Weaving Old School: Day 3

19 Sep

In my last two posts, I discussed how to build the loom and its basic operation and how to thread the loom.  Today, I will show you a video of some weaving in action (complete with an epic outfit!) and show you some of the finished products.

Click the following link to check out my video: Weaving comes to life!

As you can see from the video, it is pretty straightforward but very tedious.

Step 1: Push the shuttle (bolt of thread) through the space between the two long planes of thread (the warp threads.)

Step 2: Step on the foot peddle to switch the position of the thread planes.

Step 3: Pull the wooden comb against the newly positioned weft thread (the horizontal one) in order to pack it down.

Step 4: Repeat.  Over, and over, and over again for about 8 hours until the fabric is about five feet long.

Step 5: Sew a loose thread looping in and around each warp thread in order to finish the edges.

Step 6: Roll the completed fabric onto the bolt and start again.

Once the bolt is full, the fabric is cut into five foot pieces to create scarves. The scarves are then loaded into a truck and driven eight hours to the nearest city where they are sold to tourists as local artisan handicrafts.

I was told that the scarves I made couldn’t be sold because they were too amateur and lumpy!  Weaving may seem like a simple process but it takes years to master and perfect.  As a result, I got to keep all of my scarves!  Here are some pics of my handiwork 🙂

Look at all those lumps! 😉


It was so cold in China that I wrapped myself in all my scarfs

My scarf kept me warm while hiking on the Great Wall of China!

It was a really wonderful and amazing experience to learn all about crafting in another culture and I am forever grateful to have had such an incredible opportunity.  You can read the paper I wrote about my experience living and working in this small village here.

Now I just have to build one of these things in my backyard and I’ll be in business!


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