How to Weave on a Loom – Basic Weaving Techniques

This post contains affiliate links. If you were to make a purchase through one, I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Learn more.

When your weaving loom is all set up and ready to go, it’s time for some simple weaving patterns to start out with.

The tabby weave, or plain weave, is the simplest weave of all. It is often used at the start of the project, and in between different weaving techniques.

Rya knots create a fringe. Often seen on the bottom of a woven wall hanging, but the rya knots can be used in other areas of your weave as well.

The basket weave is almost as easy as the plain weave. But done with two or more threads at once.

This article is part of a four-part DIY weaving tutorial series. Follow along and learn how to make your own woven wall hanging!

1. The first article explains the tools and materials needed to weave, and how to set up your weaving loom. If you have missed it, go back, catch up and come back here.

2. In part two, this one, you will start your weave with a few basic weaving techniques. A few rows of a plain weave to begin with. And I love a good fringe, so there will be some rya knots. And a few rows of the classic basket weave.

3. Moving on to some more weaving techniques that add even more texture and depth to your wall hanging. The loopy pile weave, soumak braids, and weaving with wool roving.

4. The last part of the series shows how to finish your wall hanging, get it off your loom and up on your wall!

Close up of different weaving patterns. Text on image: Weaving techniques to start your first wall hanging.

Plain Weave or Tabby Weave

Start your wall hanging with a few rows of plain weave. This is a great way to get in the groove of weaving, and starting with a plain tabby weave stabilizes and strengthens your warp as well.

It does not matter if you start your first row over or under. Either way, you will have to secure the beginning. To do this, just weave in the tail of your thread over and under a few threads.

To make a plain weave you want each horizontal weft thread to cross over and under the vertical warp threads. So guide your shuttle over 1, under 1, through your warp.

Weaving on loom with shuttle stick.

Hold on to the end of your yarn and gently pull your thread down to form a curved shape. You can also push down the middle to create two or more curves if you work on a larger loom.

Creating an arch in your weaving.

If you are using a heddle bar or shed stick, make sure to close your shed before you secure the row. Push the row down with your comb onto the warp spacer.

Try to be consistent in how tight you beat your rows down.

Beating down the weave with a loom comb.

On the second row, you reverse the pattern. So if your first row ended over the warp thread, your next pass back would start under the warp thread, then going over, under, and so on, until you reach the end of that row.

Continue this way for as many rows as you wish.

Creating another arch on woven row back.

Be sure to pinch the yarn on the side when going from one row to the next. This will keep everything in place and prevent your yarns from drawing in too much on the sides.

On your last row of plain weave, leave a 3 inch tail of yarn. You will weave this in on the back when your wall hanging is complete.

Rya Knot

If you want fringe on your wall hanging, you will be making rya knots. You can weave rya knots on the bottom, making your wall hanging longer. Fringe can also be added within the body of the weave. This adds volume and texture to the weave.

Decide how long you want your fringe to be. If you want a 5-inch long fringe, you should cut your yarn a little over 10-inch long pieces. Just approximately double the length of how long your fringe should be, with a little extra length added for the knot.

Take three strands of your cut yarn and find the middle. Place that middle over two sets of warp threads.

Depending on the thickness of the yarn you are using, you might want to use more or less strands to form your rya knots with. Just use the same amount of strands for all the rya knots on the row.

First step in making a rya knot on the loom.

Bring the right side under the warp to the middle, hold it, bring the left side to the middle in the same way. Pull them through to form your rya knot. Tighten and pull down.

Tying the rya knot to create a fringe on the bottom of the woven wall hanging.

Continue making rya knots until you reach the end of your warp. Use your comb and beat them down.

Row of rya knots fringe on bottom of woven wall hanging.

Weave another row of rya knots above, alternating the sets or warp threads.

Second row of rya knots, alternating the warp threads.

Weave a few rows of plain weave to give your rya knots stability on the warp.

Don’t worry about your fringe being even or not at this point. You will trim it at the end when your weave is complete.

Basket Weave

Basket Weave is similar to a plain weave. The same weave pattern is followed, but with two or more yarns combined. And it goes over 2, under 2, instead of over 1, under 1.

Load your shuttle stick with two strings of yarn.

Double thread wrapped on weaving shuttle.

Guide your shuttle over 2, under 2, through your warp.

Pull your yarn into an arch and beat down with your comb.

Work in progress shots. Text on image: Weaving techniques, basket weave, over 2 - under 2.

Reverse the pattern for your second basket weave row. If your first row ended over the warp thread, your pass back would start under the warp thread, then going over, under, and so on, until you reach the end of that row.

Continue this way for as many rows as you wish. Leave a 3 inch tail of yarn at the end. You will tuck in all these loose ends on the back when your piece is complete.

Basket weave step by step instructions. Images of work in progress.

Weave a few rows of plain weave after your basket weave. This will readjust your warp threads.

Keep going! In the next part of this weaving series, there are more weaving techniques to complete your weave. You’ll learn how to create loops with a pile weave, and braids with a soumak weave. And there will be weaving with wool roving. Bring your yarn and I’ll see you there!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.