I had several comments from my last giveaway asking for help with inkle looms. So here is the start to a series all about what I know! First things first, we need to start with vocabulary. Weavers have all kinds of strange words to describe the parts of looms.
Inkle looms are small tabletop looms used to make long narrow bands – up to 4 inches wide, 9 feet long. Mine comes from Beka Inc and I love it. I am the keeper of 18 of these for the kids programs at the Textile Center and these ones are durable!
Shed – the opening that you pass the shuttle through when you are weaving. On an inkle loom, you move one set of strings up and down, creating the shed.
Heddles – hold down every other thread. On an inkle, one set of threads stays in place, one set moves up and down.
Warp – the long threads that you put on the loom. Inkles make a “warp-faced” weave, which means you only see the warp threads in the finished weaving. This inkle has a continuous warp, which means it is one big loop, with all of the separate colors tied to one another.
Tension Bar – this is the only moving piece on this loom. It can be loosened and tightened to adjust the tension in your weaving.
Weft – The thread that you weave back and forth through the warp. You carry it on a shuttle. It passes through the shed. On an inkle, this thread hardly shows in your finished piece.
Shuttle – a thread holder for your weft thread. You also use the shuttle to press or beat the threads tightly together as you weave.