13 Different Types of Loom Techniques and Weaving Patterns for Beginners

Weaving patterns and weaving techniques for beginners(1)No matter if you are weaving on a cardboard loom or a floor loom, you will need to incorporate a variety of different patterns and techniques into your weave to create beautiful designs.

Additionally, learning a few new patterns is a sure way to improve your weaving skills.

We have compiled a list of some of the most useful techniques and weaving patterns for beginners.

Plain Weave

The plain weave is the most simple weaving loom pattern you can come up with.

That’s why most beginning weavers start by learning the plain weave before anything else.

The pattern is made by going over and under alternating warp threads with your weft thread, creating a checkerboard pattern.

In the video below, the plain weave is explained using paper weaving.

A common variation is the basket weave, where you alternate going over and under two warp threads rather than one.

Soumak Weave

The soumak weave, also known as the braid weave, is a great way to add a 3D texture to your weave.

And by weaving two rows of soumak next to each other a braid-like pattern appears, which is great for dividing a weave into two distinct sections.

Different effects can be created depending on the type of yarn you use. The soumak weave with big or chunky yarn can be used to decorate wall hangings while using thinner yarn is great for making strong and sturdy projects like rugs or carpets.

Rya Knots

Rya knots or rya loops are often added to weaves to create a fringe at the end of a weave and they normally look best with thicker yarn types. Decorative wall hanging can have rye knots added throughout the weave as well.

These knots need to be made by hand and can be quite tedious. So normally you only see them on smaller projects.

To make sure the rya knots are stable, make sure to weave 2 or 3 rows of plain weave above and below the knots.

So if you want a row of rya knots at the bottom of your weave, make sure to first make a row using the plain weave after warping the loom before you use the Rya knots

Pile Weave

Just like they rye loops, the pile weave is another method to incorporate loops into your weave and create a soft texture.

In traditional hand weaving the pile is formed by using a metal rod or wire that can be inserted in the shed.

When the rod or wire is taken out afterward, the pile ends will form loops that will remain in the weave.

Of course, you could use any rod for the pile weave such as chopsticks, dowel rod or knitting needle.

Twill Weave Pattern

The twill weave is another fundamental pattern like the plain weave that every beginning weaver should know.

Although there are many different ways to make a twill weave pattern, the basic idea is to make a diagonal pattern.

This is achieved by over one or more warp threads and then under two or more warp threads. And with every new row, you want to offset the pattern to create the diagonal look.

If that sounds a little confusing, check out the video below that explains it visually with paper.

Chevron Weave

The chevron weave is used to create an arrow shape in your weave and is similar to the twill weave.

To create the arrow pattern, you start by using the twill weave and by offsetting your weave in one direction every new row.

After a certain row, you are going to continue with twill weave but now change the offset to the opposite direction.

This is an easy way to create some extra texture to your weaves and bring it to live if you get bored with the plain weave.

Herringbone Weave

The herringbone weave is also known as the broken twill weave and creates a V-shaped weave.

This might sound similar to the chevron weave. But unlike the chevron weave, the herringbone weave has a break at reversal which gives it a zigzag pattern.

The continues reversal might sound a little confusing, but the herringbone pattern is surprisingly easy once you get the hang of it.

Diamond Weave

The diamond weave is another variation on the twill weave and is created by combining a horizontal and vertical zigzag weave.

This turns the arrow shape of the chevron weave into a diamond. Since the diamond weave has two symmetry axis, it will be best for beginners to carefully design the repeating pattern before starting.

With a little bit of planning, you can even make a pattern with diamonds of different sizes.

Finger Weaving

Weaving is normally done on a loom. But if you don’t have any loom, you can still give finger weaving a try.

Finger weaving is a basic weaving technique that doesn’t require any equipment.

All you will need is to attach the threads to something stable like a table clamp, hook or doorknob.

A big difference with other weaving methods is that you won’t need separate weft and warp threads since the threads will function as both.

Finger weaving is normally used to make narrow bands, similar to inkle loom weaving, to create friendship bracelets, bag handles, key rings, etc.

Tapestry Weaving

Tapestry weaving is a form of weaving that originated more than two thousand years ago and has very popular lately among both beginners and experienced weavers.

Although there are special tapestry looms for sale that are considerably bigger than standard looms, it’s totally possible to weave tapestries on a frame loom or lap loom as well.

Tapestry weaving emphasizes the artistic part of weaving over the function aspect. With very thin weaving threads of different colors and a lot of patience, nearly photorealistic tapestries can be woven.

However, modern styles often use dramatic textures with bright colors to give the biggest possible impact

Rug Weaving

Rug weaving has been perfected in different areas of the world for centuries. As a result, there are many different styles and ways to weave a rug.

Since rugs are pretty big, they are normally made with a big floor loom that is wide enough.

Normally rugs are woven with pretty simple weaving patterns such as the soumak weave to minimalize the work you have to do by hand.

Saori Weaving

Saori weaving is a weaving technique that started in Japan and is best described as freestyle hand weaving.

The basic idea is to learn weaving without rules and restrictions such that you can just focus on channeling your creativity.

Normally a special Saori loom, although it’s not crucial, to create handwoven textiles such as clothing, bags, scarves, etc.

If you want to start using a floor loom but not sure how to operate one, Saori weaving might be the right place to start.

Tablet Weaving

Tablet weaving, also known as card weaving, is a weaving technique that uses tablets or cards to create a shed rather than a heddle or weaving sword.

Since all the things you will need are pretty cheap, it’s pretty popular among hobbyist weavers.

Normally an inkle loom is used for tablet weaving to create items such as belts, straps, or clothing trims.

The tablets themselves used to be made from a variety of different materials such as bark, wood, metal, leather, etc. But nowadays normally tablets made out of cardboard are used.

The number of holes that each tablet has determines the complexity of patterns you can weave, i.e. if you are using more holes you can weave more different patterns.

Some people even punch holes into regular playing cards to make a large amount of inexpensive and customized tablets.