Rigid-Heddle Loom weaving is a great gateway into Loom weaving: it has the ability to create much larger fabrics than a simple frame loom, without the complexity of managing a number of shafts. In Handwoven Home: Weaving Techniques, Tips and Projects for the Rigid-Heddle Loom, Liz Gipson shows us that you needn’t think of this ‘simple’ loom as simple at all. She creates a lovely array of woven items (and patterns!) for the home using a rigid-heddle with weaving widths as small as 8″.
Who the Book is For
The introduction of the book says that the book is for anyone who has completed weaving one project on a rigid heddle.
The book, however, contains detailed instructions (with step-by-step photos) about how to warp your rigid-heddle loom, how to finish your weaving and a review of basic know-how for the beginner weaver. While it’s always easier to learn a new craft by taking an in-person class, I’d venture to say that an adventurous newbie who learns well from books could learn to weave for the first time from this book.
It’s a joy to see a project-based book that dedicates significant effort into the introductory how-to steps. In today’s publishing world, these sorts of instructions are often shaved off for a thinner (and quicker) book.
A more advanced weaver will still find plenty of variety in this book. The projects are lovely and the patterns present a fresh and modern spin on ‘classics’ like the linen tea towel. This book came out of Liz’s 2015 New Year’s Resolution to weave fabric for all of the rooms of her home, and I think any weaver who picks up this book will be similarly inspired to do the same.
Topics Covered in this Book
The main chapters are organized by room of the house, and are as follows:
- Yarn for Interiors
- Know-How For the Rigid-Heddle
- Following the Patterns
- The Kitchen
- The Dining Room
- The Living Room
- The Bathroom
- Warp your Rigid-Heddle Loom
- Finishing your Weaving
These titles don’t quite reveal how much this book is a blend between a project book and a reference guide for weaving. The introduction contains a considerable discussion of choosing yarn for your projects (think of a miniature The Knitter’s Book of Yarn for weavers) and detailed step-by-step photos of many of the techniques demonstrated.
Short insets on selecting colors that work well together, interesting weaving patterns and fun variations of fringes convey useful information that readers can apply to any of their weaving projects.
We are delighted to have our yarns featured in over half a dozen projects in this book! Our Organic Cotton and Cottolin are always popular with weavers, but we were also very excited to see that Euroflax (a delicious, but usually knitting, yarn) scored a feature!
Knitters will find this book a welcome introduction to weaving. As Liz is also a knitter, a number of projects use ‘knitting yarn’ in a way that is not traditionally found abundantly in weaving patterns. This presents a fun opportunity to dive through your stash to create fun new projects.
I love the ‘give it a try’ spirit that Liz presents throughout the book. She gives you the tools, it’s up to you to go and make something fun!
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