Posted by: lavernewaddington | July 22, 2019

Backstrap Weaving – The In-box

I thought I had best clear out the In-box of all the images of wonderful woven projects from  friends and acquaintances that I have been accumulating to show here on my blog. Some of them are emailed to me, some of them I photographed myself when I visited friends and others have come to me as I prowl about in the online groups.

My friend Diane recently went on a long campervan trip to Alaska and entertained herself during those long hours of daylight in the northern evenings by weaving a new band for her fisherman husband’s hat…

She combined various fish and geometric patterns from my Complementary-warp Pattern Book and used a backstrap loom.

Victoria Kusch Erker was also attracted to the cute fish motifs and you can see one that she is weaving into band on her inkle loom. There are four of these cuties in my pattern book. I adapted them to pebble weave from a band of tablet-woven fish.

Victoria then went on to weave a band with the cheeky viscachas that also appear in my pattern book. It’s hard to believe that this pattern came from a fragment of pre-Columbian cloth. It looks so contemporary.The owner of the fragment shared pictures with me so that I could study and chart the pattern. It’s adorable. The band includes a cat figure that is also seen on pre-Columbian pieces as well as some geometric patterns which are all charted in my book.

Kathy King gathered motifs from Bedouin textiles to create this beautiful band. The Bedouin weavers pick patterns for only one face of their cloth which leaves very long warp floats on the back. However, one simple additional step allows the weaver to avoid those floats and create two bonded layers of cloth. This is what we do when we weave warp-faced double weave. I have a tutorial on this structure here on this blog.

Kathy also quickly moved on to creating patterns of her own. Her backstrap loom goes with her when she travels to escape low winter temperatures.

Jane Milner showed me what she has been doing in Andean Pebble Weave…

Motifs that are woven in certain structures in tablet-weaving can be very easily adapted to Andean Pebble Weave and this is what Jane has done. I adapted, with permission, some tablet-woven motifs by Louise Ström for publication in my second book and I believe that Jane used some of Louise’s patterns as well.

Terry and Jennifer made jewelry from the eye-pattern tubular band aka ñawi awapa:

I teach this in one of my latest books, The Eye-pattern Tubular Band and Other Decorative Finishing Techniques in which I show how the band can be woven without any loom at all (that is, with the warp stretched between your waist and a fixed object), or if you prefer, on an inkle loom. The ebook includes the support of video clips.

Lynn wove the tubular band while sewing it to the edge of a pouch. This is actually the traditional use of these kinds of bands…as an edging. She used a piece of fabric which was woven by my Bolivian weaving teachers in the co-op that they run in Cochabamba. My friend Dorinda, who lived with and supported the weavers in their establishment of the co-op over many years, has lengths of these beautiful pieces of cloth for sale if you are interested. You can contact me via this blog or you can contact Dorinda via the PAZA Bolivia blog if you would like to buy them and help support the weavers. The yarn is hand spun and dyed with natural substances.

Lynn has a very interesting life style…she caretakes lighthouses around the world! and always takes some weaving and sewing projects along with her when she is doing a stint of lighthouse watching.

Here’s a picture of my new weaving friend Jan who was bitten by the backstrap bug during my visit. She has a nice comfy set-up in her living room…

On the foot-rest you can see one of the lined zippered pouches that the ladies in the Bolivian weaving co-op also make to sell. The natural dye colors are so beautiful!

Hand spun wool yarn, natural dye substances and weavers skilled in producing beautiful cloth on simple looms.

Jennifer, who wove the tubular band necklace with the star pendant I showed above, has also been making gorgeous wrist cuffs. using patterns from my Complementary-warp Pick-up e-book. This book teaches the technique and includes 42 pattern charts.

Jennifer is using the wooden ends from Purl and Loop which come with metal clasps ready to ”install”. I have bought a few sets of these for myself but have yet to use them.

And, here’s a picture of the efforts of several of my friends who are weaving patterns with supplementary weft…

I love how this technique allows color changes when ever you feel like it. It can be as colorful or as subdued as you like.  The set-up is very simple as it only requires two basic sheds. You are weaving patterns into a base of plain weave. This means that this technique can be easily woven using an inkle loom.

