I often get the question if it’s difficult to learn how to weave and if it’s worth picking up as a hobby.
And my answer is always that it’s much easier than it looks and it can be a fun / relaxing hobby.
Of course, like anything new you learn, it might take some time and effort to get the hang of things.
But if you consider how much work it is the raise animals, shave their fur, and spin that into yarn, then weaving in comparison is a breeze!
So let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons why people might think weaving is difficult.
It’s true that you will come across lots of new words related to the weaving loom, the weaving process, or weaving techniques. Words such as heddle, reed, and dents might not ring a bell.
But as a beginner, you really don’t need to know all these terms to get started.
If you are using a frame loom you only need to know the difference between the warp threads and the weft threads to get started.
From then onwards, you can learn new words as you go. To help you along, you can find the most important ones in our weaving terminology post.
2 The weaving loom
If you have every seen an industrial weaving loom, you know how big they can get and that there are several moving parts all at the same time.
Having to operate one of those machines would be a nightmare.
Fortunately, as a beginner you can really make things as easy or as difficult as you want to.
There are many looms to choose from. For a full overview you can read our article on the different types of weaving looms.
If you have difficulty using your weaving loom, that probably means you bought one that was too advanced for your skill level.
It’s not uncommon for newcomers to start on a simple frame loom. Then upgrade to a rigid heddle loom after a few weeks or months. And finally switch to a full-fledged floor loom when they have the required experience.
3 Weaving techniques & patterns
The different weaving techniques and patterns you use will determine how your final weave is going to look.
You normally want to use a variety of different patterns throughout your weave.
Among these patterns there are definitely some that are more tedious than other, but I won’t really call them difficult.
This is because a weaving pattern is basically like a recipe. You simply follow the steps and then repeat them over and over again.
You can trust me when I say that you will be able to learn and remember a new pattern within less than 30 minutes of practice.
For some examples, you can read our article on weaving patterns.
Weaving is not only a physical but also a mental activity.
Finishing your first weave will take a lot of time and patience. If you don’t have the commitment to finish a project, you might as well not start at all.
However, there are a few things you can do to help:
- Making full use of shedding the warp threads to speed things up
- Frequently switch between different yarns and patterns to keep things interesting
- Work on smaller projects so you can see the finish line
The first weave is always a struggle. But as you get more experience, you will be able to weave much faster and finish your projects in considerably less time.
A lot of new weavers complained to me that their weaves just don’t look that good.
They often suggest that something might be wrong with their technique. But in most cases their main problem is the design itself.
Weaving as a hobby requires a certain amount of creativity. Especially when it comes to choosing which yarns to use together and which pattern to use.
Weaving can really be as easy or as difficult as you want to make it.
If you want to try out weaving as a hobby, you can start practicing a simple plain weave on a frame loom or rigid heddle loom and work your way up from there.
Mastering everything there is to learn about weaving will of course take time. But as long as you have a loom and some yarn, you could start today.