Weaving is a traditional craft used to produce various textiles and accessories by interlacing threads or fibers. If you’re interested in learning this craft or turning it into a business, you need to first source the right supplies. Whether you’re a new weaver or looking to improve your current skills, here’s a guide to the top weaving supplies.
The Textile Industry in 2022
The textile industry encompasses a huge array of operations, from large corporations that mass-produce goods to independent weavers that sell directly to customers. Small businesses in this space generally don’t compete with larger operations in terms of price. Instead, they set themselves apart by offering unique, hand-crafted products and personalized service.
Top Places to Buy Weaving Supplies for Your Business
There are many stores and resources that carry a wide selection of weaving supplies and kits. Read on for a full list of places to source weaving products for your new business.
Amazon offers a wide selection of weaving supplies and equipment, including looms, yarn in various colors, and books and kits ideal for beginners. The site is known for providing tons of value and fulfilling each order quickly, with two-day free shipping available on many products for Prime members.
Etsy is home to a vast array of unique craft supplies, including various yarn and weaving supplies. You can find hand-dyed and hand-spun yarns and threads, along with handcrafted wooden tools like dowels, combs, and shed sticks.
WEBS is known as “America’s Yarn Store.” The website, catalog, and store chain provide a huge array of yarn and thread for various craft projects, including weaving. The company also offers looms, books, and various tools.
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4. The Woolery
The Woolery is an online store that specializes in all things fiber crafts. They have a great selection of yarn, along with all the accessories you may need to learn how to weave.
5. The Weavers Loft
The Weavers Loft is an online shop completely dedicated to weaving supplies. The shop is based in Southeastern Indiana but ships products throughout the entire country. They even provide free shipping on orders over $135 to most locations.
6. Vermont Weaving Supplies
Vermont Weaving Supplies offers a wide array of weaving supplies for customers of any skill level. Not only does the shop carry various fibers, looms, and equipment, but they also offer helpful service to guide customers to their most relevant products.
7. Pacific Wool and Fiber
Pacific Wool and Fiber specializes in quality yarn and weaving supplies. The shop offers various looms, threads, and accessories for weavers of various skill levels. They ship throughout the country and offer free shipping for orders of at least $150 within the continental U.S.
8. Paradise Fibers
Paradise Fibers is a Washington-based company that specializes in weaving supplies and other fiber crafts. You can find an array of quality tools, along with blog posts to grow your expertise and a loyalty program for returning customers.
9. Gist Yarn
Gist Yarn is an online shop that provides yarn and fibers for various crafts, including weaving. You can also find patterns, tools, and educational resources on the site.
EBay is a marketplace site that offers a large selection of weaving supplies and accessories, including yarn, looms, and quality equipment. Since items come from various sellers, you can constantly find new options and deals on the website.
Essential Weaving Supply Options
There are a variety of quality materials you may need to complete various weaving projects. Here are some of the most common ones that weavers often work with.
Cotton yarn is a natural fiber known for its breathability, absorbency, and softness. It’s ideal for weaving projects that require a lightweight and comfortable fabric, such as summer clothing, towels, and bed linens. Cotton yarn can vary in thickness, from fine thread to bulky yarns, and is often preferred for its durability and ease of care.
Wool yarn, typically sourced from sheep, is renowned for its warmth, elasticity, and natural water repellent properties. It’s commonly used in weaving projects that demand warmth and coziness, like winter garments, blankets, and rugs. Wool can be spun into various weights and is prized for its ability to retain heat, making it a popular choice for cold-weather items.
Silk yarn is a luxurious, natural fiber known for its sheen, strength, and smooth texture. Extracted from the cocoons of silk worms, it’s often used in high-end weaving projects like scarves, shawls, and elegant garments. Silk’s unique luster and drape make it a favorite for items that require a sophisticated and refined appearance.
Linen yarn, made from the flax plant, is valued for its exceptional coolness and freshness in hot weather. It’s commonly used in weaving projects that require a crisp, clean look, such as table linens, curtains, and summer apparel. Linen is known for its natural luster, strength, and durability, becoming softer with each wash.
Bamboo fiber is a regenerated cellulose fiber, known for its smooth texture and eco-friendly properties. It’s often used in weaving projects that require a silky, drapey quality, like lightweight summer clothing and soft home textiles. Bamboo is naturally antibacterial and hypoallergenic, making it a good choice for sensitive skin.
