Create Your Own Fiber Art: An Introduction to Weaving | Savannah Kurka | Skillshare

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Create Your Own Fiber Art: An Introduction to Weaving

teacher avatar Savannah Kurka, maker + designer + weaving enthusiast

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

9 Lessons (37m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Materials List

    • 3. Create a Loom

    • 4. Warping

    • 5. Plain Weave

    • 6. Create a Shape

    • 7. Add Tassels

    • 8. Taking Weaving Off Loom

    • 9. Conclusion

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About This Class


Join us on our journey as we will learn about the age old craft of weaving with our own modern twist. No experience is nessesary as we explore the foundation of weaving and create a strong understanding of the basics to this craft. Weaving is a truly relaxing way to use your hands and make an end product that you are proud of. We will build on our newly found knowledge by exploring a handful of fun tips, tricks, and techniques, that will help students make unique woven pieces time and time again.

The first step in creating your own woven wall art is to source or create your own lap loom. A loom is the apparatus on which you weave. You may click here to check out a loom kit from my online store. You can use the coupon code: SKILLSHARE for 10% off your order. However, if you are not ready to invest in a loom just yet, I will walk you through the steps of making your own with items that you probably already have around the house. 

Meet Your Teacher

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Savannah Kurka

maker + designer + weaving enthusiast


I am the maker + designer behind Savvie Studio. I marry traditional and modern making techniques to create home goods + accessories. I also love to put my degree in Art Education to use by hosting various workshops, primarily based around fiber craft. When I'm not teaching a workshop or working the in studio, I am typically playing with my two dogs, testing out a new salsa recipe, or planning out my next road trip.

