Inkle Weaving

In my lovely ex-library book there was a chapter on Inkle Weaving so when I bought the materials for the black and white sampler I also bought an Inkle Loom. While waiting for my nail frame loom I decided to put this into use too and wove a couple of braids:

Inkle braids
Inkle Braids


Inkle braids are warp faced weaving, whereas Tapestry is weft faced. For any readers that don’t know, the warp is the up and down strands that are fixed in place and the weft is what you use to do the  side to side weaving. With cloth-weaving the warp and weft have equal weight in the finished piece and the yarn used is usually the same, this allows the cloth to be flexible. With weft faced fabric such as Tapestry the warp is simply the structure on which you weave and the weft usually completely covers it to create the pattern or picture. With warp faced weaving it is the warp that is important and the warp threads are put on with coloured yarns in the correct order to produce the pattern you require. You cannot see the weft in the finished piece. Both Tapestry and Inkle weaving produce a less flexible fabric.

So far I have only woven relatively simple Inkle braids but never-the-less I think the finished product looks most effective. I am amazed at the great variety of patterns it is possible to weave in this way if only I could find a use for them! Belts, bracelets and guitar straps can all be woven, along with handles for handbags and decorative bands to sew onto other products. However if you want to create a bigger piece entirely from Inkle bands you have to weave lots of them and sew them together and this seems to me a rather slow and inefficient process and requires a lot of warping up.

Around the same time I also bought some cards to have a go at Card Weaving; so far I haven’t tried it but I hope to do so at some time in the future and to do more Inkle waving too so watch this space.