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Weaving on a DIY Loom

Updated: Oct 11, 2021

New life for discarded clothing

The little upright loom and strips of cotton tee-shirt material.

As a young boy I used to watch my grandmother while weaving on the loom and was eager to help with filling the bobbins for the shuttle. Several years ago, those memories came back as we were organizing a summer camp for kids and were planning various activities.

To give them an idea of how fabric comes into being, I made some small upright looms and cut ½ inch strips out of colorful tee-shirts for the weft and used heavy cotton thread for the vertical warp. One can use left-over yarn too and even incorporate beads into the weft. Some of the resulting pieces were good as place-mats, while others could have been made into shoulder bags. Building the looms was easy, with available materials and some very basic tools like a hand saw and hammer and nails, and the kids had lots of fun mixing the colored fabric and learning something in the process.

If I would build a loom now, I would make it large enough to accommodate the largest piece I think I would want to weave, the benefit of that being that it could be set up for large things or small ones, and everything in between.

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