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1. Introduction: Hi. My name is Savannah and I'm a maker, a designer and a weaver. I own a small brand called Savvy Studio, where I combine traditional and modern making techniques to create home goods and accessories through in the development of my products. I use everything from woodworking, embroidery, laser cutting, jewelry making and leaving. I'd have to say that leaving is by far my favorite of all of them. I stumbled into leaving during my freshman year of college. I was looking to fill in some electives in my schedule, and I thought leaving. That sounds really fun. That sounds really relaxing and like a good form of stress relief. And little did I know going into the class that my eyes will be open toe, one of my greatest passions. I'm so excited to be here sharing leaving with you guys today, and it's my hope that everyone walks away from this class with a really good introduction toe. What leaving is and how to make your own woven wall art. We're gonna go over some really fun techniques that are going to give you some creative freedom. Once we've learned that good foundation and you can get really creative and create some really fun staff. So I'm excited to get to weaving. So see you guys in the next video. 2. Materials List: Hey, guys. So today we're going to go over all of the materials that we need to get started with our project. So the first thing we're going to want to gather is our yarn. You can pick it up in a variety of colors, textures and so forth and have a lot of fun picking out your yarn. The next thing we need is a pair of scissors, a large tapestry needle like this. You'll notice it has a very large I'm making it easier to thread, and then we'll also want to get a small dowel rod. This is what we will hang are weaving on, much like the example that I have right here. The next thing we need is a comb. You can also use a fork or even use your hands if you need to. This part isn't absolutely necessary to weaving, so the next thing you'll need is your shed stick. This is a long piece of wood. We could look like this. You could also use a ruler or dowel rod. Any of those will work. The next thing you'll need is your warping thread. Working threat is any strong thread that's non elastic. You see here, I'm pulling it really hard to make sure it doesn't break. This is very important to test out any warping thread before you use it for your weaving. Um, this is a crash, a thread made of cotton that I found at my local craft store. And it works really great for warping. So one more than you're going to need is your loom. So this is a lap bloom I've actually made and designed this specific loom and I saw in my Etsy shop, which I'll leave a link to down below. But you don't have to have a professionally made loom to get started with. I'm going to walk you through how to make a loom out of items you should already have lying around the house if you're not ready to make that investment just yet in a new loom. So to get started, you're going to gather a few materials. Ah, one is going to be a picture frame like this one here. It's made of wood. It's a nice, thicker frame on and I've just taken the glass in the backing out. I'm also gonna get wire nails, a ruler, a pencil on a hammer as well as a pair of pliers. Onda, if you have one lying around the house, a Dremel is also going to be very helpful to get those nails started for Yeah, so that's everything that you're going to need to get started with this project today. 3. Create a Loom: Okay, So in this video, we're going to go over how to make your own loom. If you're not ready to invest in a lab bloom just yet, so you're going to need to get a picture frame. This is when I had lying around the house made of wood. You can see that it's just a basic basic picture frame that I've nailed nails into down on the bottom and the top two, then warp on. So on this frame you can see that it is again made of wood. It's fairly thick on the sides, meaning that the nails aren't going to go all the way through and poke you on the other side. It's also wide enough to nail into, um, and give you a little room to work with. You'll also notice that it's not too fragile, your you'll want to test it and make sure that it's nice and sturdy so it doesn't end up just snapping or breaking on you. So the first thing I'm going to do is take my ruler and I'm going Teoh measure along the top and the bottom of my frame. So I'm gonna measure every fourth of an inch every quarter of an inch. I'm gonna take my pencil, and I'm just going to mark those out. So I will later be able to see where I need to nail. There's gonna go every fourth of an inch, like I said, and just keep going and, you know, just continue to mark all the way along the top of your frame, and once you're done with that, you'll do. The bottom is a well in the exact same way, Um, something that's really helpful. Us to take your Dremel and go in and then drill every single hole you'll notice on my frame that I've stared my nails just a little bit. So every other one is a little bit lower than the last one. That makes it a bit easier to. Then go and warp onto your frame and I'll show you why in the next video. So now that you have all of your little marks made, we're going to take our wire nails, and we're going to go ahead and hammer them in. I like to use pliers to hold the nail. For me. It makes it a little bit easier. Um, and I'm just gonna take my hammer and go ahead and just nail those in, um, again. We're going to stagger them just a little bit. This is just a personal preference. So you might find that you love it, and you might find that it's not the way for you going to take it. And I'm going to nail again. I might want to edit all this out and we're just and we're going to continue to do that along the top and the bottom of the frame, just like this example here. 4. Warping: in this video, we're going to go over to very important terms about leaving. Those terms are warp and left, so you can see in my example piece here there are threats that go across this way and some that go up and down this way that is the actual foundation of weaving. Is that interlocking? The ones that go up and down that is called your warp the ones that were going back and forth that is called your left. So you can remember that left goes left and your warp goes up and down. Work threads are your actual foundation that you weave on. So I'm going to show you how to create your warp on your loom. And I'm gonna start out showing you on this loom, which is the exact same process as it is on your d I Y frame loom. So you're going to take your warping thread and you're going to pull it really tight to make sure