Weaving Your New Favourite Shawl June 15, 2016 08:30

Weaving & Dying Your Next Shawl Using an Old-Fashioned Loom

I definitely didn’t need a new craft to do but when there’s a loom sitting in the back of the store and I have permission to use it, what else was I going to do?

Like many things, I’ve only ever started weaving projects and then let them sit and collect dust because of frustration or no motivation. This was going to be an adventure.

First, I wanted to know what loom I was working with. Turns out it is a LeClerc Bergere Rigid Heddle Loom. From my research it appears to be a great quality loom that is perfect for beginners (like me!).

My problem with other weaving projects was that I didn’t have a shuttle. Neither loom I am borrowing came with one! I figured if I really wanted to finish this, I would have to make one. It’s not that they’re hard to make, it’s more that I was lazy and didn’t feel like it.

Here’s how I made my shuttle:

Tools

  • Sandpaper
  • Scissors

      Materials

      • A thin, flat piece of wood (I used a slat from a set of blinds)

      So I just cut out a v-shaped notch on each end of the slat and sanded it down so it wouldn’t snag the yarn. Super fancy, right? At least it works!

      So I just cut out a v-shaped notch on each end of the slat and sanded it down so it wouldn’t snag the yarn. Super fancy, right? At least it works!

      Now time to get weaving!


      It probably took me around an hour to warp this loom. I was quite surprised how quick it was and how little frustration it gave me. I used some cotton yarn I probably bought from Michael’s forever ago.

      Working with the LeClerc Bergere Rigid Heddle Loom is perfect for beginners (like me!).

      Then, with my brand new shuttle, I got to start weaving! I used some lopi yarn from the store as weft.

      Lopi yarn from Homestead Junction used as weft.

      Once everything was all woven and finished I decided I’m too messy to own anything white, so I went outside and picked a bunch of ivy leaves and dandelions.
      • 100% weight of fibre used when picking fresh plants

      While I was gathering dye materials, I let the shawl soak for an hour in an alum bath (available in bulk at Homestead Junction).

      • 8% weight of fibre when using alum as a mordant

      Soaking a shawl for an hour in an alum bath - keeps the colour from fading!

      After I had prepared the dye by simmering the plant matter for about an hour I soaked the shawl for about two hours on very low heat (just hot to the touch).

      Shawl dyed with ivy and dandelion - weaved with an old-fashioned loom

      Overall I’d say this took about 10 hours including warping and dyeing.

      Happy weaving!

       By Cassy Allan