• UO DIY: Handwoven Wall Hanging

    After admiring her work from afar for a long time, we recently jumped at the chance to visit textile artist Stefanie Fuoco's studio in Philadelphia. While there, we asked Stefanie to show us how to make our very own woven wall hanging that's easy for a first-timer, fun to make, and the perfect complement to any room. Read on for her DIY tutorial, complete with a handy glossary!
    Photos by Michael A. Muller


    The thread that runs lengthwise on the loom.

    Weft: The yarns that runs under and over the warp from side to side (horizontally).

    Beater: The tool used to push the weft yarn in place. In this case your fingers, needle or fork will work.

    Shuttle: The tool that is used to pass the weft over and under the warp. In this case you will be using a crafting needle.

    -Assortment of yarn
    -Cotton warp twine
    -Wool roving
    -Crafting needles
    -Rod or dowel measuring the length of your weaving
    -Chopstick or pencil
    -Canvas stretcher frame (any size)
    -Nails (headless nails work best)

    Making the frame loom
    To create your frame loom, you're going to simply assemble the canvas stretchers into a square. Then, hammer in the nails ½ an inch apart (standard spacing) and make sure they are secure.

    Step One: Warping
    Tie one end of the warping twine onto the last peg. Wrap your warping yarn onto the frame loom, going around each peg until you have achieved your desired width. Make sure your warp is taught on the loom. A loose warp will make weaving difficult. It is best to use a sturdy yarn that is thin. If you want your warp yarn to show, you can leave voids in your weft or weave with thicker yarn.

    Step Two: Picking Yarns
    Have fun! Any color, texture or type will do. Experiment, tie fringe or use thick yarns than thin yarns.

    Step Three: String your needle
    String your needle as if you were going to sew but leave a tail. The tail string will be the start of your weft.

    Step Four: Fringe
    To add tassels or fringe, cut a handful of yarn double the length of the desired tassel length. Take a group of 3-5 strands, depending on the thickness of the yarn, and center it under one of the warp threads. Slide a finger under the middle of the yarns, between the two wefts. Pull the center up, creating a loop. Grab the ends from under the loop and pull tight creating a loop knot. Then, slide the tassel down and repeat on every other warp thread. Once you have added your desired fringe continue your plain weave on top and in between tassel layers.

    Step Five: Wool Roving
    Wool roving is super soft wool that has not yet been spun into yarn. It usually comes in long, thick bundles that easy to pull apart and manipulate. To incorporate roving into your weaving, just treat it as yarn and pass it through like a plain weave. Weave it under the top warps first and then add a plain weave on top to lock it in.

    Step Six: Weaving
    Now you're ready to really start weaving! Weave bottom to top. Start by using your needle to go over and under the warp thread. Weave the weft the whole length of the warp. Make sure to leave two inches of tail yarn (you'll trim it off or tuck it in at the end). Make sure you are pulling your yarn taught but not too taught, because that will cause the sides of your weaving to bend inward. Once the entire way through, weave the opposite thread on top of the warp, repeating the step of going under and over. Make sure to use your needle, fingers, or fork to push your weft in place. Continue this process until your weaving is complete!

    Try different colors and textures (see color changing), or skip some warp threads while weaving to come up with different patterns. You can also draw a pattern and follow it, weaving any shape or design you wish.

    Step Seven: Loops
    To weave loops, you're going to pinch the plain weave weft that's on top of the warp thread and pull up. You can add loops wherever you wish. Once you have your weft lifted you're going to slide a chopstick under the loop and back up. Then, pinch the next weft thread that is on top of the warp and repeated the under and back up process. Once you have your desired length of loops, you're going to weave two rows of plain weave to lock it in. Now you can pull out the chopstick and repeat with the next row.

    Step Eight: Changing Color
    To change colors, yarns, or if you simply run out, just tie on new yarn and push the knot to the back of the weaving (you can also just drop the yarn behind the loom). Be sure to drop it with at least a few of inches of slack. Bring up a new piece of yarn, as if to continue the weft.

    Step Nine: Finishing
    All of your loose threads can be tucked into the back of your weaving. Thread the extra slack through the needle and tuck it under a series of three wefts, lengthwise. Slowly weave your dowel onto the top of your weaving and push it all the way up. This process can be done at beginning, middle, or end. If you're concerned about any loose threads, just make sure they're tucked or tied off. Gently remove your weaving by lifting it up and off the loom. If your weaving is strung tightly some pegs may need to be removed.

    Most of all, enjoy the process and have fun!

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