How to Make Yarn Wrappings for Woven Fabric Designing

December 29, 2015
Various yarn wrappings
Various colours and proportions

When I weave or knit, the first thing I do is to make yarn wrappings. Because I love this process I usually forget about time and just keep making many of these.

Yarn wrapping is a piece of card with threads wound around. It helps play with different colours and proportions when you design multi-coloured warp or weft. It also works for creating multi-colour stripes on knit fabric. Making this card wind saves you your precious materials and time.

card winds for designing warp and weft
Finished yarn wrappings

Basic method of making this yarn wrapping is obviously easy – you place a strip of double-sided tape along the back of a piece of card which is about 4cm (1.5″) wide.
But I found it tricky when I use an oiled yarn. Because of the grease on the thread, it doesn’t stick to the tape well. So instead, I’ve tried it in my own way and furthermore, you don’t need the double-sided tape (it might be too easy to explain… but I do anyway).

By the way, I wind every thread of yarns I have on a wooden chopstick. So that it’s easier to try as many as yarns on a small table rather than taking out large cones of yarn off the shelf each time I want to try a new yarns. And I like to place those sticks in order and spread them around like I do with coloured pencils.

Colourful yarn chopsticks in order
Yarn chopsticks in order
Yarns wound on chopsticks
Yarns wound on chopsticks

How to make yarn wrappings
Make a strip of card about 4cm (1.5″) wide.
Hold the end the thread on the back of the card.
Wind it around the card once then on the thread held at the edge of the card.
Keep winding.
When you change yarn repeat just as the first yarn.
At the end, cut the card like 3mm (1/8 in.) and slide the thread in the cut.

Making of card wind
Hold the end of the thread diagonally
Making of card-wind
Winding the first half-round
How to make a yarn wrapping - the point
Hold the yarn near the edge of the card
How to make a yarn wrapping
Keep winding the thread
How to make a yarn wrapping
Changing the yarn
How to make a yarn wrapping
Changed the yarn and made the first round
How to make a yarn wrapping
Again, keep winding the yarn
How to make a yarn wrapping
Finishing winding…
How to make a yarn wrapping
Make a cut in the card using a pair of scissors
How to make a yarn wrapping
Slide the thread in the cut
The back of the finished yarn wrapping
The back of the finished yarn wrapping
glueless yarn wrapping finished
Easy and tidy yarn wrapping done

The point is to hold the end of a thread diagonally with the thumb then fix and fasten it with the winding thread.

It’s fun to make a lot of these card winds and experiment combining them as warp and/or weft. You’ll find a design that works and it might be unexpectedly pleasing and original.

I hope more people enjoy playing with colours and find their own beautiful colourways.

As an English weaver Janet Philips put it, “One of the main purposes of spending time twisting, plating and playing with yarn colours and then eventually weaving a sample is to give me time to become emotional about the design I am planning to weave. Taking this time allows the design to emerge from within me, which will therefore create an individual, finished, woven cloth.”

[amazonjs asin=”B012HVJVBI” locale=”US” title=”Designing Woven Fabrics by Janet Phillips (7-Nov-2009) Paperback”]