that it's not going to break, and we're going to tie onto the bottom of our loom. So I won't this one on this exact loom, and you will see that it's not the exact width of my actual loom. That is because I started in my work a little bit. So this is the very first design choice you make deciding how large or small that your piece is going to be. And it by no means has to be the full size of the room. So our next step is to take our warping thread, and we're going to tie it off on the bottom on this one of an account over to about the sixth. Yeah, the sixth space. And I'm tying it off down at the bottom. And then this is just a basic not just like when you tie your shoes and then I'm gonna go in and I'm going to double. Not that I want to know that you're going to be tying on the bottom. Whichever side you tie off on the beginning. That's what you're going to consider your bottom and you're gonna take this and you are going, Teoh, wrap it up to the top, pulling it nice and tight, and we're counting over to six spaces doing that again on the top and wrapping it around that top tooth, and I'm going to know that we're not wrapping up behind or anything like that. We're just wrapping it around that nice little to to make a stitch, and we're going to pull that down again, keeping that nice, tight tension, and we're going to wrap it around the next to if you're working on your D I y, um, frame loom, then you're going to do the exact same thing. But each time you're just wrapping around and now and we're just going to go back and forth and continue wrapping around each tooth. So it's very important to keep a strong tension. As I've mentioned before. As you're pulling your warping threads up and down, I got in your just making sure that they're staying nice and tight. There's no give at all, and that's very important. If you don't have a strong tension, it's going to make it difficult toe we've later on. So let's say that's about where I want to stop. So the first thing I'm going to do is double check my tension, just like setting my hand down the middle of the warp and making sure there's on a certain port point that dips down or anything like that also counting all of my threads just to make sure that I have an even number. This will be really important when we finish off our loom and you'll see why I'm just snipping my little thread there. And now I'm just going to tie off down at the bottom. But first in the event that some of your warping threat is a little bit loose, you're just going to pull down on every other warping thread, so you'll just continue pulling down on each one just enough to tighten up the tension that we have. I was pulling it nice and tight, and this last one came loose. So I'm going to re war bit. But I've got a really nice tension on the last few. So I'm going to pull this down and I'm checking the tension. Yeah, it's much better. So I'm going, Teoh, take my little tail and I'm going to double, not it down on the bottom of my loom. It's important to remember that you're tying off on the bottom again, the same side that you tied off on when you got started. And again, I'm just doing a little double, not just like if you're tying your shoes, a simple boring Not on this one. I think I'm actually going to triple not it. To keep it nice and secure. I'm just going to trim the little tales that are left over. And now we've created our work. If you want to warp onto your D I Y frame loom and see exact same process, you're just going to take your warping threat and you're going to tie it around the first nail or however far over you want to go. If you want to make your weaving a little bit smaller than your frame, you can do that and we're going to take our warping thread and we're going to pull it up, wrap it around that nail, pull it back down, pull it up again, pull it down, and we're just going to do that going back and forth, just like we did on the other loom. So you're just going to keep doing this until you have gone all the way across or as wide as you want your weaving to be, and then you'll tie off the bottom again. 5. Plain Weave: So in this video we're going to go over the term left that we learned earlier on our last video. We learned about warping, and we also learned about left the act of going back and forth to create the actual we've. So we're going to take some yarn. We're going to push it through the eye of our needle and leave a nice little tail, maybe about six or eight inches or so. And I had started off with a piece of yarn that's maybe a yarn yard and 1/2 long. So the next thing we're going to do is take our shed stick and your search could look like this. A doll, a dowel rod, a ruler, anything like that. We're going toe. We've Arshad stick in and out of our war, so we're going to take it and we're going to go over and under every single warping thread just going over under over under and then pushing it all the way through. And then we're going to turn it on its side and you can see that it creates a shed that will gap there, that it's creating. That's called a shed, and this is going to make the weaving process go a lot faster. So we're going to take our needle and we're going to be able to just push it through that entire gap that we've created that entire shed and now we're leaving about a two inch tail . We're not pulling it all the way through. Gonna take our cone and we're going to push that up to the top. And now that little tale that we have leftover, we're going to take it and we're just going to tuck it into our warping thread. So we're taking the tail and we're just weaving it in and out of the 1st 3 or four warping threads. And if there's a little bit of a tail left over, that's totally okay. You could just push that back to the back side of your weaving and we'll have by the time we're done, we're going to have lots of little tales that we can trim. So now, taking our needle going the opposite direction. We're going to go over under over, under over under, just weaving our needle in an hour and we're going to pull our needle through, keep pulling it through. You'll notice here that I'm making a bit of a like a hook or side sideways. J maybe I'm taking my comb and I'm pushing it up to make it nice. And even I'm also looking at my edge is making sure that they're not too loose and not too tight. So these edges here these air called salvage edges, which are very important to make sure that you don't pull your salvage edges into tight. That's how you start getting that hourglass shape, what you really don't want in your weaving. So going back the opposite direction, we're going to turn our shed stick on its site, and we're going to pull our needle through that shed or that gap we've created. Didn't