of the leash sticks will be untied for this, so re-tie them together afterward
  6. Thread each end through heddles and tie to back stick
  7. Tie other ends to front stick and over front beam
  8. On back stick, insert paper over knots and tie over back beam
  9. Wind on back of loom to tension the warp
  10. Start weaving!

No doubt this isn’t entirely accurate and I’ll have to come back to it at some point and correct. Maybe when I’ve read a handy-dandy book on using a 4-shaft loom. Hey, there’s an idea…

And here’s some pics of the process:

1 Winding up the warping board

2 Chained Ends

3 Leash Sticks

4 Heddles Threaded

5 Tying on to the Front Beam

6 Tying on the to Back Beam