Oh, Baby! Weaving Wide Cloth on Small Looms

Whatever anyone tells you, size matters. Loom width is the bane of many a weaver. That 15-inch to 21-inch rigid-heddle or table loom that fits in your home and your life may be your pride and joy, but when it comes time to make a baby blanket, a wide shawl, or a standard-sized dish towel, you have to become resourceful.  Even with floor looms, unless you have some kind of commercial loom, you’ll likely need to improvise to weave a bath towel or full-sized coverlet.

Learn doubleweave and start weaving cloth wider than your loom!

(I did see a production Toika loom once that must have been 90 inches wide. The bench was on a rail, so the weaver could throw the shuttle at one side, kick off, and slide to the other side to catch it.  If I’d had the space and money, I’d have bought it for the sheer aerobic joy.)

If you want to weave cloth wider than your loom, you have a few choices. You can weave doublecloth that is open on one selvedge. Jennifer Moore’s excellent doubleweave eBook and doubleweave video explain how to do this on a shaft loom.

Jane Patrick’s book The Weaver’s Idea Book shows how it can be done on a rigid-heddle loom with two heddles. I find doubleweaving to be pretty magical, although it takes time and careful attention to keeping the layers separate.

The other time-honored choice is to weave your cloth in narrower panels and then join them. The trick here is to keep length consistent, match any patterns, and make the joins attractive or invisible. African Kente cloth is woven in long strips and joined, and I have seen backstrap-woven mantas in Peru joined with stitching and embroidery that becomes part of the overall design.

Now you can weave projects wider than your loom, without having to use doubleweave!
Sara Bixler’s clever method for weaving projects wider than your loom. Learn how it’s done in her video!

One of the cleverest solutions I’ve seen in a long time is Sara Bixler’s no-sew technique for joining narrow woven strips into blankets. Sara has developed a way to weave loops and basically crochet the panels together. No matching, no seams, and it looks great. Sara’s done a great video on the technique in which she makes several beautiful baby blankets, but you could use her ideas to make blankets, coverlets, or even really cool kitchen towels.

The moral of this story is: size matters, but the cleverness of the weaver matters more!


Other items you may enjoy:


Ridge Heddle Loom Techniques

3 thoughts on “Oh, Baby! Weaving Wide Cloth on Small Looms

  1. Epic fail on this post. No where does the post link to the no-sew baby blanket kit and so far I can’t find it on the site. Also the post talks about the video but doesn’t convey directly that if you purchase the kit you will get the video or what format the video will be in.
    I’m writing this to help you sell your product. I like this site a great deal and would love to buy this kit, but really you should make it as easy as possible to do one-click shopping for impulse buyers.

  2. In reply to ericbrown2001. I think you’ll find that if you click on the words ‘book’ and ‘video’ they do take you to the relevant products.
    I do agree it’s not very obvious.

  3. Sorry, pressed the add button before I’d finished!! It’s early in the morning here. Likewise if you click on the word ‘kit’ you are taken to the details for that also.