How to Make Inexpensive Weaving Spare Shuttles with Wire

Various types of shuttles for hand weaving

When you weave using many colour yarns, you might want to prepare as many shuttles as your yarns. But shuttles are not very cheap. Then I found an easy way to make spare ones with aluminum wire. The type of aluminum wire I used is 2mm diameter and it is very easy to change its shape. I only used a pair of pliers/nippers to cut the wire and I could bend it easily with hand.

Materials for making a wire shuttle
All you need is aluminum wire, a pair of nippers and masking tape.

Making aluminum wireAluminum wire shuttles for weaving

I hope it helps for some people :)

How to Make Yarn Wrappings for Woven Fabric Designing

Various yarn wrappings

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

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Sample Weave: Plain Weave Checks

Woven sample

Here’s my sample weaving project with rigid heddle loom. I tried to do things systematically and first thing I did was selecting yarns and made several yarn wrappings to find colourways I like. Then I warped the loom with one stripe design and started weaving with seven deferent weft stripe designs.

 

Yarns
From top left: 50% cotton 50% polyester Luminous Pink, 100% lambs wool Persimmon Orange, Tender Shoot Green, Ocean Wave Blue, Hyacinth Violet, From top right: 100% lambs wool Vanilla Ice White, Moon Struck Grey, Gardem Glade Green, Ecru Olive Green, Desert Palm Brown

 

weaving process on rigid heddle loom

woven fabric close-up

woven fabric on rigid heddle loom

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Toy Loom

Toy Loom Orihime
This is a toy loom I got last year, original version of this loom is made in the UK and it was called “Masterweaver”. It has a very clever system and you can weave a lot of patterns on it easily as the roller in the middle works as shafts.

Toy Loom OrihimeToy Loom OrihimeToy Loom OrihimeToy Loom Orihime

Designing with Numbers

I’m not a weaver. But I always admire weavers for their intricate job and creativity to produce such beautiful fabrics with tight restrictions compared to printed textiles.

And I purchased this book “Designing Woven Fabrics” by Janet Phillips from UK last month. The book is full of colour pictures of gorgeous fabrics which were designed and hand woven by the author.

The most interesting part for me so far (maybe because I cannot weave) is in the section “Design Criteria” and on “Designing Stripes and Checks”. I found the author uses Fibonacci number sequence when designing stripes and checks! Does every designer use this as one of those golden rules? I didn’t know how you could apply this mathematical formula to designing because I didn’t take official design course? Anyway, this small discovery made me happy because I don’t want to trust my sense all the time. Now I have another guide to follow :)

Woven Colours




I’ve tried some weaving today (well, if I’m allowed to call it “weaving” though) as part of my experiment on colours, materials and texture.

I used magazine shreds, fabric shroud by hand and rope made of paper.

It was a real fun, those only found objects could become a casual piece of art when it’s properly framed and hung on the wall :)