The question may seem funny. Why on earth would someone want to weave their own fabric when there are plenty available in the market?
How come we do not ask that question when someone takes up pottery and make their own dinner plates and cups? I guess because one assumes that weaving needs skills and tools that not everyone will have. What if we could break that standard way of thinking and explore this exciting possibility - of weaving fabric for our own use? Maybe learn how to weave fabric from natural, eco-friendly fibers.
Come with us as we explore – let us see what it takes to learn how to weave our own fabric.
Be warned - it could start as a casual hobby, then become a fulfilling one, and go on to becoming a life-long passion!
Making your own fabric is not only about the finished product, but it's more about the history, the connection, and relationships that you build around your work over a period of time.
Once you feel the connection, you will start to see how a simple handwoven piece of fabric can act as a state of mind and give you a thrill to celebrate the work of one's hands.
In this post we have curated some blog posts that will give you an orientation on how to weave one’s own fabric, what skills and what equipment are needed. You will also meet people who know how to weave fabrics they can use for themselves.
Start by Making Your Own Loom Using Cardboard
We found two blogs and a few videos which walk you through simple steps of weaving, using a loom you can make yourself with cardboard. We will share them with you.
The basic steps of weaving are to create a ‘mesh’ with horizontal and vertical yarns.
The vertical strings are parallel to each other, equidistant apart and are pre-tied to the loom. This set of strings or yarns is called the WARP.
The horizontal strings are woven into the vertical lines to create a mesh like pattern. These horizontal yarns are kept close to each other and form the weft. For ease of remembering – WEFT yarn goes from left to right and right to left! Remember ‘LEFT’ to remember ‘WEFT’.
Learn How to Make a Cardboard Loom and to Weave
Here is a resource center for you to get started with the art of weaving:
- Start with an animated version to learn the art of weaving with a cardboard loom. This is easy to understand and entertaining.
- Another video which explains how to make a cardboard loom and weave, in simple terms.
- If you want to see weaving in a slightly bigger piece of cardboard take a look at this short video. Very nicely done.
- After these video sessions here is a nice blog with detailed instructions with good images.
- Here is one more blog: Learn how to make a simple handmade weaving loom with cardboard & make your own fabric
How to Make a Frame Loom?
It is now time to try a frame loom. Not expensive, easy to transport and something you can make yourself. This blog post will get you started.
See How Andy Made a Suit Starting with Weaving the Material for it!
Ready to learn how to weave your own fabric?
Here is an interesting video of an attempt to make his own suit starting from picking cotton!
This is a part of a series on YouTube called ‘How to Make Everything’. In this episode Andy walks us through weaving to stitching his own suit. Very educational.
Ready to Start Weaving?
Are you feeling inspired to try weaving and you want to start with a cardboard loom or a frame loom, consider using Muezart’s Eri silk yarn as the Weft yarn? A strong yarn, it is sourced directly from the villages of Meghalaya where the heritage cottage industry of Eri silk is alive. The best part is - the yarn is totally organic, and hand made. You can use 15/3 for the Warp.
Feeling Adventurous? Want to Buy a Floor Loom?
If you are already so smitten that you want to buy a loom – go for it. There is a store in Chennai where you get world class looms. No, we are not marketing for them, but sharing information based on our knowledge – as Muezart bought a few from them.
Why is Muezart interested in regenerating Eri silk industry in Meghalaya?
To improve the livelihoods of the village communities – not like an NGO but as a conscious business which can be sustainable, while benefitting the community. Over 80 % of the population of Meghalaya depend on agriculture which means they live in villages. Our state is very fertile, is part of a biodiversity hotspot and home to a variety of herbs, spices and medicinal plants. So. there is a huge potential for the farmers to make good return on the labour and money they invest. Unfortunately, they have a challenge in reaching their produce to a market because of the hilly terrain. So, they do not earn as much money as is possible. Sericulture - the rearing of Eri silkworms, spinning the fiber and yarn - provides them with a secondary income and so, regenerating this industry will help many rural families.
In keeping with the ethos of our promoter company Chillibreeze - to release the hidden potential of the people and the state of Meghalaya - Muezart is on a mission to release the people potential of people of Meghalaya too – through the regeneration of Eri silk industry.