This new proposal for BEGINNER backstrap weavers is used as the ''stepping stone'' to the intermediate level double weave tutorial.
It is a double-woven narrow band using only one weft and is a very good weave for making belts or straps for guitars, shoulder bags etc.

The INTERMEDIATE level tutorial combines double weave with plain weave and uses two wefts and, having a good understanding of this one-weft method, will prepare you well for the next level.

There is an introduction to the pattern chart for this weave with lessons on how to read the chart and a link to a site that Caroline has provided where you can print your own blank charts and make your own designs.
We start out with simple shapes so that you can concentrate on learning the double weave technique without having to struggle with counting pattern squares (or in this case diamonds) to form more complex designs.

I advise you to work your way through the first two beginner tutorials as well as the instructions for basic backstrap weaving in my WeaveZine article      before attempting this one.

Laverne Waddington





bolivian warmi

The above band is an example of one-weft double weave. This technique will allow you to weave motifs on a solid plain- weave background without having  long floats on the reverse. The motifs on the back side of the weaving  look exactly the same except that they have their colors reversed. Here is the reverse of the above band.........


bolivian warmi


Paterns for this weave are charted on ''diamond'' paper, each diamond representing one warp.



Charted above are the first rows of the ''star'' pattern on the woven band pictured above on the right. Count the diamonds on the chart. The first 7 have been counted for you. There are 17 diamonds and, therefore, 17 warps in this design. The first row has four brown warps, represented by the four black spots, forming the pattern on a background of white warps. 


This is the kind of chart we will be using for this weave but our pattern will be simpler. You will see that the star is made up basically of triangles. We will be weaving triangles, diamonds and diagonals gradually building up our designs on a sample band.


bolivian warmi





This is my suggestion for a sampler band in this new technique. This will help you learn to make basic shapes while practicing the double weave technique. You can make and print out your own ''diamond'' charts using a site for which Caroline has provided the link............

You will be weaving triangles and a variety of diamonds, gradually putting shapes together to make a sextagon. You can also weave horizontals and verticals. After finishing the sample shapes, draw some of your own designs on a chart and continue experimenting. You can easily weave letters with this technique.




bolivian warmi


I suggest using 3 colors for this project-one color for the border and two colors for the pattern area-one for the background and one for the motif.. Make sure that there is a good contrast between the two colors you choose for the pattern area.

The weft is usually the same color as the borders.

Divide your border color into TWO balls as you need to wind two strands together. I recommend winding two revolutions for your border.

Cut the border color at the start warp stake and tie on the two pattern colors. These will be wound together for 15 complete revolutions for the pattern chart we are working on in this tutorial.

STEP 3- Cut the pattern colors at the start stake and tie on both strands of the border color. Wind two complete revolutions of the border color.



bolivian warmi

WARPING CONTINUED.................

I have chosen my three colurs for my sample band-beige for the borders, with red and white for the pattern area. I will be able to weave white motifs on a red background and then change to red motifs on white as my weaving progresses.

This is what your warp will look like once it is off the warping board. I am using very thick (12wpi) cotton yarn for this band as it photographs well.

My cross sticks are in place and taped together for security.

Here you can clearly see the arrangement of the warps in pairs across each stick. The warp is just lying on the floor and is not under tension so the strands are crossed and not looking so tidy!

All the warps passing over the lower cross stick will be enclosed in your continuous string heddles. Each heddle will enclose a PAIR of warps-one red and one white in the pattern area and two beiges on the border.

All the warps passing over the upper cross stick will be enclosed in a shed loop or, if you prefer, controlled with a shed stick. Just replace the upper cross stick with a thicker stick. Don't forget to tie a piece of string or yarn from one end of the stick to the other so that if it falls out of the shed you won't lose the shed!!

If you have problems while you are weaving with the shed stick rolling around, let me know and I will show you how to remedy that.

bolivian warmi

WEAVING........Again a reminder....I am weaving this in very thick cotton (12wpi) because it is easier to photograph. This thick yarn makes a very thick bulky and unattractive band!   I recommend using a medium weight yarn for this to start with. Once you are comfortable with the technique, you can use finer yarns. The band below was made in 8/2 cotton.(35 wpi)



Install your heddles and shed loop or shed stick.                                      Straighten out the warps on the loom bars.

