Setting up a small loom for band weaving

How to set up a small loom to weave narrow warp faced bands.

Some people prefer to weave on a loom rather than using a backstrap.  It is important that you set up the loom carefully.

Tie the warp onto the back beam.

1.  Make the warp and thread it through the heddle according to the pattern draft.

 2.  Tie the warp onto the back beam.

 3.  Put the narrow heddle over the front beam and hold the warp ends firmly.

The card wrapped around the back beam

  1. Start to wind the warp onto the back beam. Hold the ends of the warp firmly.
  2. Use stiff card to ensure that the beginning of the warp in wound on evenly.  It is possible to do this on your own but a helper makes this task easier. 
  3. Make sure that the warp ends are kept at an even tension throughout winding on.

Use stiff paper to separate the layers of warp threads.

1.  Use stiff paper such as wallpaper to keep the warp ends separate.
2.  When all the warp is would onto the back beam, tie the start of the warp onto the front beam.
3.  You are now ready to start weaving.

Using the Sunna heddle on a small rigid heddle loom.

When weaving, push the heddle as far back as you can.  You need to have enough room to move the heddle up and down freely. 

Use the shuttle to beat the weft in place.  Do not use the rigid heddle for beating the weft.  As you can see from the picture, the warp stretches out across the heddle.  The band is warp faced so the weft pulls the warp ends together.  

The small piece of plastic that you can see on the woven band is a simple device which I use the check the width of the band.  Mark the band width on the plastic.  This is used as a guide to ensure that the band stays the same width.

On my YouTube video:  Five Ways of Weaving Narrow Bands I weave bands using this small loom and the Ashford Knitters loom.  The video is a useful guide to weaving bands on small looms. Click on the link to view.

Susan J Foulkes February 2015


  1. For a complete band weaving beginner, do you recommend the back strap method, this small loom method or an inkle loom? I am interested in weaving the Swedish style band. Thank you!

    1. It really depends upon what equipment you have. An inkle loom is ideal for beginners as there are many books and videos which show how to thread the loom and weave. It is stable and easy to use. If you have one or can borrow one use it. It will teach you the basics of keeping an even beat and band width.
      weaving with a back strap is more portable and uses the traditional rigid heddle. i like weaving with a back strap but in addition to keeping and even beat and straight selvedges you have also to learn how to use the back strap effectively. I hope that this helps

  2. Hi Leah. I am away from home so I will reply in detail when I return.

  3. If you are using a rigid heddle loom for your band weaving, can you use multiple heddles to create your bands (like two or three heddles)?


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