How to Make Lap Loom Patterns

By Fabianna Dardati
Using a variety of colors in your weft allows you to create unique designs.

Learning to weave on a lap loom is a quick way to understand the construction of many textiles. A lap loom can be anything from a square piece of cardboard to a commercially available frame loom. The base fibers are vertical and called the warp. The horizontal fibers are called the weft. Fabrics are classified by the density of warp to weft fibers visible on the surface. There are three main weave structures: plain, twill and satin. Other structures are merely variations of these.

The plain weave is an alternating one-over, one-under pattern.

Create a plain weave by inserting the chopstick under the first warp fiber and over the next one. Continue alternating under and over in this manner until you reach the end.

Denim is a very well known twill, recognizable by the diagonal pattern of weave.

Slide the chopstick down the warp towards the bottom of the loom. The tension separates the warp fibers. Weave a string of yarn through.

The satin weave results in a smooth effect due to high warp or weft density.

Push the yarn to the top of the loom using the fork. Begin the next row from the same side but in an opposite manner to the one prior, alternating over and under until the end. Repeat these steps until the woven piece is completed.

The herringbone pattern is a twill weave offset in a mirror image every few rows.

Create a twill pattern by going over and under more than one warp fiber at a time while creating an offset only in the first interlacing of each row. In a 2/2 twill for example, the first row would be two under then two over until the end. The next row however would start out one under and then continue two over-two under until the end. The third row would start out two over and the fourth one over. At row five repeat row one and continue with the same steps.

A shirt, a jacket and a tie. The three weaving structures are seen here.

Weave another piece using the satin weave technique. A smooth surface is obtained by floating over four or more warp strands, then under one. It is important to randomize the warp strands chosen for weaving under in each row to give the surface a virtually unbroken appearance.

Develop your own creations organically by mixing colors and weave structures.

Combine a variety of colors and densities into one woven piece. Some popular designs are houndstooth, herringbone and plaid. You can also design patterns using your own creative intuition.

About the Author

Fabianna Dardati began writing in 1988 for local school and city publications. Her blogs Petit Poix and the Spanish version, Petit Poix al Latino, provide information, links and resources to budding independent fashion designers. She received a Bachelor of Arts in French in 1988 from Hollins University.