In my instructions I will call the two sheds-HEDDLE SHED and SHED STICK SHED.

As you have wound your warp in pairs, the warp at this moment looks much wider than your woven band will be.

WEAVING THE BACKGROUND COLOR. (I have chosen to have a white background so white will show on the upper face of the band and red will show on the reverse.




I have opened the heddle shed and have my                                          I am going to pick and keep one of the beige warps

hand within the shed.                                                                                   from the first pair of border warps. The warp on the

                                                                                                                          index finger of my right hand will be kept. The one lying

                                                                                                                          across the fingers of my left hand will be discarded.

CONTINUED BELOW...............







Helo! This are fantastics articles. There are references to images that I do not see... It would be great to have them for a better experience . Is it possible? Thanks a lot.

bolivian warmi


Now I am going to pick and keep all the white warps in the pattern area and discard all the reds.



Here I am holding the two picked beige border warps                        Working my way across to the left, I have picked 6 white

in my right hand and am working with the first pair of                          warps. The discarded reds can be seen below. As I

pattern warps. The white warp on my index finger will                          pick the whites I pass them to my right hand.

be kept and the red will be discarded.


Once all the white warps have been picked                                         Now I  place a stick within this shed (the shed through

along with the two beige borders, I place my                                       which I just passed the weft).

beater/sword within, prop open the shed and

pass my weft from right to left.


CONTINUED BELOW...................




bolivian warmi


There are two steps to weaving one ''row''. First you weave the upper layer and then the lower one.  I have just picked all the white warps in the pattern area to weave the upper layer. Now we will weave the lower one. I need to create a NEW shed in order to do this.


I have just passed the weft and placed                                                       Now I open the shed loop shed, place my beater

a stick within the shed.                                                                                    within. Holding the stick and the beater together in

                                                                                                                              both hands I lift them up.


I have the stick and beater grasped in my left hand.

I am tilting the warp so you can see the NEW shed                              Now I can remove the stick and beater and place the

that has been created. You can clearly see the red                               beater within the NEW shed.

warps and the borders that will form the lower layer

of this double weave.


Prop the shed open with the beater and pass                                      Open the shed loop shed, place the beater within

the weft from left to right.                                                                            and beat.






bolivian warmi

You have now completed the first ''row'' having woven  a white layer with beige borders for the upper surface of the weave and a red layer with beige borders for the lower surface.

You can now weave the next row. Once again you will pick one beige warp from each pair of beige border warps and then proceed picking all the white warps and discarding their red partners.




IN THE SAMPLE BAND ABOVE, I HAVE TRIED TO ALWAYS KEEP THE WHITE WARP ON THE RIGHT OF ITS RED PARTNER. SO, I PICK THE WHITE AND THEN DROP THE RED, PICK THE NEXT WHITE AND THEN DROP THE RED. MAINTAIN THE ORDER WHITE, RED, WHITE, RED ETC........ If you don't do this you will end up wityh your warps spiralling around each other. Keep an eye on what is going on with your warps up beyond the shed loop. Some spiralling will occur but it shouldn't be excessive.

Weave background for now and get accustomed to the sequence of moves.

bolivian warmi


Here is the first triangle motif on its chart.  In the first row, the warps have been numbered counting from right to left. First there are three background color warps, then nine motif color warps followed by another three background color warps.

This is how it looks woven.

First you need to see in which shed you need to begin-the heddle shed or the shed stick shed. On the pattern chart you will see a heavy black zig zag line on the left and right of the motifs. The zig zag line points to the RIGHT in the FIRST row and then points to the LEFT in the second row (labeled on the above chart)  This means that you need to begin in the shed which has the first pair of red and white warps on the right. Look at the picture below.

Here I have the shed stick shed open and the first pair of red and white warps is ON THE EXTREME RIGHT. I am holding this pair in my right hand. The first pair of red and white warps in the heddle shed, which I am holding in my left hand, is on the left of this pair.

So I need to start my pattern in the shed stick shed.

