Weaving at its most basic (and, for me, most satisfying!)

There is a lot of fun to be had with a simple loom you can probably make with supplies you already have on hand, a small paper shredder, the contents of your recycling bin after a major clean-up (old maps/love letters/watercolors/magazine pages/musical scores/photos/outdated foreign currencies); some string or yarn, paint. Plus your old Afro comb, to pack the woven rows together.

This sort of loom is not only simple to construct, but flexible enough to do anything I want to do with weaving these days; and it can be easily scaled to the size you need. Its structure is a simple but stable rectangle which you could make from canvas stretchers–  hammering in, across the top and bottom,  u-shaped nails, evenly spaced  (I find about a half inch apart works for most things). These will be used to tie individual strings for the warp. 

Next to the basic loom in the photo is my little cranked paper shredder, and a long carpet needle which can come in handy for weaving; and also a home made shuttle to efficiently carry the weft over and under, back and forth. 

These are the materials I used for virtually all of the pieces that follow….for stability I alternated weaving a strip of paper with one or two rows of string or yarn (colored or not, skinny or fat). Fragile papers can be glued to a stronger backing before shredding. Nobody says you can’t cut through, or paint over the finished product, if you so desire!


7 Responses to “Weaving at its most basic (and, for me, most satisfying!)”

  1. I think you must be more than one person. I hardly have time to make a list of all the things you inspire me to do, while you produce actual things, many of them. This is ‘freedom’ weaving, and I want to try it. Karol

  2. Betsy Lahaussois Says:

    Karol, the moment of truth is fast approaching (the end of the box of old slides to organize!), and soon I am going to have to “stop talking and start chalking”. They say cleaning up the studio is an activity invented to put off the hard part…wish me luck!

  3. Wow, those are beautiful. I never ever thought of weaving with paper. And I agree with Karol! 😉


  4. What a great post. I’ve been looking for awhile for someone on the internet using weaving in this way. I plan on making a simple loom such as this very soon, and now I definitely can’t wait!

  5. Betsy Lahaussois Says:

    Hi, Rachel! Let me know how it goes…I’d be glad to tell you anything I have figured out, and curious to see what you come up with!

  6. Betsy dear,

    Y0u are an artist, teacher, curator, and friend. What a maginificent way to spread sthe word! I am thrilled to be on your website under the huge, floppy hat you made.

    Best love,

    La Mamma

  7. Great site, I will be back. Well done

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