Introduction to Weaving

The Machine

A loom is a mechanical machine typically powered by human hands (and feet). Looms can be as simple as the ones you may have used in childhood to create potholders or so complex they're programmed and powered by electricity. Machine in Hand uses two fully manual floor looms—a 4 shaft and an 8 shaft.


First Things First

Before we begin to use a loom, a lot of planning—and math!—goes into the setup. First, a pattern is determined, which is limited by the type of loom and the number of shafts available; then, width, length, and density (ends per inch) are calculated. The end use of the textile and the yarn material qualities are always taken into account. A warp is wound yarn by yarn to the right length and then the loom is dressed and tensioned properly. Because set up is so labor intensive, looms are set up for mulitple pieces at a time. Once the cloth is woven, it's taken off the loom, sewn, washed, and ironed. Then it's checked for quality, and any errant yarns are sewn back into the cloth's woven structure.


Read more about Machine in Hand here