First, I pick one warp from each pair of border warps. Then I pick the first three white background warps according to the motif chart. The red partners are dropped. The picked whites are passed to my right hand.

Now I have to pick 9 red warps. I am going to first drop the white warp in this pair and then pass the red warp to my right hand.


I have picked all 9 red warps and passed them to my right hand. I always first drop the white and then pass the red. Now I just need to pick the 3 remaining white warps for the background. First pass the white warp to the right hand and then drop its red partner.


bolivian warmi

WEAVING THE MOTIFS CONT.........................

                      THE FRONT                                                                       THE BACK


Place your sword in this shed and pass your weft.

Continue with the steps shown for weaving background.......

-place a stick in the shed

-open the opposite shed and place the sword within

-lift the stick and sword and locate the new shed below

-place your sword in this new shed

-pass the weft

-reopen the opposite shed, place the sword within and beat

Now you are ready to weave the second row.


The second row comprises (reading right to left)..............3 background warps, 8 pattern warps, 4 background warps.

HAVE FUN! Start a new thread to comment , ask questions or show off your work!!


bolivian warmi

Hi everyone,

I have just started a new blog on backstrap weaving and today blogged about a project idea for this one-weft double weave technique.

It is a set of mug rugs with bold South American and African inspired designs. It is on the Projects page here at Weavolution but you can read more about it and see the pattern chart on my blog.

Here's the link to my blog..............

I hope you will visit and perhaps leave a comment :-)


KiwiMoth (not verified)


These are the best instructions I have ever seen. I have just , very slowly, made my way through Adele Cahlender's 12 bout pattern with the flowers that reverse from right to left etc. I'm using far too fine a yarn for a beginner  (I feel a bit cross-eyed!) and shall probably not persevere with that warp, so this project seems perfect.

I think I shall give the 6 hours on a ground loom a miss. My back may have stood it 30 years ago but it would be spinal suicide now. So now to get set up comfortably for backstrap weaving; my Christmas/New Year summer holiday project.


bolivian warmi

Hi Pamela,

My knees wouldn't be able to take the ground loom position anymore. I have tried backstrap weaving as the ladies do in Guatemala with my legs under me but no can do! Yes, the good thing about these mug rugs is that they want heavy-ish yarn so it is easy to handle and see!

Let us know how you go with this. Are things warming up a little for you down there in Dunedin?




Aunt Janet (not verified)

 Great!  These will make lovely gifts for next Christmas!  i'm madly weaving, knitting and sewing up little gifts, using my hand woven bands.  I forsook my backstrap for a few days and did some speed weaving on my Glimakra counterbalance band loom.  I have been putting in some pick-up work that I learned right here.  I'm making key fobs, and little bags.  I'll take photos before I wrap 'em up.

I'm going to try the mug rugs.  Thanks Laverne.

Aunt Janet

bolivian warmi

I have had some requests for the pattern charts for the mug rugs. There is one chart on my blog..........

and I will be posting more-some here and some on the blog (he he!)

Here is a blank chart in the meantime on which you may like to invent your own motifs.

I have included the frame on this chart as I think the frame looks good on the mug rugs, but this is ,of course, optional.

Let's see what nice designs you can come up with.


soulsister (not verified)

Hi Laverne, can you post the links to the first 2 beginner tutorials mentioned here please?

Sorry to be so dense, but hopefully I shall soon learn to navigate around....


bolivian warmi

Hi Edith,

Here is the link to the first beginner tutorial........

And the second................

This ''advice'' thread is worth reading too.........


You can access all the threads by clicking on the red FORUMS tab at the top of every page. Scroll down until you see the Backstrap Weaving Forum and then click on the tab which says ''see all threads''.

Let me know if you have any questions :-)




bolivian warmi

Here is one of the African theme pattern charts............


There is a South American theme chart on my blog.............           



rose Goldielocks (not verified)

I started warping for mug rugs. The PVC loom is used simply as a convenient frame so I can do "fly by" weaving 5 minutes at a time.

