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How-to

More Tips and Resources for Inkle Weaving

Learn how to read an inkle draft, choose an inkle loom, and where to find more information about this weaving method.

Threads magazine - 175 - Oct./Nov. 2014
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Get to know more about inkle weaving and the small tabletop looms that produce it. For the basics of how to use an inkle loom to weave designer-style passementerie trim, see “Weave Custom Trims” by Daryl Lancaster in Threads #175, Oct./Nov. 2014. The style of trim created by an inkle loom is perfect for edging French-style jackets and other garments, as well as home décor. Below are 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.

inkle loom draft

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.

inklette 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 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.

inkle trims

Explore more advanced inkle weaving techniques with Daryl Lancaster in her online classes at Weavolution.com/classes

More inkle weaving resources

Books/monographs/DVDs:
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, $15.00–$18.00, 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 )

Organizations:
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

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