Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Weaving Basics, Part 4: Finishing

Once the weaving's complete, it's time to take the piece off the loom and finish it.

There are two edges to finish when the warp threads are cut--the selvages form neat finishes to the other two sides.  This may be done with a knotted fringe, with special stitching along the end, or with hemming the raw edge to stabilize it (hand or machine).  The stitching is easiest (in my opinion) when done on the loom, but the piece will have to be cut off first for the other two options.

If weaving multiple pieces on the same warp (such as matching placemats or dish towels), some waste weft may be inserted between the pieces, and the weaving continued.  Finishing stitches may be done in place when the individual piece is complete.  Be sure that sufficient warp space is left between pieces for any desired fringe.

I finished this piece using a used a hem stitch with extra weft thread, binding the final weft threads together and to the warp.
Finishing the woven cloth with hem-stitch.

After relaxing the tension slightly, the warp is then cut.  If a fringe is desired, be sure to leave sufficient thread along the cut edge.
Trimming fringe on woven runner.

Once the piece(s) is/are off the loom, the fringe (if desired) can be trimmed to uniform length. Long fringe may also be braided or knotted.  Depending on the fiber and purpose, the piece can also be blocked, fulled, felted, or sheared, as desired.
Woven runner or mat.

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