I messed up the warping, and had to add more warp after I wove the first 3 picks of the header. The sticks are preserving the sheds in the first half of the warping. All of the blue and peach strings are "safety strings" preserving a shed,  or "counting strings so I could remember how many warps I have.

bibi (not verified)

Hello Rose,

This is a super loom ! does your weaving slide easily as you progress on it ? Thanks for showing,  I'll sure keep the inspiration to make my own


rose Goldielocks (not verified)

Yes, the weaving slides very easlily as I progress, sometimes more than I want, and I tie another dowel to the farthest back beam to keep it from sliding as I work. When I have worked up to where my heddles are, and don't have enough room to insert a shuttle, I untie the 'clamping dowel" and advance the warp.

Sharon, who goes by both names.



rose Goldielocks (not verified)


I am getting farther on the mug rugs!

I learned a bunch of things!.....

1) Do not try double weave on any loom you cannot also do tablet weaving on. The tension changes will BREAK your loom otherwise. (I had a couple of my "T"s crack because I was a little too harsh, I will tape them for now, and replace them when the project is done)

2) More than one set of heddles just tangle around each other. I tried heddles on the white threads, and heddles on the red threads, but they just got tangled around each other, and I ended up unweaving because of long floats on the backside. Now, I have heddles around pairs of threads, just like the directions say, (Laverne told me so, but I did not listen!)

3) Nylon crochet thread ROCKS! I changed my heddles from cotton thread to the nylon crochet thread, and the difference was amazing! The only problem, is that the nylon does not take a good knot, so I taped a second stick to my heddle holding stick to keep the larks head knots from coming undone.  The nylon is blue, not white because it is the end result of a dye experiment.

4) the double weave "feels good" It is a thick, spongy fabric that feels good to my fingers as I manipulate it.

5) a long dowel, about diameter of a pencil, sharpened in the pencil sharpener is working great as my "pickup stick" because my stubby, missing long fingernails hands kept missing the threads.

6) the two sets of thite thread around the front bar are holding a dowel, keeping my weaving from sliding around the loom.


bolivian warmi

looking good Sharon!

I know what your design is because I have had a sneak preview of your chart but I think we should invite others to guess what your motif is going to be.

Anyone care to take a guess?

I am glad that the nylon is working for you. I am sorry to say that I just hate the stuff!! But my Guatemalan weaving teachers swear by it..

Thanks for all your other tips which I am sure everyone is going to find really helpful.


bolivian warmi

I  have just put all the charts for the African and South American motifs on the mug rugs on my blog-12 motifs in all

I hope you will be able to use them for a project.


rose Goldielocks (not verified)

I got one mug rug done!

Learned a bunch of things:

1) patterns need to be a grand total of 20 or 21 picks long to be "square" or at least more square than mine came out. you can see my pattern chart in white next to the loom.

2) pickup isn't bad if you use the apropriate vampire stakes.... opps.. pickup sticks.. The brown sticks are my weaving swords,(I have 3 exactly the same) and the light colored pointed dowel is my pickup stick.  I stuck a dowel in an electric pencil sharpener... instant correct point. I needed to use some 220 grit sandpaper on all the sticks to keep them from snaging the cotton fibers.

3) I had some loose warps, all red. they are tightened in the back of the loom by another small dowel. I simply wraped the problem warps once around the dowel, and that took up enough slack to solve the problem. The extra dowels in the back are spacing my warp, and keeping them in the correct order. The shelf lining in a roll in the inside of the loom is to keep my loom from sliding on a smooth surface table.




done butterfly mug rug trial

back with fixed warp

bolivian warmi

Your design is fantastic, Sharon. What a shame it elongated so much. Mine turned out rectangular too but not as long as yours. They are 4 1/2 by 5 and a bit inches but I didn't have the kinds of designs that were affected by elongation as yours has been. Quite often this elongation occurs when you have too much tension on the warps-the warps can't physically ''bend' over and under the wefts because they are too tight. I find that when I am beginning a weaving and my warp is fully stretched out, I have less tension on it than when I am finishing.This is because as I weave and go rolling up the warp and getting closer to my tie up spot, it is much easier to put a lot of tension on a shorter warp and then I have to keep an eye on things so that my final motifs don't  end up progressively longer and longer.'


