Peg Looms are simple wooden weaving frames that can produce lovely rugs and bags.
To start with you will need to select the yarn you wish to use. For this tutorial I used some acrylic yarn I had lying around to make it inexpensive… but you can go as mad as you like using silk or banana yarns next to wool, or even shredded fabrics.
There are several different widths of peg loom, which allow for a differing number of pegs. The wider the frame and the more pegs you choose to use and the wider the resulting woven fabric will be. It is important to remember at the stage of deciding your width… depending on how tight your weaving is the finished width will be slightly smaller than the width between the pegs, especially for a beginner.
Next you need to decide on your warp* length…. This is the length of the finished project x 2, plus say 30-40 cm for either woven or tassel edge finishes.
You will also need to purchase a peg threading hook if your loom did not come with one. This tool is essential for threading each of the pegs with your desired warp. Thread each of the pegs you require. Always centre your project on the peg loom, this will allow a much easier weave action later on.
When every peg is threaded and in place, lightly tie the ends of the warp in a knot that you can easily undo. These will be in constant use and movement during weaving, so be gentle and keep these loose.
Now you can begin to weave…
Take your desired weft* thread and leaving one end about 20cm free at the back place this around the fourth peg from the left end of your frame. You do not need to knot it, instead leave it free… it will be woven in tightly at the end to secure your weave.
Taking the end attached to the ball of yarn wrap the yarn over and under the remaining three pegs to the left hand side. When you get to the end of the row, you need to take the yarn back across the loom in the opposite ‘over and under’ way around each peg… so if going left to right the first peg has yarn under it, then on the return row (right to left) you need to go over it and so on.
Continue this until you are more than half way up each peg. You are now ready to maneuver your weave to continue on.
Starting from one end untie the knots you have in your warp threads. Then gently lift the first peg out of the weave you have created. Don’t worry; as long as the warp thread does not go up inside the weave your weave will remain intact. Put the first peg back in the peg loom allowing the first part of the weave to stand free.
Continue this until all of the pegs are back in the board weave free.
Lay the weave flat to the peg loom and gently pull the warp threads until the weave meets the pegs on the loom again and re knot the warp.
If you are worried at this stage that the weave will become loose I use a safety pin to hold the end securely to the body of the weave… but once you get that hang of this it is not necessary.
Some peg loomers will use a scrap piece of fabric at the beginning of the weave this tends to hold the fist weft threads in place also if the knots of the warp threads are quite close to the fabric to hold the weave in place… again this isn’t strictly necessary, but might help.
Taking your yarn continue to weave around the pegs in the direction you finished weaving in. Continue this until you get more than half way up the pegs and readjust the weave again.
Once you get to your desired weave length you need to think about finishing.
Firstly you need to finish your weft weaving. To do this take your weft thread finish your final row. Cut the yarn at approx. a 20cm length. Weave back across the first 4 pegs in your row and leave the remaining yarn hanging at the back of your work. You do not need to knot it, instead leave it free… it will be woven in tightly at the end to secure your weave.
You are now able to take your weave off of the peg loom.
Lay the weave flat and start finishing your warp ends.
Finishes to consider;
- Twisted fringe – You can twist two strands, or plait 3 or more strands for this finish. I recommend that you use warp threads from two separate pegs, that way you will not have the weft slip down over your ends.
- Tassels – Knots at the warp ends to secure. Use warps from two, or more separate pegs as above.
- Woven in ends – Sewing your ends in and securing them on the back of your weave, ideally out of sight.
Dependant on your desired finished product each of these options is possible. Once you have done this, you should sew in your weft ends to complete your work.
You are now ready to use your woven fabric!
Written by Sara of www.SarasTextureCrafts.com
Yarn and fibre available at www.SarasTextureCrafts.com
*Warp threads are the threads that form the length of your fabric and are the base thread of every weave you make. They should be a strong thread/yarn and hold up to ware during the action of weaving later on.
*Weft Threads run left to right on your weave. These can be as decorative or as delicate as you like.