This technique is the topic of one of the three books that I currently have underway. Until then, if you are curious, I wrote a very basic tutorial on it many years ago.

Ann wove my leaf pattern at left in beautiful autumn tones.

Since I last visited Mary and wove double weave with her, I invented a little song to remember the moves. It can be quite an ear worm but Mary believes that it really helps and she really took off with her double weave when I saw her recently.

She put together a cool stand for her inkle loom which can be dismantled and easily carried around.

I got to see Deanna’s double weave Iching hexagrams in person on my last visit. They are so striking! Deanna uses a backstrap loom for her double weave.

Patricia Stern Mulcahy  wove some bands for key fobs. The hardware she used for these allows you to clamp them directly onto raw edges. There is no need to bother with turning a hem. The bands are folded with both raw edges clamped. There are those adorable viscachas again. She wove some of the individual geometric patterns from my book as continuous ones and I really like the effect.

Nancy uses her inkle loom for her pebble weave and tells me that she has become accustomed to the spotted charts that I use in my second book. They do require time and little patience to get used to but I can tell you that they are a great aid to moving on to designing your own patterns. About a quarter of the patterns in my Complementary-warp Pattern book were created by my students or readers who use the spotted charts to sketch out their ideas. These knot-work patterns, woven by Nancy, come from the second book…More Adventures with Warp-faced Pick-up Patterns.

Martina in Germany wove some pebble weave paw prints and river-themed patterns into key fobs too. The heart-shaped hardware is unique. I had never seen them before.

Theresa Cariello uses the  popular Mini Wave loom for her complementary-warp work. I love the way she used the horizontal bars on the border of her pick-up pattern…such a striking effect! Her band is so crisp.

And, to finish, I’ll show you what became of my latest ikat project. The idea was to see how the finer, slicker silk thread behaved. I abandoned all my fancy ideas about adding panels to the sides and weaving supplementary-weft patterns in them. That will come later. I decided to concentrate on doing everything in exactly the same way so that I could see the effect of using the finer thread. It did shift more in this project than in the first one.

Here it is out of the dye bath and almost dry. And now, on the loom with a pile of cut and unwrapped ikat tape nearby. I unwrap gradually as I weave.

There is just enough shift in the warp threads to make it immediately recognizable as ikat but not so much that the pattern is spoiled. I know that many people like the blurring. I don’t want too much of it. Below you can see it off the loom before I wet and then pressed it. I really like the way the colors darkened when it was wet.

Here it is pressed and finished with a bit of sheen that would be expected from silk.

I don’t have any real plans for this. It is part of the experiments as I work my way to finer and finer silk and longer and wider pieces. I have one more multi-color base-warp experiment that I would like to do with all the shades of blues and green that I have left from my little skeins of naturally dyed silk yarn but that will have to wait until I return.







  1. Wow! What a lot of inspiration from everybody! The projects are all beautiful, and I really love the Ikat weaving.

  2. What a collection of wonderful projects! I wish I had known your friend Diane was traveling in Alaska – she could have visited me on the Kenai Peninsula, which is a great place for camping!
    I recently did the learning piece in your Eye pattern Tubular Band book, and also a “real band,” on which I just have to finish the ends. I’m motivated to start another with different yarn and colors – it’s nice to do something small that I can actually finish!
    Have a great time on your travels! I hope sometime to be able to attend your classes.

  3. I love the way Diane has joined most of her motifs

  4. Beautiful work by your students. Of course they had a great teacher I’m sure.

  5. I always enjoy seeing your pictures and reading about your travels, classes and wonderful students. Thank you for sharing this part of your life! I am grateful.

  6. Can you tell me which of your books includes your leaf chart? I am trying to learn supplementary weft patterning and it seems like the perfect motif to start with!

    • None of my books have that leaf pattern, which I consider one of my signature designs. However, after having had many people ask for that pattern, I decided to write a tutorial on how to create your own design for supplementary-weft patterning and double weave (both structures use the same kind of pattern chart). I used a leaf as the example in the tutorial hoping that people would then go on to create their own unique leaf pattern. Here’s the link to the tutorial.

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