Weaving: Techniques & Supplies

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  • 0:03 Weaving
  • 0:48 Tools
  • 1:49 Plain Weave
  • 2:12 Twill Weave
  • 3:00 Satin Weave
  • 3:16 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Summer Stewart

Summer has taught creative writing and sciences at the college level. She holds an MFA in Creative writing and a B.A.S. in English and Nutrition

Every weaver needs to have the proper tools to complete a project. In this lesson, we'll review the basic tools used in weaving and explore some of the main weaving techniques.


Weaving as an art and craft dates back thousands of years. It's used to create the blankets, clothing, fabrics, and carpets people use every day. In its simplest form, weaving involves lacing one thread called the weft over and under another thread known as the warp. Of course, it isn't quite that simple and the craft truly requires a great eye for detail and a wealth of patience in order to create a product.

As with any craft or process, weaving requires certain tools to get started. Weaving techniques such as the plain, twill, and five-harness satin weave are invaluable techniques to know. In this lesson, we'll go over the basic weaving tools and three main weaving techniques.


Every weaver needs a set of tools to complete each project. The loom, warp and weft threads, and shuttle are the basic tools used in weaving.

The loom is the frame on which the threads are woven. A loom can take any shape and its size is dependent on the project. For example, a blanket would require a larger loom than a scarf. While many weavers use free-standing floor or table looms, beginning weavers can use a picture frame or a piece of cardboard as a loom.

The warp thread is strung vertically on the loom and provides the structural integrity for the project. On floor and table looms, the warp is threaded through heddles attached to harnesses. The weft is the filler thread used to create the pattern. It is woven over and under the warp thread. The shuttle is a tool that holds a bobbin loaded with the weft thread, which makes it easier to interlace it with the warp. Think of the shuttle as a strangely shaped needle.

Plain Weave

Some of the most popular weaving techniques are the plain, twill, and five-harness satin weave.

The plain weave is the simplest weaving technique and is accomplished by passing the weft thread over and under each warp thread at a right angle. One benefit of the plain weave is that the finished piece has no right or wrong side. It also results in a very strong fabric.

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