Synthetic Yarns (e.g., Acrylic, Polyester)
Synthetic yarns, such as acrylic and polyester, are man-made fibers that offer a wide range of colors and textures. They are often used in weaving projects that require durability, ease of maintenance, and affordability. Synthetic yarns are resistant to moths, mildew, and sunlight, making them suitable for items that need long-lasting color and shape retention.
Alpaca fiber, sourced from alpacas, is a soft, durable, and luxurious natural fiber. It’s known for its warmth, hypoallergenic properties, and lightweight nature. Alpaca fiber is ideal for weaving projects like sweaters, blankets, and accessories that require warmth without the heaviness of wool.
Jute fiber, derived from the jute plant, is a long, soft, and shiny vegetable fiber. It’s often used in weaving projects that require a natural, rustic look, such as sacks, rugs, and agricultural twine. Jute is eco-friendly, biodegradable, and has a natural brown hue, lending an earthy aesthetic to weaving projects.
Tencel, a brand name for lyocell, is a regenerated cellulose fiber made from wood pulp. It’s known for its smooth texture, strength, and eco-friendly production process. Tencel is often used in weaving projects that require a silky, drapey quality and is appreciated for its moisture-wicking properties and gentle touch on the skin.
Wool roving is a thicker, unfinished fiber that can either be spun into yarn or added to woven tapestries as-is.
Warp thread is a specific type of yarn or fiber that is stretched vertically along the loom. These are often thin, strong fibers that are also available in various colors and materials.
Patterns can be a great way to learn how to weave various products. There are tons of books where you can find unique things to hone your skills or sell in your shop, though you may need to modify some specific patterns.
Dowels are wood or metal posts that you use to hold the top of a tapestry in place once you take it off the loom. You can also use this to hang woven items on your wall.
|Cotton Yarn||Cotton yarn is a natural fiber known for its breathability, absorbency, and softness. Ideal for lightweight and comfortable fabric, like summer clothing, towels, and bed linens. Varies in thickness and is durable and easy to care for.|
|Wool Yarn||Wool yarn, typically from sheep, is known for warmth, elasticity, and water repellent properties. Used for warm items like winter garments, blankets, and rugs. Comes in various weights and retains heat well.|
|Silk Yarn||Silk yarn is a luxurious, natural fiber with sheen, strength, and smooth texture. Extracted from silk worms, used in high-end items like scarves, shawls, and elegant garments. Known for its luster and drape.|
|Linen Yarn||Linen yarn, from the flax plant, is known for coolness and freshness in hot weather. Used for crisp, clean looks like table linens, curtains, and summer apparel. Features natural luster, strength, and becomes softer with each wash.|
|Bamboo Fiber||Bamboo fiber is a regenerated cellulose fiber with a smooth texture and eco-friendly properties. Used for silky, drapey items like summer clothing and soft textiles. Naturally antibacterial and hypoallergenic.|
|Synthetic Yarns (e.g., Acrylic, Polyester)||Synthetic yarns, such as acrylic and polyester, are man-made and offer a wide color range and textures. Used for durable, easy-care items. Resistant to moths, mildew, and sunlight, suitable for long-lasting color and shape retention.|
|Alpaca Fiber||Alpaca fiber, from alpacas, is soft, durable, and luxurious. Known for warmth, hypoallergenic properties, and lightweight nature. Ideal for items like sweaters, blankets, and accessories, providing warmth without the heaviness of wool.|
|Jute Fiber||Jute fiber, from the jute plant, is a long, soft, shiny vegetable fiber. Used for natural, rustic items like sacks, rugs, and twine. Eco-friendly, biodegradable, with a natural brown hue, lending an earthy aesthetic.|
|Tencel Fiber||Tencel fiber, a brand name for lyocell, is a regenerated cellulose fiber from wood pulp. Known for smooth texture, strength, and eco-friendly production. Used for silky, drapey items and appreciated for moisture-wicking properties and gentle touch.|
|Wool Roving||Wool roving is a thicker, unfinished fiber that can be spun into yarn or used as-is in woven tapestries.|
|Warp Thread||Warp thread is a specific type of yarn or fiber stretched vertically on the loom, often thin and strong, available in various colors and materials.|
|Patterns||Patterns are guides for weaving various products, available in books for learning or creating unique items, may require modifications for specific designs.|
|Dowels||Dowels are wood or metal posts used to hold the top of a tapestry in place after removal from the loom. Also used for wall hanging of woven items.|
Weaving Tools and Equipment for Business
The right tools and equipment can make your favorite weaving projects even easier. Here are some great types of equipment to invest in as you start your weaving business.
