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Make Your Own Loom

Take a second and look at what you are wearing. If you look closely you can see the individual yarns that are likely woven together to create the cloth on your body. But how does yarn become clothing? One way to make cloth is through weaving on a loom. The loom is said to date all the way back to the 5th millennium BC and it created cloth by intersecting Ithreads in at least two alternating sets. These are called the warp and are the threads that are threaded vertically on the loom. When one set of threads of the warp are raised it creates a space for the weaver to bring another yarn through and across the loom. This new yarn entering the weaving horizontally is called the weft. The tool used to hold the yarn for the weft is called the shuttle. While looms have been improved throughout the years the basics have remained unchanged.

Nowadays there are many variations of the loom but the basics of the first loom are intact. The loom has been advanced by using new materials such as cord, wire, and steel. Some homemade looms have even been constructed using cardboard and pvc pipes.

Today we are going to learn how to make a tapestry loom out of cardboard. All you need is a rectangular piece of cardboard, a ruler, tape, scissors, and yarn. Start by measuring your piece of cardboard and cutting an even number of slits every half-inch along the top and bottom of the short ends of your cardboard. These slits are going to hold our warp string. Use a piece of tape to secure your yarn to the back of the cardboard then thread the yarn through the first slit at the top and down through the first slit at the bottom.

Follow your string to the back then bring the yarn around to the front filling in the second slit on the top. Continue wrapping the yarn through the top and bottom slits until complete. Finish by taping the yarn to the back. Now that you have completed warping your loom you are ready to weave in the weft. A shuttle can be made out of cardboard or if you have a large plastic embroidery needle that will work nicely. Now that you have your warped loom and shuttle ready to go you can start weaving!


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