How to Weave a Blanket

By Shellie Braeuner
Weaving on a loom is a vintage artform.

Weaving creates fabric out of single threads. According to the Georgia College, archeologists discovered woven fabric in digs dating as far back as 8,000BC and as far apart as China and Peru. They theorize that early people observed birds’ nests and spider webs and copied the actions to form early woven fabric. Looms can be complex machinery, or as simple as a rectangular frame. Blankets range in size from 8 feet by 10 feet rectangle that covers a king-size bed to a tiny 2 feet by 3 feet blanket used to wrap an infant.

Cut the warp lines for the loom. Measure the length of the warp threads. Add the length necessary to wrap around each end of the loom to the desired length of the blanket. To count the number of warp threads needed for the blanket, wrap the yarn around a ruler. Push the yarn together so that the individual loops are close, but not overlapping. Count the number of yarn loops necessary to cover one inch of the ruler. Multiply the number of yarns per inch by the number in the width of the blanket.

Tie the end of each warp yarn to the top of the loom. Thread each piece of yarn through the heddle. The heddle is a slotted tool that separates the yarn in the warp, making it easy to throw the shuttle through the warp. Tie the other end of the yarn to the bottom of the loom.

Load the shuttle with the yarn chosen for weaving. You may choose the same color yarn or a coordinating color.

Lift the heddle of the loom. Some looms have a foot treadle that lifts the heddle, others require the weaver to lift the heddle by hand. Throw the shuttle through the tunnel of warp yarns. Pull the shuttle free and pull the yarn firmly, but not tightly across the warp yarns.

Push the heddle down. This reverses the order of the warp yarns; the warp yarns that had been raised are now below the warp that had been on the bottom. Throw the shuttle across the new tunnel and tighten the woven thread.

Repeat raising and lowering the heddle and throwing the shuttle until the blanket reaches your desired length.

Cut the warp yarn holding the blanket to the loom and tie two, three or even four threads together to make a fringe and finish the blanket.

Tip

Check the instructions for your loom. Different loom designs have slightly different methods of wrapping or tying the warp threads.

Warning

Be careful to tighten the yarn without stretching it.

About the Author

Based in Nashville, Shellie Braeuner has been writing articles since 1986 on topics including child rearing, entertainment, politics and home improvement. Her work has appeared in "The Tennessean" and "Borderlines" as well as a book from Simon & Schuster. Braeuner holds a Master of Education in developmental counseling from Vanderbilt University.