Understanding Weaving Instructions and Charts

There’s No Place Like a Handwoven HomeHand towels, table runners, placemats, throws–weaving is perfectly suited to creating and customizing just about any textile for your home.

Although weaving is a skill as old as time, to many it is a new skill and with this book you will learn all the basic skills to be able to create your very own Handwoven Home. Below is an extract from the book which teaches you about reading the weaving instructions and how to follow a chart.

Handwoven HomeReading the Weaving Instructions

Each pattern has a list of project specs that details the information you need to set up and weave the pattern. This information includes everything from the finished size to the materials and equipment you’ll need to gather, including:


This is the final finished size of the project after washing it.


A weave structure is the interlacement that is formed via a specific setup or technique. Weave structures range from plain weave, in which the weft travels over 1 warp end and under the adjacent warp end, to more elaborate structures in which the weft travels over or under more than 1 warp end.


This lists the size loom and rigid heddle you need to weave the project and the necessary accessories.


This lists any additional tools or materials necessary to complete the project.


Sett is the weaver’s gauge. It tells you how open or dense your warp spacing should be to weave the project successfully. It is expressed in a number that represents the number of ends of warp in 1″ (2.5 cm), measured on the loom, to space the yarns.


This measurement is the width of the warp in the rigid heddle. You use this number to center your project in the rigid heddle.

Handwoven Home


This is the number of weft ends, called picks, that are in the woven cloth under tension on the loom. Paying attention to this number will ensure that your final cloth looks like the sample cloth in the picture.


This measurement indicates the length of your warp.


Handwoven HomeThis is the number of individual warp ends you need to wind for the project.


This section lists the yarns and amounts used in the project, as well as the colors and brand names. The information is listed in this order: the generic name of yarn, its fiber content, the yarn’s yardage listed as yd (m)/lb, and the amount of each yarn you will need and in what colors. This generic yarn information is followed by details about the specific yarn used in the pattern, including the yarn maker, brand name, fiber content, yardage by put-up, and color names and numbers.

TIP : When gathering your yarns, be sure you are looking at the project yardage number and not the yarn’s yardage number.


Each project includes my recommendation for a warping method in the project specs.

Following Charts

There are two types of charts used in a number of the patterns. These charts offer an easy-to-read shorthand of how to thread the loom and weave the pattern.


Read this chart from right to left. The number indicates how many warp ends to thread in a particular color before changing to a different color. Keep in mind that an “end” is a working end, which is 1 unit in a slot or hole. The chart key will tell you if there is more than 1 thread in a slot or hole. The chart will also indicate if it is important to start in a slot or a hole. The bracket at the top indicates how many times to repeat each sequence.

Figure 2For instance, in the example chart (figure 1) from the Four Looks Kitchen Towels, you will thread 5 dark blue ends of 2 threads each, then 5 light blue ends of 2 threads each, etc. The note under the figure tells you the total number of ends, which also equals the total number of slots and holes and the total number of threads or individual yarns. The bracket indicates that you will repeat this sequence 7 times.


Read this chart from top to bottom. It tells you the color order of your weaving, and each color is listed across the top, like in the example chart (figure 2). The number indicates how many picks of that color you will weave. If there is a bracket along the side, it indicates that the information within the brackets should be repeated a specific number of times.

Handwoven HomeIn Handwoven Home, weaving expert Liz Gipson explains the tools and techniques you’ll need to weave personalized home textiles on a rigid-heddle loom, the most popular loom on the market today. From choosing the right yarn for your project to achieving your desired cloth type and drape, this book covers all the basics. And the 20+ projects are perfectly suited to the rigid-heddle loom, each starting with a simple square or rectangle and involving little sewing, shaping or loom waste. You’ll even learn how to make multiple towels at the same time, create a sturdy rug of wide fabric, and finish your projects with a polished, professional look. Whether you’re making textiles for yourself or as a gift, inside you’ll find everything you need to create a woven personal touch for any room.

Pre order Handwoven Home now and you will get the eBook for free.

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About Nadine

Nadine dabbles in a wide range crafts. If it's pretty and she wants to make it, she'll learn the technique to do so. She is also never without a cup of tea in her hands.