The central tool in weaving, a loom holds the warp (longitudinal) threads taut while the weft (latitudinal) threads are woven through them. Looms range from simple, frame looms to complex floor looms.
A shuttle carries the weft yarn across the loom. It can be a simple stick or a more complex boat shuttle, which holds a bobbin of yarn.
Warping Board or Mill
A warping board or mill is used for measuring and organizing warp threads. It helps in creating a warp of a specific length and tension.
In a loom, a reed or heddle is used to lift and lower warp threads to create a shed for the weft to pass through.
Bobbins hold the weft yarn and are used in conjunction with a shuttle. They can be made of wood, plastic, or metal.
A warping peg is used in direct warping on a rigid heddle loom and helps in maintaining even tension.
A beater is used to push the weft yarn into place, packing it down to create a tight, even fabric.
Scissors are essential for cutting yarn and trimming finished edges.
A raddle helps in evenly distributing warp threads across the width of the loom.
A tape measure is necessary for measuring yarn length, loom dimensions, and finished projects.
A threading hook assists in threading yarn through heddles and reeds.
Lease sticks keep warp threads in order, preventing tangling during the warping process.
A temple stretches the weaving widthwise to maintain even selvages.
A fringe twister is used to create twisted fringes on finished weaving projects for a neat look.
A yarn swift holds skeins of yarn, making it easier to wind them into balls.
Yarn Ball Winder
A yarn ball winder winds yarn into neat balls, facilitating easy unwinding while weaving.
Used in threading the reed, a sley hook helps in pulling warp threads through the reed slots.
Warp weights maintain tension on individual warp threads, especially useful in tapestry weaving.
These large, blunt needles are used for hand-weaving tapestries or adding details to woven fabric.
A shed stick is a tool used to separate threads that run along a loom to make it easier to thread your needle through each fiber.
A loom brush is used for cleaning the loom, ensuring its longevity and proper functioning.
Spinning Wheel (Optional)
For those who spin their own yarn, a spinning wheel is essential for creating custom yarns for weaving.
This special detergent cleans woven items without damaging the fibers, essential for finished projects.
|Loom||The central tool in weaving, a loom holds the warp (longitudinal) threads taut while the weft (latitudinal) threads are woven through them. Looms range from simple, frame looms to complex floor looms.|
|Shuttle||A shuttle carries the weft yarn across the loom. It can be a simple stick or a more complex boat shuttle, which holds a bobbin of yarn.|
|Warping Board or Mill||A warping board or mill is used for measuring and organizing warp threads. It helps in creating a warp of a specific length and tension.|
|Reed/Heddle||In a loom, a reed or heddle is used to lift and lower warp threads to create a shed for the weft to pass through.|
|Bobbins||Bobbins hold the weft yarn and are used in conjunction with a shuttle. They can be made of wood, plastic, or metal.|
|Warping Peg||A warping peg is used in direct warping on a rigid heddle loom and helps in maintaining even tension.|
|Beater||A beater is used to push the weft yarn into place, packing it down to create a tight, even fabric.|
|Scissors||Scissors are essential for cutting yarn and trimming finished edges.|
|Raddle||A raddle helps in evenly distributing warp threads across the width of the loom.|
|Tape Measure||A tape measure is necessary for measuring yarn length, loom dimensions, and finished projects.|
|Threading Hook||A threading hook assists in threading yarn through heddles and reeds.|
|Lease Sticks||Lease sticks keep warp threads in order, preventing tangling during the warping process.|
|Temple||A temple stretches the weaving widthwise to maintain even selvages.|
|Fringe Twister||A fringe twister is used to create twisted fringes on finished weaving projects for a neat look.|
|Yarn Swift||A yarn swift holds skeins of yarn, making it easier to wind them into balls.|
|Yarn Ball Winder||A yarn ball winder winds yarn into neat balls, facilitating easy unwinding while weaving.|
|Sley Hook||Used in threading the reed, a sley hook helps in pulling warp threads through the reed slots.|
|Warp Weights||Warp weights maintain tension on individual warp threads, especially useful in tapestry weaving.|
|Tapestry Needles||These large, blunt needles are used for hand-weaving tapestries or adding details to woven fabric.|
|Shed Stick||A shed stick is a tool used to separate threads that run along a loom to make it easier to thread your needle through each fiber.|
|Loom Brush||A loom brush is used for cleaning the loom, ensuring its longevity and proper functioning.|
|Spinning Wheel||For those who spin their own yarn, a spinning wheel is essential for creating custom yarns for weaving.|
|Fiber Wash||This special detergent cleans woven items without damaging the fibers, essential for finished projects.|
What Is the Best First Loom for Beginning Weavers?