making that sideways J or the nice little hooks there and then taking are calm. Tuck it in. Looking at our selvage edge is again making it not to loose not too tight. This is something you'll get a good feel for as you keep on going. So now we're taking our needle and we're weaving back in and out, going the opposite direction, and I'm going to pull it through and I'm gonna push it up with my comb just like this And just pull in those edges, making sure that it's not too tight and go back through our shed. Well, uh, push it up with her comb, check our salvage edges, get not pulling too tight, and then going back again with our needle way have created a plain weave, which is awesome. Congratulations. This is the first step toe weaving. So now we're going to change out to a different color. I think I'm going to start off with this color. I'm gonna add a little stripe of white. Um, so the first thing I'm gonna do is I'm going to take the remainder of the yard we have left , and I'm just going to take it. Emina, weave in and out. Maybe to like the fourth warping thread. Just gonna pull that through, and then we're going to trim the little tail. And that's how we end this first color. If there's a bit of a tail left, we're just going to push it behind our weaving, push it up, and then we're going to get started with our next color. I'm going to measure out maybe, ah, yard of this color I'm gonna trim it and I'm going Teoh put it on my tapestry needle. So once we've got our needle threaded, we're going to get started. Just like how we did with our first plane. We've where we pull our needle through. We're going to tuck our little tail in going over and under over and under the first few warping threads and then pushing the tail behind to the back side of our weaving and take our needle. And we've backed the opposite direction. And we're just going to do this as long as you want. So now you've learned how to change colors and you can use this to create a striping effect . Um, do color blocks and so forth and our next video we're going to learn how to create shapes 6. Create a Shape: in this video, we're going to go over making shapes. So in our last video, we learned how to do a plane we've Then we learned how to change colors or create stripes. And no knows that I left a tale here. And that's because next we're going to make this shape, and then we're going to fill in around the shape that we've created. So many is this tale here, Teoh actually fill in around it. Somebody make a triangle just like the example on the technique that I'm showing you is going to show you how to make pretty much any shape you can use the's directions to and apply them to just about any other shaped like a rectangle circle. And so far so you will notice. In my example, I put my triangle right in the center. So this is one of the design choices you're going to have to make. Um, you can put your shape wherever you want in your weaving. You can put it on the side, um, floating in the middle or wherever you want. The placement is totally up to you, so let's say we want to do Art is in the center again. I'm gonna count in four, four warping threads in and again. This is totally the number of working threads you go in is totally dependent on how large you want your shape to be. And so I'm warping in until I get to the fourth warping threat on the opposite side, making shorts even in the center. And I'm going to take the tale of, um, detail of it. And I'm just going to tuck it in, weaving it in and out two or three times and then tucking that tailback behind. It's gonna take my needle and we're going to weave back the going back where we came from Puller needle through and just push it up. And we're going to get started going back that same direction again. And what we're going to do is we're going to make two rows. Uh, it's a step, and so you can see I've got one to sell the judges on this side, and I've only got one on the side. So I'm gonna go back making it even on that fifth warping threat again, and then pull my thread through or pull my needle to rather I'm sorry and make it nice and even. And so I've got to salvages edges on the side to salvage edges on that side. So now I'm going to step in one warping thread, and now I'm on. Originally, I was on the fifth warping thread from the left. Now I'm on the sixth, and so I'm pulling it in, pushing it up and then doing the exact same thing on the opposite side, pulling it over to the sixth warping thread from the right side. And now I'm weaving through, go back the opposite direction, and again, we're going to have to steps on the side. So we've got to strands on our salvage edges on both sides. So now we're going to step in one whopping one warping thread further and and the same thing on the right side. - No , I'm stepping. And again, we're getting close to the bottom of our shape in the bottom of our triangle. I'm pushing the holding up below, but just to make my triangle a little bit more compact, Not so long, and I'm gonna take my scissors, trim a little tail, and then I'm just going to wrap that tail around my last warping thread and I'm going to pull the tail through to the back. Um, just tuck that away And what we can trim that off of the back later. The rest of the thread where the rest of the weft that we're going to fill in within a minute will really help hold in that tail. So we've created our triangle, and we're going to go back in and fill the sides. So I'm going to take the tail that I had left over from our first well section of white. Yearn and I'm going to thread my needle. I'm just going to start weaving in on the side and I am going to weave right into the edge of the triangle and then pull it back in and start weaving back and forth. And so that stepping we did for the triangle, we're going to just fill in any of that negative space. So I did two steps for the first section of the triangle, so that will be copied by two two rows of the filler and so forth just going through and filling in the rest of that space on every time you're triangle steps in or whatever shape you're making steps in a little bit further, your filler will also step in to fill in that space. You will also want to pay close attention to your selvage is doing this. I have always had a difficult time. When I'm filling in around any of my shapes, I tend to lose sight of my salvages and they start looking a little bit sloppy. So definitely don't lose sight of those while you're working on your filler. So now we're going to fill in the opposite side of our shape. I'm getting some Garm ready to go, and now I'm just going to start doing the exact same thing on the opposite side. We're just going to do this just like when you're starting