Anyway, the good thing is that you have figured out how many picks you must weave to get a square and can make the necessary adjustments for the next ones in the set. I just LOVE this butterfly motif you have created.


jeannine (not verified)

hi sharon, I like your butterfly very much.nice colour too;

laverne, could a thinner  weft work to get less elongation?

bolivian warmi

Couldn't say for sure, Jeannine. Worth trying, though.

rose Goldielocks (not verified)

I redid the pattern, and I am going to weave the new pattern under less tension, and shorter number of picks.

We will see what happens!


franee (not verified)

It's so interesting - thank you for sharing.  I can't wait to see the new version!

franee (not verified)

Just thought I'd add a pic of my pieces for each tutorial so far, including the one weft double weave I just finished last night.  I'm actually planning on doing another floating weft piece just to get more confident.

bolivian warmi

Fran!!! These are wonderful! You have been quietly weaving away there, popping in now and then to say hi and then suddenly, BAM!-you come out with these gorgeous bands.


I'll add this to the gallery on the group front page.

So what are your plans from here?-longer, wider? Are you going to make something like a bag, a placemat? Do you want more designs-although I must say that you seem quite capable of charting your own :-)

What yarn or thread are you using? Can you tell us a bit about the brand, wraps per inch etc?


franee (not verified)

Hi Laverne,

I can't thank you enough for your tutorials. The pieces are all made with the thickest mercenised cotton I could find, which is 4ply (that's fingering weight or 24WPI).  I'm going to do the book mark that you have the chart available on your blog in #8 perle cotton, which is much finer.  But then I want to do a bag in the cotton I've been using, and placemats and coasters when I track down some thicker cotton (checking a LYS tomorrow). Hmmm I'm sounding a little addicted...... I have been playing with charts, but I haven't been able to do any animals/birds I'm happy with - so I would LOVE some charts  :D

Well I won't be doing anything today because I'm heading off to take my daughter to speech therapy, then I'm painting my son's room!  School hols are always a busy busy time!  Oh and the kids have already started putting in their orders for weaving projects ie: GameBoy case (11yr old), Belt (fashion conscious 15yr old)


bolivian warmi

Okay, gathering up charts-give me a day or so while you are painting. Nice project plans you have-the GameBoy case will be fun to design and I would love to see what kind of design a 15 year old is into. My nephew wanted a belt some time ago but couldn't be specifc about colours or design-now he is 18 and over it.

Whereabouts around Sydney do you live?


franee (not verified)

Ooo thank you that will be lovely.  The gameboy case will be that super bright red and green (like the striped band I did from tut 2) as that is the 11yr old's colour choice (South Sydney football club colours) but Henry has yet to pick his exact colour scheme yet - I agree it will be interesting.

I live in the Southern Highlands, it's about an hour out of Sydney, towards Canberra.

Thanks again


bolivian warmi

I just finished another set of the South American mug rugs for a friend and photographed them on the looms this time. I thought you might like to see them. I did three at a time but I just finished a new set of 4 Mexican motif ones and did all four at once. As it is double weave with 12 wpi yarn, rolling up is a little awkward with 4. I would try 5 but certainly not 6 all at once.

I will finish these all at once under tension on the loom. I sew over the last weft and between the fringes. The stitch appears on the reverse as a long diagonal stitch which is meant to be decorative and fits well with the ethnic theme. I place the bathroom mirror on my lap as I sew so I can see exactly where I am placing the stitches on the back so that they come out neat and even. The stitch is vertical on the front and just blends in with the warp. I had tried this with that ''invisible'' nylon sewing thread hoping to hide the stitches but I didn't like the way it came out.



Aunt Janet (not verified)

 Wow, Fran!  Those look great.  You are picking this up very quickly.  Looking forward to seeing what you come up with next.  I'm afraid I'm tied down with work at the moment.  I have several backstrap projects I really would like to get to.  Oh, I know I will get to them, but I'm impatient.  I can't keep up with Laverne, but I'd like to try every project she has given us.  And then some more.  Keep up the great weaving!

