FREE u.s shipping over $250


Your Cart is Empty




  • About
  • About

  • Mill

  • Mission

  • Blankets

  • Offset

  • A Whimsical glossary of weaving words and terms for the beginner

    6 min read

    A Whimsical Glossary of Weaving Words for the Beginner Thula Tula


    Welcome, aspiring Weave Wizards, to the mystical and magical land of looms, threads, and weaving!

    Our journey begins as we explore the enchanting world of warp and weft, looms and heddles, and so much more. By the end, you'll be able to speak in a language that only weavers know!

    This isn't your typical dictionary, oh no! This is a warp-speed adventure through the wonderful world of weaving. It's full of whimsy and wordplay designed to make you smile and learn at the same time. So grab your shuttle, fasten your seat belts, and prepare to weave your way through the galaxy of weaving terms.

    We'll start with basics, like warp and weft, and take you through to the more magical-sounding words, like heddle and treadle. Ready to unravel the mysteries of weaving?

    Now, enjoy, and remember to have a ball of fun along the way - it's sure to be a "reelly" good time! Remember, every master weaver started as a beginner. Before long, you'll cast spells with your shuttle and create your woven wonders. Onward, brave weavers!

    Weaving thread in the factory

    Weaving Wonderland: Your Fun & Friendly Guide to the World of Weaving

    Let's start our journey with the first entry of our glossary: warp.

    1. Warp: The warp threads are the ones that run up and down on your loom. Think of them as the "backbone" of your weaving. The warp threads are set up first, and the weft threads are woven into them.
    2. Weft: The weft threads run horizontally across the warp. This is the part where your creativity shines! They interlace with the warp threads to create your beautiful fabric.
    3. Loom: This is your magic carpet ride into weaving! A loom is the structure that holds the warp threads under tension so you can weave in the weft. They come in different sizes and types, perfect for all your weaving dreams.
    4. Shuttle: The shuttle is like a tiny boat that sails your weft threads through the warp. It usually holds your yarn or thread and helps make weaving quicker and smoother.
    5. Heddle: This is the wizard behind the curtain in your weaving journey. A heddle separates the warp threads into two layers, creating a space known as the shed, where you can pass the weft thread through.
    6. Shed: The shed is the gap or space created when the heddle lifts some warp threads. It's like a secret passageway for your shuttle to go through!
    7. Beater: The beater is like a gentle bouncer for your weft threads. After a pass of the shuttle, you use the beater to push the weft thread into place, making sure your fabric is firm and even.
    8. Selvedge: The selvedge is the fancy term for the edges of your weaving. Keeping a neat selvedge is like keeping a tidy room. It helps your weaving look clean and professional.
    9. Warping: The action of setting up your loom with warp threads. It's like laying the foundation of a house before you start building it.
    10. Picks: A pick is a single pass of the weft thread across the warp. It's a stitch in time in the grand scheme of your weaving project.
    11. Treadle: A treadle is a foot pedal on a floor loom that controls the heddles. It's like playing an organ, but you're creating lovely fabrics instead of music!
    12. Draft: This is your map to weaving success. A draft is a pattern or plan showing how the warp and weft threads interact.
    13. Reed: A reed is like the conductor of your weaving orchestra. It's part of the beater and determines the spacing of the warp threads.
    14. EPI: An acronym for "Ends Per Inch," EPI helps you keep track of the density of your warp threads - sort of like the thread count in your bedsheets.
    15. PPI: Standing for "Picks Per Inch," PPI is the weft-side sibling of EPI, and it tells you how densely you've woven your weft threads.
    16. Warp-faced: A fabric is warp-faced when the warp threads are more visible than the weft. It's as if the warp threads are hogging the limelight!
    17. Weft-faced: When the weft threads steal the show, you have a weft-faced fabric. It means they are more visible than the warp threads.
    18. Balanced weave: When neither the warp nor the weft is the star of the show, you get a balanced weave. Here, both the warp and weft threads are equally visible.
    19. Raddle: This tool may sound like a snake, but it's actually a handy helper for evenly spacing your warp threads during warping. It looks like a long stick with a series of evenly spaced slots or nails.
    20. Sley: When you thread your warp ends through the reed, you're "sleying" the reed. It's like threading a very large, flat needle!
    21. Fell: The fell is the edge of your woven fabric where the last weft thread was woven. It's like your weaving country's "current" border, which expands with each new row you weave!
    22. Take-up: Take-up is the extra length of warp consumed by weaving over and under the weft. Think of it as the warp's detour on its straight path down the loom.
    23. Threading: Threading is like setting up your loom's address book. It's the process of putting each warp thread through a heddle in a specific order.
    24. Temple: A temple is like a friendly yoga instructor for your weaving. It's a tool that stretches out your fabric to the desired width, keeping your edges straight and preventing them from pulling in as you weave.
    25. Denting: Denting isn't about making dents! It refers to how warp threads are distributed in the reed. If you space them out, you're creating a 'dented' fabric that has areas of openness.
    26. Grist: A grist is like a nutritional fact label for your yarn. It refers to its weight in relation to its length, typically measured in yards per pound (YPP). This can help you figure out how much yarn you'll need for a project.
    27. Inkle Loom: This is a type of loom that's particularly good at doing narrow work, like belts and bands. Its name sounds like a cute creature from a children's book, but it's all business when it comes to weaving!
    28. Jacquard Loom: This loom is like the high-tech computer of the weaving world. Named after its inventor, Joseph Marie Jacquard, it uses punch cards or digital commands to create complex patterns.
    29. Loom Waste: These are the warp threads left over after you've finished your weaving. Don't worry; they're not wasted! Crafty weavers often repurpose them in creative ways.
    30. Plain Weave: This is the simplest type of weave, where the weft passes over one warp thread, then under the next, and so forth. It's like the 'vanilla' of weaving patterns - simple but always good.
    31. Tapestry: A tapestry isn't just a fabulous wall hanging! It's a type of weft-faced weaving where the weft threads completely cover the warp.
    32. Twills: Twills are the zebra stripes of the weaving world. They're characterized by diagonal lines formed by passing the weft over several warps at a time.
    33. Sett: Sett is the number of warp ends per inch (EPI) in the reed. It's like the dial on your loom that sets how fine or coarse your fabric will be.
    34. Tabby: Tabby is another name for plain weave. It might sound like a cat breed, but it's actually a technique used in nearly every woven fabric.
    35. Shaft or Harness: These terms refer to the loom frames holding the heddles. They lift and lower the warp threads, orchestrating a dance of patterns.