a new color. We're just going to tuck that little tail and, um, weave it through three or four of your warping threads poking the tail behind. And then I hope so. I got it wrapped around my loom there for a second emerges, going to continue weaving in and out filling in that space 7. Add Tassels: All right, so in this video, we're going to go over tassels. So in our example, weaving, You can see I finished off the bottom of my leaving with tassels. You don't have to finish your weaving with tassels. You can actually put them anywhere in your weaving to add texture. Um, or some fun interest. So I'm going to show you how to get started with your tassels. So I have pre cut 16 pieces of yarn. I have 16 pieces of warping thread, so I cut 16 pieces of yarn and these were about 18 inches long. You can make them as long as you want. So where I'm gonna take my yarn, I've got two strands. And if you want thicker tassels, you can use more than two strands. You could use three strands, four strands however you want. And so I'm gonna take my two strands, and I'm going to pull it under the 1st 2 pieces of warping thread. So now I'm going to pull it up to make sure that my ends are nice and even, and I'm going to pull it back down again, keeping it even on both sides and then in between those two warping threads I have pulled up to create this little loop. So I'm gonna show you again through the two warping threads. Just pull up. I'm going to take the ends and put push them through that loop on this side. You're going to do the exact same thing. Pull that through, and then you're going Teoh, even a pure ends down at the bottom and just pull straight up and you've created a tassel. So do the next one. We're going to take two strands of our pre cut yarn again, and we're going to go under the next two pieces of warping thread, and then we're gonna pull through. We're going to pull our edges together, making sure that we haven't even amount of yarn on both sides pulled the center in between the two warping threats. And then we're going to push our tails through the loop that we have created, pulling them up to create another tassel, and you'll just keep doing this across the bottom of your weaving or wherever you want your tassels to be. So, one more than that, I would like to note, is that it's really important to keep your tassels nice and long. You would rather have them too long than too short because you can always go back and trim then, and if you make them too short, it's going to be quite a hassle to have to take them all out. So make sure that you make them at least a couple inches longer than you anticipate that you want them to be. 8. Taking Weaving Off Loom: all right, so in this video, we are going to go over taking our weaving off of the loom. So for someone to pick up my little tassels and you remember and one of the previous videos , I mentioned that it's important to have a good little gap between the bottom of your weaving in the bottom of your loom. And this is going to be Why? Because we're going to take our scissors and we're going to just cut directly off of our loom, cutting all of those warping threats. I'm once you have all of those cut. The next thing you're going to Dio is start double nodding those warping strands. She will take the 1st 2 and tie them and then double, not them. It's important not to pull. It's too tight because then you could end up pushing your weaving together, um, and and messing up the way it looks. So we're going to go into the next one, tie it, and then we'll just double not it. We'll continue doing that all the way along the bottom, just tying off and double nodding each set of warping threads. All right, so now I'm going to go in, and I'm just going to trim all of those little tales that we have left. You just snip those all away, and now we're just going to pull the top of our weaving right off of our loom, and it's just going to pop off just like that. And now we're going to get our dowel rod, and we're going to slide it right through those loops that are at the top. So before we do that, we're going to take each loop, and we're just going to twist it once to make him a little bit smaller, make it a little bit more secure and push her doll road through, take the next loop, twist it once, push our dollar out through each time you twisted. It's just making it a little bit smaller. If you have a dollar rod that's way too small for the loops that you have, you can twist it as many times as you need to make it fit nice and tight around the dowel rod that you have. And so we're just going to keep doing this, twisting each loop and pushing our dowel rod through, and you also you don't have to use a dollar ride. You can use a sticker, a fun piper pencil or paintbrush. Er, you know, whatever strikes your fancy. But a dowel rod is just what I had accessible. When you can find those that all of your major craft stores or your hardware stores, I'm just continuing to push this through. And then you are going to spread it out evenly across your doll, Rod and pull each other them down again, making it nice and even. And now you have a finished woven wall piece. So I'm going to turn it over, and I'm just going to trim all of the little tails off the back, take off any scrapyard that might have gotten stuck to it. And then then you're finished, you've done it. 9. Conclusion: Congratulations. You guys just finished your very first piece of woven wall art, and that's so exciting and such a huge accomplishment. So the next step is to take a photo of your beautiful new finished piece and uploaded to our project gallery to share with your fellow classmates. So now that we've built a good foundation toe weaving and really understand the basics of the craft, the next step is to keep practicing every hour that you put in, the better you'll get. And it's also really important to continually seek out inspiration. Inspiration can be found literally. Anywhere could be the next time you're at the grocery store noticing a really fun color combination on food packaging or the next time you're at the dentist office, there could be a really neat rug on the ground with the fund pattern that you could sketch out and potentially incorporate into one of your own weavings. The local library is also a really great resource for weavers. There so many fun books in the design section, the craft section, the travel section, the interior design section, all filled with fun colors and textures and patterns and photos of great tapestries to inspire you. So thank you guys so much for joining me today. I had a lot of fun leaving with y'all and I'm I really hope that you continue to explore and develop your craft. Thank you so much for joining me by.