Aunt Janet

bibi (not verified)

superbe ! black and white gives a really nice combination ! lots of nice motifs too...

bibi (not verified)

 oh ! you seem to be a great turbo student ! welcome to the new addiction !!


bolivian warmi

Here is the latest thing to come off the loom.  I made a set if Mexican themed mug rugs and then came up with the idea for a matching hot pad. These have all been made in one-weft double weave on my bakstrap loom.

If you wouldl ike to see the full view of the hotpad and the individual mug rugs and get the pattern chart for the hotpad, go to my blog..........

I also put a tutorial for making continuous string heddles in the same post and pictures of some of my indigenous teachers showing how they make their string heddles.

The hotpad was made in 12wpi merc cotton and wove up fast. A lot of fun to do in this big bold design.


lavitaaj (not verified)

Yay, I just finished weaving 3 mug rugs! (And by just, I mean a few days ago. It takes me a while to get things posted!) Hopefully I'll be able to post pictures sometime; I'm really happy with how they came out.

Unfortunately, this project really, really re-ignited my passion for weaving. While that sounds good, it only makes it harder for me, since I won't be able to weave much until May! I am in college, and many of my weaving supplies are at my house. I do plan on taking my dowel rods with me, and may experiment with sewing thread or the yarns I have (not much to choose from). In the meantime, I will be planning out coasters for the living room since my mom is commissioning me to make some to match the room.

Which brings me to a question I had: Laverne, earlier you mentioned weaving 4 mug rugs on a warp. How long did you make that warp?




bolivian warmi

Hi Amber,

I am swapping you this information for pictures of your mug rugs okay?! :-) Congratulations on making your rugs!!

Do take your sticks with you to college!!!-that's the beauty of this loom. Warp up something and have it ready to roll. You can even just warp up for several projects and take them along with you. Don't forget to tie off all the sticks well if you are taking the loom on the road with a warp on it or put safety strings through the cross and end loops.

My warp was 45'' long for 4 mug rugs.

So did you use my designs, make your own, use others??? Come on, come on I am impatient-wanna see them!!

Photo upload intructions are here

Do keep us up to date with all your projects-we love to see what everyone is up to.




lavitaaj (not verified)

  Yeah, sorry about that! I wasn't sure how big the pictures were, but these should be better: (I can't seem to delete the old post for some reason, but I'll see if I can later. Hopefully it won't interfere with the new ones loading.)

Here's the first one showing my warp.

Here are my 3 coasters! The left one was the first one, and the right one was the last. There are a few mistakes on the first one that I didn't feel like correcting at the time, and it's a little longer than the others, but I'm still very happy with how they turned out. I absolutely love the 2nd and 3rd designs! I hope to do plenty more when I get home in the summer to match them, but for now I'll be experimenting off and on.

This is "kind of" my first project. I did a backstrap weaving before this, at the beginning of Christmas break, to satiate my initial weaving thirst! I wove a backstrap, actually, but I think I'll do a better one in the future. It's a bit short. I also did a backstrap weaving last fall, though it was only backstrap by a technicality. I was card weaving a small band with sewing thread. I've had a lot more experience with card weaving and inkle looms, but I really like backstrap!


bolivian warmi

Thank you! Yes much better. I was able to delete your first post but my reply got lost. Fortunately I had copied it so I can just paste it here..........

Amber, you have made my day :-) Are you telling me that this is your first ever backstrap project??? Good job!!

The bunk bed ladder is the PERFECT tie up spot. I think I will have a wooden ladder with several rungs built and have it screwed into the wall to give different tie up options taking up almost no space at all!

Thank you so much for posting these pictures and I hope you get back to it next summer when you come home.

Keep us up to date with your experimenting in the meantime.

I am going to put your mug rugs in the gallery on the group's front page.

Card weaving with sewing thread! I have been backstrap weaving lately with sewing thread and making book marks.


bolivian warmi

I have just put the pattern charts for the Mexican motif mug rugs on my blog. (with some improvements) Check the PAGES list on the side bar for all the pattern charts.


bolivian warmi


I blogged today about weaving bookmarks and taking my weaving ''on the road''. You can get he pattern charts for the one weft double weave llamas on my blog as well as read lots about the lovely llama.

I hope you will take a look..........


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