If you’re looking to purchase your first loom to learn how to weave, a rigid-heddle loom is a fairly simple style that doesn’t include extra features that may overwhelm beginners. Start with a loom between about 15 and 25 inches wide, which provides enough space to maneuver comfortably but isn’t large enough to require hours of work.
What Kind of Yarn Do You Use for Weaving?
You can use a variety of yarn and threads for various weaving projects. The most common fibers include wool, cotton, and rayon. Consider the type of product you want to produce to determine the best materials for each project.
What Devices Are Used for Weaving?
Looms are the main devices used to weave cloths and tapestries. There are many different types and sizes available, including floor looms, table looms, rigid heddle looms, pin looms, and more. Selecting the right loom for each project can make it easy to master your craft.
What Products Can You Make by Weaving?
Weaving is a versatile craft that allows for the creation of a wide range of products, each customizable in design, color, and technique. Below is an expanded list of items you can make using weaving techniques:
- Rugs: These can range from small, decorative pieces to large, room-sized rugs. Using various materials like wool, cotton, or synthetic fibers, weavers can create patterns and textures suitable for any decor.
- Tapestries: Tapestries are woven wall hangings that can feature intricate designs, landscapes, abstract patterns, or even storytelling elements. They are often used as artistic decor pieces.
- Scarves: Scarves are a popular woven item, perfect for experimenting with different yarns and colors. They can be lightweight for spring and autumn or thick and cozy for winter.
- Bags: From small pouches to large tote bags, weaving allows for a broad range of styles. Durable materials like jute or canvas can be used for everyday bags, while finer threads like silk can make elegant clutches.
- Jewelry: Woven jewelry includes bracelets, necklaces, and earrings. These can be made with thin threads, beads, and even metal wires for a unique, handcrafted look.
- Clothing: This encompasses items like shirts, dresses, and skirts. Weaving your own clothes allows for complete customization of fit, style, and fabric type.
- Blankets and Throws: These can be made in various sizes and with a range of materials, from light cotton for summer blankets to thick, woolen throws for winter warmth.
- Table Linens: This includes tablecloths, placemats, and napkins. Woven table linens can be customized to fit any table size and decor style.
- Pillows and Cushions: Woven pillows and cushions add texture and comfort to home decor. They can be made in a variety of sizes and styles to match any interior design theme.
- Wall Hangings: Similar to tapestries but often smaller, wall hangings can add a touch of handcrafted art to a room. They can be abstract, geometric, or representational in design.
- Kitchen Towels and Dishcloths: Practical and pretty, woven kitchen towels and dishcloths can be made in absorbent materials like cotton or linen and customized in colors to match kitchen decor.
- Hats and Accessories: Weaving can also be used to create unique hats, headbands, and other fashion accessories, offering endless possibilities for personalization and style.
- Upholstery Fabric: For those with advanced skills, weaving upholstery fabric for furniture is an option. This allows for matching interior decor in a very cohesive way.
- Baskets: Woven baskets can be both decorative and functional, used for storage or as plant pot holders.
- Footwear: Unique shoes or slippers can be crafted through weaving, creating comfortable and original footwear designs.
- Art Pieces: Weavers can also create standalone art pieces, experimenting with textures, colors, and materials to make one-of-a-kind artworks.
Each woven item offers a canvas for creativity and personal expression. The choice of materials, the complexity of the weave, and the color palette all contribute to making each piece unique and tailored to specific needs or aesthetic preferences.
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