Belt Made With A T-D Loom

This type of loom is used to make a narrow fabric, as for a belt or a headband. This is a beginning step in using a loom with a "harness"; the weaving is tighter and firmer than that done by tube weaving. The making of the loom is an interesting project.

Equipment needed: knife; sandpaper; egg-beater drill and small drill; peg; comb for beater; shuttle to hold weft.

Materials needed for loom and belt: 7 small strips of thin wood, whittled and sanded, as tongue depressors; string to lash; 1 stick 10" to 12" long, with cord tied to each end, to go around waist; yarn or string for warp and 9 lengths yarn or string for weft; toggle or buckle.

Steps To Make Loom

1. Bore holes with drill in center of 5 of the small strips of wood, the heddles.

2. Lay these 5 heddle strips side by side, 1/4" apart and lash (see any campcraft book) them to cross pieces, top and bottom (Fig. IX-22). This is the harness.

3. Thread 9 strands of warp thread through the holes in the heddles, and between the sticks (Fig. IX-23) to make warp. Tie all strands at top with an overhand knot (Fig. IX-23 A). For overhand knot, see chapter on Braiding and Knotting, Figure 11-21.

4. Tie other end of strands evenly to the long stick (Fig. IX-23 B), spaced as desired for width of weaving.

5. Hook overhand knot on peg and tie stick around waist, so strands are taut, and the harness is in place.

6. Wind shuttle with weft.

Steps to Weave 1. With loom in place, start at the B-stick end; with left hand raise harness, with right hand push shuttle through the shed from right to left (Fig. IX-24). Catch with left hand and pull through, pulling yarn in place firmly, but not tight.

2. Use comb as a beater.

3. Lower harness so a new shed is formed (Fig. IX-25); push shuttle from left to right, pull yarn into place, use comb as beater.

4. Continue for length of belt, allowing for buckle and loop.

5. Finish ends as in chapter on Braiding and Knotting (Figs. 11-6 and 7).

Weaving With Navajo Looms

This type of loom is used by women of the Navajo Indian tribes to make rugs and materials. It is a particularly good camp project, as the making of the loom utilizes trees and toolcraft and lashing. The first project given here is a good group project; the second, an individual project.

Grass Mat Made With Navajo Loom

Equipment needed: tree; saw; hand ax; knife.

Materials needed for loom and weaving: 2 poles or saplings, about 4' long; 4 stakes, about 20" long, pointed at one end, cut straight at other; binder twine or string; grasses, rushes, cattail leaves, sedges, or similar natural material- be conservation-wise in gathering!

Steps To Make Loom

1. Lash (see any campcraft book) one 4' pole to tree (Fig. IX-26 A).

2. Tie 9 pieces of binder twine to pole, 5 of them 5' long, 4 of them 6' long, so they alternate, one 5' then one 6', etc. (Fig. IX-26). Use clove hitches (see chapter on Braiding and Knotting, Fig. 11-19).

3. Drive stakes in ground, in front of tree, so the 5' pieces of twine can be tied to them with clove hitches (Fig. IX-26). Tie these strings-1, 3, 5, 7, 9-to the stakes.

4. Tie other strings-2, 4, 6, 8-to the other long pole (B), so the pole will drop outside the stakes (Fig. IX-26).

Steps To Make Loom

This pole will serve as a heddle to make sheds for the weaving.

Steps To Weave

1. Lift up pole B. Put long bunches of grass (size of fist) or other materials at top of warp strings, close to pole A (Fig. IX-26).

2. Drop pole B down to ground, outside stakes; place bundles of grass next to first bundles.

3. Raise pole B, and continue steps 1 and 2 to end of weaving.

4. Cut strings at poles and stakes; tie ends of 1 and 2, 3 and 4, etc., together with square knots (see chapter on Braiding and Knotting, Fig. 11-16) at both ends of mat.

