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Inkle Weaving Tools





The Loom










Now that you have your loom, you'll need some material with which to weave on your loom. My personal preference is natural fibers. But that's just because of being in the SCA and the fact that synthetic fibers did not exist in the Middle Ages. I may not always be able to afford 100% natural fibers when sewing gowns, but I always can when it comes to inkle woven bands because it really doesn't take that much thread. Cotton is a good choice for your first few projects. A lot of your choice depends on how you want the band to look when you are finished. This knowledge will be gained as you get experience with the inkle-weaving process and as you familiarize yourself with the various fibers. A good cotton for beginners is 4/2 cotton. The designation "4/2" means that there are "two" threads or plies twisted together and each ply is a size "four". The higher the size number, the smaller the diameter of that thread. I do not recommend using linen or wool for your first projects because, as you change sheds, the fibers of the threads catch on each other and deteriorate the strength of the fibers. Silk, if you can afford it, is great to use. The threads slide against each other very smoothly when changing sheds. This makes for a fast weaving project. The silk is very strong and you are highly unlikely to break a warp thread in the process. Modern synthetic strings are okay to use. Most hold up to the tension and you can get some fast projects finished with them. I have woven with silk, linen, cotton, wool, nylon and a ploy/cotton blend. I have only broken warp threads with tow linen, thin unmercerized cotton and wool.

Some other tools and materials you'll need are scissors, a ruler, a stiff piece of cardboard, a pencil, paper and something with which to make heddles (described in the next section). The scissors are for cutting thread as you warp the loom. They are also used in the making of heddles. The ruler and the piece of cardboard are for making heddles. The pencil and paper are for creating designs. It's best to use colored pencils or markers when creating your designs so that you can better visualize them.

© 2000-2005Tracy DeGarmo