Materials For Practice

Cards (two), 4x2 3/4 Inches

Double Zephyr, or Wool.

Flat Bodkin, or coarse Tapestry Needle.


(1) Cards ready for weaving can be purchased or the classes can prepare their own cards in connection with their number work. Rugs, bags, hoods, muffs and sweaters can all be woven on cards by slight changes in the shape of the cards. (2) Simple looms of wood can be made by any of the early grades. Portieres, rugs, hammocks, covers and mats can be made.


Weaving is adapted to the ability of even very young children. They are interested in the process and also in its connection with the manufacture of their clothing. The method of darning worn material can be taught through weaving.

This subject may be made valuable to various grades of children, and if rightly presented will serve to increase thought as well as skill. The teacher should understand the principles and simple terms of weaving that she may develop clear ideas of processes of construction and widen the interests of her class.


First Card. Prick at both ends of one of the cards ten or a dozen holes which shall be directly opposite one another. Thread the needle with wool and make a knot in the end of it. Bring the bodkin or needle through the card in the first hole at one end, and then take a stitch across the card to the hole opposite. This will make a long stitch across the face of the card. Take a short stitch on the back into the next hole, and again across the card in a long stitch; continue this until all the holes are filled, and then fasten off the thread. These long stitches represent warp threads, or the threads which are placed first in the loom. The woof, or filling, is now to be put in. Begin at one end, going under and over the warp threads, until the warp thread on the other side is reached; return by going over the last warp thread, and forming the selvage, and alternate the stitch across to the place where the woof began, continue going back and forth, pushing the threads close together to make a solid piece of cloth. Be careful to keep the cloth the same width.

Fig. 1 Twill Weaving.

Fig. 1-Twill Weaving.

Fig. 2 Pattern Weaving.

Fig. 2-Pattern Weaving.

Second Card

Prepare the second card the same way as the first, but increase the number of holes. Put in the warp threads as in the first model; the woof or filling should now be inserted in such a way over and under the warp threads that a pattern may be formed. See Figures 1 and 2. A simple twill may be used. Pattern is the result of the way the woof threads intersect the warp. Simple alternation does not make a pattern. Let each teacher make a design of her own; she can practice first, if she wishes, with the cut strips used in kindergarten weaving. When she makes a design she likes she can use it on the second card. The warp threads can be a different color from the woof. Several colors can be used. She can mount the two woven pieces on the bristol board pages with or without the cards.


Primitive races began some form of weaving early in their development. Such elementary hand work can be adapted readily to children and the product is interesting and useful. The looms should be simple in construction and very plain weaving with coarse threads should be attempted at first. Soft loosely spun threads, such as rug yarn, roving, which can be bought from spinning mills, or lamp-wick make good woof threads. Children who have woven strips of paper in the kindergarten will easily understand how pattern is made. The teacher should discuss with her classes the making of different kinds of cloth. Pieces of loosely woven material or canvas should be ravelled out by the children that each may see the way the threads cross each other. Examples of full width cloth should be at hand to illustrate various patterns and the selvage. Each child should note the warp threads, running lengthwise of the goods; the cross or woof threads, which bind the warp threads together and which in turning back form the selvage at the side. Such simple terms in cloth construction as warp beam, cloth beam, shuttle, harness, heald, heddle, batten, and treadle should be used from the first. Knitting, as used in the manufacture of sweaters and stockings, should be contrasted with weaving. Little knitters can be made of large spools with pins or thin nails surrounding the hole at one end. Toys like this can be purchased by any teacher if she has never seen one of these devices and the children can be taught to make their own. It is a customary thing for children to make such knitters and to use the product for horse-reins or for mats. The knitting is done by passing zephyr or yarn through the spool to the end containing the pins, and then by winding it twice alternately around each pin and again once around outside of all of the pins. The material is made by taking the loop on each pin and slipping it over the head in regular succession and by passing the worsted around the outside of the pins whenever a complete circuit is made. Lessons in weaving and knitting should be always connected with the manufacture and darning of clothing. Weaving may be practiced first on cards: simple or elaborate patterns can be made as desired. Each child should, however, try to make a pattern of her own. For later practice an old slate frame, from which the slate has been broken, may serve for the loom by putting small brads or nails along either end, stretching the warp threads back and forth on these and by weaving in the woof threads across. The first or second grade pupils can readily make for themselves wooden looms like the frames. A sample of each of the various card looms, on which such articles as muffs, hoods, sweaters and bags are made, can be purchased by the teacher. Each child can be taught to make similar looms from these simple cards. Third and fourth grade children often find great interest in making looms and in weaving the articles. More elaborate looms for plain cloth can be made in an oblong box. A couple of sticks or spools are placed at each end, to represent the beams on which the warp thread is fastened. A heddle can be made of a stiff visiting card with a series of alternate slits and holes cut in it for the warp threads to pass through before they are fastened to the cloth beam and after they have been attached to the warp beam.

The heddle has as many slits and holes as the cloth is to have warp threads. After the threads are fastened to the warp beam every other one is passed through a slit and the alternate ones are threaded through the holes. By pressing down or drawing up the heddle the sheds are made through which the woof threads are passed. After each woof thread is inserted the threads should be battened or pushed together to make a solid, even cloth. This can be done with the heddle or with a comb or with a coarse needle. A shuttle can be made of a stick or a piece of card on which the woof thread can be wound. It will pass between the separated warp threads. Small looms for school can be purchased.

The Todd Hand Loom - $ .30-$1.00 - Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The School Loom - $1.50 - Domestic Art Department, Teachers College. New York City.

The Hooper Colonial Loom - $ .75-Milton Bradley Co., New York City.

These looms are useful for demonstrating the subject to a class. If a teacher cannot make her own, it is well for her to purchase one of those already on the market or to have some one who can work in wood make one for her. It is always better for the classes to make their own either as a co-operative or individual exercise.

Fig. 3   A Cardboard Heddle.

Fig. 3 - A Cardboard Heddle.