In Threads #175, weaver and sewer Daryl Lancaster showed you how to use an inkle loom–a small table-top loom–to weave your own designer-style passementerie trim. This style of trim is perfect for edging French-style jackets and other garments, as well as home décor. Here, Daryl shares more tips for inkle weaving.
How to read an inkle draft and create your own
The pattern for an inkle-woven band or trim is called an “inkle draft.” A draft is depicted as a grid of squares filled in with different colors or left blank to indicate the thread colors in the pattern and the sequence of weaving the different colors into the trim. The top line of colored squares in a draft represents the heddled warp threads, and the bottom line of colored squares represents the unheddled warp threads. Drafts also include notes on the number of times a design section repeats.
You can easily create your own inkle drafts using a piece of graph paper and colored pencils or markers. Color in alternating squares on two adjacent lines from left to right on the graph paper. The top line of squares represents the warp threads that pass over the loom’s top peg and receive the heddles, and the bottom line of squares represents the unheddled warp threads that pass under the loom’s top peg. There are also many existing drafts available published in books or online. Thread your loom’s warp following the colors delineated in the draft.
CHOOSE AN INKLE LOOM
There are several manufacturers of inkle looms, including Schacht, Beka, Glimakra, Leclerc, and Ashford Handicrafts.
All inkle looms are small, but one of the smallest is Ashford’s Inklette, which weighs about one pound, is only 14-1⁄2 inches long, and costs less than $70 (including the shuttle). You can weave up to 72 inches of trim at one time on the Inklette, but its weaving width is limited to 2 inches; so if you wish to make wider trims you’ll need a larger inkle loom.
There are many variations available, including some that can accommodate trim widths up to 9-1⁄2 inches. Some versions have warp and cloth beams, which enable storage of long warps and finished braid during the weaving process.
SEWING PASSEMENTERIE TO GARMENTS
To attach an inkle-woven passementerie trim to a garment, hand-stitch through the weft loops at the trim’s edge. Hide cut trim ends in seams, if possible; if not, use a close blanket stitch to prevent fraying or turn the cut ends under and secure the folded edge to the fabric with tiny stitches.
Explore more advanced inkle weaving techniques with Daryl Lancaster in her online classes at Weavolution.com/classes
MORE INKLE WEAVING RESOURCES
The Weaver’s Inkle Pattern Directory: 400 Warp-Faced Weaves by Ann Dixon (Interweave Press, $29.99 )
Inkle Weaving and Advanced Inkle Weaving by Daryl Lancaster (self published, $15-$18, DarylLancaster.com)
Inkle Weaving A to Z (DVD), Jane Patrick (Interweave Press, $34.99 )
Handwoven Decorative Trim by Robyn Spady (Washington: Spady Studios, $18.95 , SpadyStudios.com)
200 Braids to Twist, Knot, Loop, or Weave by Jacqui Carey (Interweave Press, $27.95 )
International Braid Society
Inkle Trim Materials:
To locate U.S. dealers of Ashford inkle looms, visit FoxgloveFiber.com
Hand-dyed silk six-strand floss, fine cord, and ribbons in 10-yard skeins, Treenway Silks
Hand-dyed silk in larger skeins, RedfishDyeworks.com
Mousetail and Rattail cord, SatinCord.com