How to Make Lap Loom Patterns

pelotes, laos image by J-F Perigois from

Things You'll Need

  • Lap loom
  • Yarn (or other flexible fiber)
  • Wooden chopstick

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.
tissage 03 image by Maud Talêque from

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.
denim background image by Kathy Burns from

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.
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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.
Earth Tone Herringbone Abstract Fabric Pattern Background image by James Phelps from

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.
young business man image by Elke Dennis from

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.
fabric texture extreme close-up image by Dmitry Rukhlenko from

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.