Backstrap Weaving - HCC Learning Web
Backstrap Weaving Quetchua Weaver, Urubamba Valley, Andes Mts.,
Peru Your backstrap loom will have a “rigid heddle”. This is the heddle. To build yours: • Drill holes in the center of 22 popsicle sBcks • Cut 4 wood slats to be 12” long (1/8” x 1”) • Use wood glue to sandwich the popsicle sBcks between 2 slats at the top and 2 slats at the boLom • Clamp or place under weight (for pressure) and let dry While the heddle is drying, make a “warp card” to plan your warp: • On a roughly 3” x 6” piece of cardboard wrap yarn around in the paLern of your design, taping the yarn on the back. • 42 yarns total. • Have at least 2 yarns of the same color next to each other (never just 1) The back can be messy. This is just a planning tool. Winding the warp can be done in a variety of ways. The absolutely most important aspect is for the warp threads to be the same length and tension. Here the 2 ﬂat boards will be the length of my warp. They are clamped ﬁrmly. They should be no less than 3 feet apart. In this example, I will transfer the warp from these boards to the loom dowels. You may ﬁnd it easier to wind the warp directly onto the dowels and through the heddle. Just be sure that your dowels are ﬁrmly in place. Here I have Bed oﬀ the yarn on the right board and begun making a “ﬁgure 8” around the boards. By winding your yarn in a “ﬁgure 8”, this alternaBng paLern appears. This keeps your yarns untangled and in the correct order. You are going in the same order as your warp card. The complete paLern I can now transfer the warp. Insert the dowel in the space made by the board. On the ends of the dowel Be a piece of fabric (t‐shirt, pillowcase, etc.) This fabric will go around your waist as you weave. Notches or holes can be made in the dowel to help tying on the fabric securely. Just to remind you ‐ this is what we’re heading towards... Insert the second dowel by the other board. Cut the yarns close to the board and thread them through the heddle. To thread the yarn through the heddle – start with the ﬁrst hole. Then the space between the popsicle sBcks, hole, space, hole space, and so on. You will have one empty hole at the end – that’s okay! Using a piece of thin wire like a needle will make this easier. Here’s a view from the back. You can loosely Be groups of yarn together if you are worried that they will fall out of the heddle while you are working, but make sure you can unBe them. Tape is safer! Tie these loose yarns onto the second dowel. Lastly, Be yarn on the second dowel (on the right here). This will keep your yarns from falling oﬀ. Before you sit down to weave, don’t forget to prepare a few shuLles. (one seen above the loom here) You create the tension in the warp, so ﬁnd a posiBon that’s comfortable for you and start weaving. Here I am seated in a chair – the other end of the loom Bed to a doorknob.