5. Trim ends at sides.

Weaving With Small Portable Navajo Loom

This type of loom (Fig. IX-27) may be used to make a mat, or cloth, or similar material; the material is closely woven, and more "finished" in appearance than with other Navajo loom. This project calls for progression in weaving, in construction, and in making the design of interesting colors and shapes. An added step in progression would be to dye the weaving material with natural dyes (see Chap. XV on Correlation with Nature).

Equipment needed.- knife; saw; sandpaper; beater or comb; shuttle, 6" to 8" long; paper, etc., for design.

Materials needed for loom and weaving: 2 forked sticks, 34" long, thicker than thumb, for uprights A; 2 straight sticks, 24" long, thicker than thumb, for stretchers B; 2 straight sticks, 20" long, thick as little finger, for yarn beams C and D; 1 straight stick, 24" long, thick as thumb, for hanger E; 1 straight stick, 20" long, thick as little finger, for heddle rod; 1 strip of thin wood 14" thick, 11/2" wide, 20" long, for heddle; lashing twine; warp thread; weft of yarn of desired colors.

Steps To Make Loom

1. Round ends of all sticks, and sand smooth. Notch ends of heddle rod H (see Fig. IX-30).

2. Square lash the forked sticks A and cross sticks B to make frame (Fig. IX-27). Notch before lashing for extra strength.

3. Lash, temporarily, yarn beams C and D at desired places, depending on length of cloth to be woven (Fig. IX-27).

4. String warp for desired width, as follows: with loom in horizontal position, tie end of warp thread at x (Fig. IX-28); bring thread down over front of beam D, up and over front of beam C, down and in front of beam D, always bringing thread over beams from front to back. This makes thread cross at M (Fig. IX-28). Space threads evenly, and keep tension uniform through stringing. 5. Fasten hanger stick E to top stretcher B by a piece of twine (Fig. IX-27 F). Attach yarn beam C to in 3 or 4 places with twine (G); attach yarn beam D to lower stretcher B in similar fashion. Remove temporary lashing of yarn beams C and D to uprights A, so yarn beams hang loose. Control tension of warp by F.

Round Ends Of All Sticks


Steps To Make Sheds

1. Insert heddle stick so that it passes under odd-numbered warp threads and over even-numbered warp threads (Fig. IX-28). Turn the heddle stick so that top edge is toward you, to create shed No. 1 (Fig. IX-29).

2. Tie on heddle rod, to make shed No. 2, as follows:

With heddle stick flat, pass a ruler or odd stick under even-numbered threads, below heddle stick; turn edge of ruler toward you, making temporary shed No. 2.

Run a piece of twine (about 3 times width of warp) through this second shed from left to right, and remove temporary stick.

Hold heddle rod H to right of warp (Fig. IX-30); fasten right end of twine to left end of heddle rod, loosely, with 2 half hitches (see chapter on Braiding and Knotting, Fig. 11-20); push end of heddle rod to left across warp, catching twine with left forefinger, between first two even-numbered threads; throw 2 half hitches over end of rod, and push end through to next two even-numbered threads. Proceed from right to left, picking up twine between even-numbered threads. The twine lies over odd-numbered threads, and under even-numbered threads; the heddle rod is on top of all threads.

Tie end of twine at left end of rod, with clove hitch (see chapter on Braiding and Knotting, Fig. II-19). Notches on heddle rod will help hold the loops in place.

Heddle rod now lies across warp; when lifted, it pulls even-numbered threads forward, creating shed No. 2 (Fig. IX-31).

Pulls Even Numbered Threads Forward

Steps To Weave

1. Check general suggestions for making and weaving design (Figs. IX-10-15).

2. Make design and wind shuttles and thread needles.

3. Start with 1/2" selvage of warp thread, holding loom as in Figure IX-32.

4. Starting with shuttle of first color, make shed with heddle stick, and pass shuttle from right to left (Fig. IX-29).

5. Pull heddle rod forward, making second shed, and pass shuttle from left to right (Fig. IX-31).

6. Work in pattern to end, finishing with 1/2" selvage of warp thread.

7. Remove from loom by cutting warp threads and tying in pairs.