    Congratulations, brave Weave Wizards! You've sailed across the vast sea of warp and weft, danced with the heddles, and composed symphonies with the shuttle. From the fundamentals of a loom to the mystifying language of drafts, you've proven your mettle in the entertaining world of weaving.

    With this glossary in your weaver's toolkit, you're no longer a muggle in the realm of the loom. You're now fluent in weaving speak, ready to decode any pattern or draft that comes your way.

    So grab your loom, whether it's an Inkle, Jacquard, or a simple Frame one, and start your weaving journey! Create a tapestry that tells a tale, a twill that thrills, or a plain weave that pleases.

    Don't forget - a loose warp or a tangled weft is not a mistake but a learning opportunity. It's all part of your marvelous journey as a weaver. Keep exploring, keep experimenting, and most importantly, keep weaving your magic.

    And so, as we tie up the loose ends of this whimsical weaving adventure, remember that you're a proud member of the worldwide weaving community. Share your experiences, ask questions, and continue learning.

    The world of weaving is as broad and diverse as the threads on your loom, with plenty more to discover and create.

    Now, go forth and weave! Spin threads of joy, interlace threads of love, and above all, have a "reely" fantastic time! After all, happiness is handmade.

    a person is weaving threads with hand

    Other weaving blanket related blogs to enjoy

    Also in Community Stories

    The Science Behind Sleeping on Your Stomach: Is It Really Bad for You?
    The Science Behind Sleeping on Your Stomach: Is It Really Bad for You?

    8 min read

    Read More
    How to fall asleep in 10 seconds: A Step-by-Step Guide Mastering the Art of Falling Asleep Quickly
    How to fall asleep in 10 seconds: A Step-by-Step Guide Mastering the Art of Falling Asleep Quickly

    7 min read

    Read More
    Unlocking the Secrets to a Restful Night's Sleep: How to Stop Tossing and Turning at night
    Unlocking the Secrets to a Restful Night's Sleep: How to Stop Tossing and Turning at night

    8 min read

    Read More