Musings about the importance and impact of art and art education in the 21st century.

4th Grade Experiments in Weaving

♠ Posted by ArtMuse in at 4:31 PM

It all started in August when I opened my box of art supplies only to find that instead of ordering the wide-notched chipboard looms I wanted, I order these wide-notched chipboard looms instead.  The main difference?  About 10 notches and 6".  The result? Miniature weavings!  Not a total loss, but not exactly what I had in mind when teaching my first weaving lesson either.  

I ended up trying the lesson 3 different ways.  The first, and least successful way I tried was on my first two classes, where I had the kids attempt to take the weaving off the loom and affix one end of the knotted threads to a Popsicle stick. .  Big mistake!! Because the weaving is so short it was difficult to tie off and as a result, many of them started to unravel! After finding that out (the hard way) I had my second and third classes leave the weaving on the loom as you see in the pictures below but add tassels and beads, not a huge mistake as the weavings stayed in tact but a HUGE time drain as how it took FOREVER for the kids to tie on tassels, string them with beads, and knot the ends.  I kept it real simple with my last 2 classes and had them keep the weavings 'as is' and just hot glued them to a piece of oak tag.  To add a little 'umph' to the project I had them do repousse sun/moons and then decorate a border. All in all not a total loss.  However this year I made SURE I order the correct size looms!

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Do you still have some of those looms left? If so, a simple solution is, when warping your loom, instead of wrapping the warp thread around each around each 'tooth' and back down (we call this 'flossing' the teeth), wrap AROUND. The back of the loom in a circular fashion instead of up and down. Then, when you are done weaving, CUT the strings across the middle of the back, and you will have longe strings to tie off. Does this make sense?

I think it does....what your basically saying is to wrap the threads around the loom horizontally instead of vertically in the grooves and then just turn the loom and weave it, so that I'm working with the longer side. That's a good idea but would the warp threads stay in place without notches to hold them?

Nope, that's not what I'm saying! Wrap it around the prongs, but you have a choice of wrapping around the back so you have breads across the back of the loom as well as the front (wrapping round and round all in one direction), or wrapping it up and down, going around the prong and ack down the front, so the only strings on the back are those wrapped around the back of the prongs. Actually, if you do it this way, you shouldn't even need to tie knots at all. When you take the weavings off the loom, gently tug the yarn off the prongs. You should have enough space in the loops at the top and bottom to slide in a little dowel if you want.