Weaving month: top tips for beginners
Welcome to the Cosy Craft Club's weaving month! We really want to encourage you to have a go at weaving yourself, and we'll be sharing the key things you need to know to get started. You can find all our weaving posts in one place here.
Weaving is becoming increasingly popular, but it is still a craft that many people haven’t tried. We asked some lovely UK weavers for their top tips to help you on your way - and here they are!
Don't put pressure on yourself! A lot of people see incredible wall hanging images online and strive to create one, and after a few rows of their first weave can get a little frustrated! I recommend using your first weave as an experimentation of colour and texture and learning the basic skills, rather than aiming for a beautifully finished piece!
Start with creating a small sample piece in order to practice different weaving techniques. See what methods works for you and create freely without the pressure of a specific design. Go with the flow and don’t be afraid to experiment with different fibres.
Don’t be over ambitious to begin with. Play around with different techniques, textures and colours and get a feel for what works best for you. It’s amazing what you’ll learn all your own just through experimentation. If you’re not sure where to start then choose a subject with colours that speak to you - perhaps a landscape, your favourite flower, a painting or photograph, and pick your colour palette from that. It’s fine to take inspiration from other artists but try and use those techniques in your own unique way.
My biggest tip would be to just give it a go! Start simple with a few rows of tabby stitch (just the simple over-under technique). Try a variety of techniques - you tube is your friend! Watch videos on how to do the different techniques, then just try it!
Watch your tension! It is very easy to pull your weft too tight which makes the warp strings bow and pull in too much, giving you an uneven weave. Try a variety of different types of yarn - DK and aran are good for nice neat fringes, chunky is good for filling in large spaces, super chunky makes lovely thick fringing, roving is great for adding texture and interest.
Enjoy yourself and go with the flow and see where your weaving takes you. Try different textures and colours to put interest and depth into your weaving.
I personally work from bottom to top on my weavings as I like to do my tassels first. However lots of people work from the top to bottom. Try both ways and see which you prefer.
Best advice I could ever give is to practice, practice, practice. Success doesn't come overnight and only hours spent at the loom can improve your weaving technique, eye for design and grow your passion for this craft. Spend time understanding your materials and identifying what works best where. Just because you love a particular shade of yarn doesn't mean it's the right fit. Most of all, be unique and let your work reflect you.
Awww, weren’t they all great?! Thanks so much to all our wonderful weavers for contributing. Please go and visit their websites and show them some love.
I hope they’ve inspired you to have a try at weaving yourself!