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  • Emma Baker

Inkle Weaving

Updated: Jan 16

INTRODUCTION

How many looms is too many? As an owner of a rigid heddle loom, a floor loom, bookmark looms, square frame looms, an 8 shaft table loom, a tapestry loom and circular frame looms I can now add an inkle loom to the growing list of treasured looms that I enjoy weaving on. My first floor loom purchase was made about 6 years ago and on collecting the second hand loom the previous owner was incredibly kind in giving me several books. One of the books was called 'Inkle Weaving' by Helene Bress, a book which has details of all aspects of weaving on an Inkle loom. In her introduction she writes 'In weaving, there are always new worlds to conquer. That's what makes it so exciting' - I couldn't agree more!



INKLE LOOM MANUFACTURE

My husband has made several looms over the last few years and he decided that this year my Christmas gift would be an inkle loom. He has a CNC cutter and enjoys the challenge of designing and building different looms. The production of this loom was no exception. The instructions on how to the make an inkle loom at the start of Helene's book were very helpful.


STARTING TO WEAVE

After unwrapping my gift on Christmas day I decided that there was no time like the present to have a go. Heddles were made from 8/2 cotton. For my first weave I used the same red and white 8/2 cotton from which the heddles were made from. It soon became apparent that there was a technique (which I hadn't quite grasped) to achieve nice edges. Fortunately there is lots of advice and guidance to be found on the web, many people have blogged about weaving on their inkle loom and some people have even uploaded instructional videos which were very helpful. Using the shuttle or my fingers to force the previous weft pick down along with pulling the weft across the weave as close to the last pick as possible seemed to be most helpful.



After completing my first weave I decided to try a black and pink cotton 4 ply weave and then a much finer 8/2 green and white bamboo yarn. I think it's fair to say that I am already hooked. I suspect that Christmas gifts for others next year might include the odd belt or bag with a decorative strap!


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