Getting Started Weaving: What You Need as a Beginner

20 July 2022
By Felicia Lo
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One of my greatest joys in craft is introducing other makers to weaving. As someone who came to weaving after being a knitter, dyer, and spinner, I absolutely love that weaving draws upon all the skills and knowledge I’ve acquired from the various fibre arts and crafts I’ve practiced. When I weave I feel complete—like I get to use my entire body and mind in the design and creation of cloth. It’s amazing. My passion and mission is to introduce other fibre crafters to this feeling of being able to use their yarns in a new way.

image description: a shot of a woman sitting at a large weaving loom; she is weaving stiletto heeled shoes

Felicia Lo, learning to weave on a Leclerc Nilus jack loom at Place des Arts in 2007. Photo credit Irene Weisner.

In weaving, one set of yarns (warp) are held parallel to each other under tension using a loom while a second yarn (weft) is interlaced through the warp threads using a shuttle, to create a cloth (web) on the loom. It sounds complicated, but weaving is actually one of the most accessible crafts you can try. With nothing more than a few strips of paper, you can create a simple weave and learn how threads interlace. Stepping up from that, you could use a piece of cardboard to create a loom to hold warp threads and then weave back and forth with a weft yarn threaded through a needle.

If you are interested in weaving longer lengths of cloth that could become scarves, shawls, or even yardage for garments, you will need a loom that can accommodate a longer warp. If you want to have more control over aspects of your handwoven cloth, like texture, pattern, firmness, drape, and sheen, you might need a more sophisticated loom. As well, you’ll need some form of weaving instruction to learn how to use the loom, and I highly encourage you to join a community of like-minded weavers who will encourage and support you in your weaving journey.

Images by Felicia Lo unless otherwise noted.

About Felicia Lo

Obsessed with colour and craft, my journey through knitting, sewing, spinning, dyeing, and the fibre arts have led me to weaving. I’m the founder of SweetGeorgia Yarns and the School of SweetGeorgia. You’ll also find me talking about making time to make things here on YouTube. Through Lo Meets Loom, I explore weaving from both personal and professional perspectives. I’ve been learning to weave since 2006 and started on a Leclerc Dorothy table loom. Soon after, I wove a blanket on a Leclerc Nilus jack loom and a rug on a Leclerc Fanny counterbalance loom. Working on these humble projects has brought me a joy that I have been trying to articulate and share ever since. Today, I weave on two Louet Spring countermarche looms, a Schacht Baby Wolf jack loom in cherry, a Leclerc 45″ Mira and a Leclerc 27″ Fanny counterbalance looms to explore interactions of hand-dyed yarn in handwoven cloth and teach all of these skills and crafts at the School of SweetGeorgia.

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