"Weaving Teachers" Introductions

I'm Traci, weaving instructor in Lexington Kentucky.  I teach my group classes at The Woolery in Frankfort but I have just started to offer one-on-one and loom repair and assistance.  I look forward to the things I'm going to learn from everyone.



Hi Traci,

Teaching is very satisfying.  I live in BC (Canada) and have travelled to many interesting places and met many wonderful people - places I'd have never got to on my own.  It's such a great feeling to see the light go on in someone's eyes and know that they are as excited about creating cloth as I am.  :D




I have been teaching backstrap weaving on a very informal one-on-one basis for about 8 years. I live in Bolivia in the lowland area and, unfortunately weaving and all things ''indian'' are despised by the general population here so I have taught mainly foreign backpackers who have been passing through on their way to Brazil. They are delighted with the fact that they can learn an Andean handcraft skill, have a better appreciation of the textiles that they have seen and perhaps bought and roll up their warp and tools and take them along on their journeys. Many have sent me photos of their completed pieces when they have returned home.

Perhaps the most rewarding experience for me was teaching a weaver and a non weaver in Salasaca ,Ecuador. I had gone to Salasaca to learn how to weave their supplementary warp patterned belts but, in the end, they convinced ME to teach them a Peruvian technique. It was an incredible experience sitting down to weave with these people and sharing these skills. I taught them to make one motif and tried to show them a pattern chart so that I could leave a collection of motifs with which they could continue weaving. They didn't want anything to do with the papers but I left them anyway. Imagine my delight when I returned 18 months later to find the belts completed with the charted motifs I had left them as well as with motifs they had copied in the new technique from their own traditional belts.

They then taught me to make their belts.

I am now hoping to teach small groups of people these Andean techniques on backstrap looms and rigid heddle looms because I recognize that backstrap weaving is not for everyone. People would still like to be able to weave these fascinating patterns on other looms. I have just bought a rigid heddle loom which I hope to set up with continuous string heddles in order to do this.

I am planning a trip to the US before the end of the year and hope to meet up with and teach some Weavolution new friends.





That's awesome!  I'm always excited to meet people who are passionate about keeping the traditions alive.  My grandmother just showed me a blanket that was her grandmother's.  My grandmother is 86 and we figured the blanket probably dates before the Civil War.  I'm hoping to work on decifering the pattern; maybe your story has inspired me to finally do so.

  If you are ever in the US near Kentucky I would love to know ahead of time and plan a meeting. 


I will let you know when I am coming. I get very cheap AA flights through my brother who is an airline pilot so it is inexpensive for me to zip around all over the place!. I have given notice to quit my job in early September and have many weaving things planned-both learning and teaching.

I would be very interested to hear about how you get on with your grandmother's blanket-maybe you coud post a phtoto of it here....




I think that's a great idea.  I think I will as soon as I get down there in a couple of weeks.

I look forward to hearing from you and hopefully meeting you.



I've just been teaching for about 3 months in the UK and have discovered that weaving teachers seem to be very rare in my region, East Anglia. I put a notice up on www.gumtree.com  and have had students from Yorkshire and Essex who said they had been looking all over for a teacher.

Since I've really enjoyed the teaching I've done, and since gumtree has gone nuts and kicked my ad off saying I'm offering a business service rather than classes/lessons/tuition (I'm trying to set them straight.), I'm wondering where else I might post my offering of instruction in weaving on a UK site.

Are any of the other teachers here in the UK? How do you let folks know you teach?



Pleased to meet all of you!

My real name is Susan Quel and I teach beginning weaving in Richmond, Virginia.  I teach at a City of Richmond Parks and Recreation facility, also a continuing care retirement community and I have a few private students.  I do a lot of loom repair/evaluation, but not usually for pay!  Most students become personal friends and I'm always looking for bargain looms for them, even if they need a little work.  

I'm also always looking for opportunities for my own continuing education.  Most of what I see available are beginning to intermediate topics.  Any suggestions?  I'm limited as far as travel goes (I'm not rich, but I'll go get a lottery ticket if you think that will help). 



Hi Susan,

There are several good options for learning at a higher level than local guilds and conferences usually provide.  Join Complex Weavers, which will provide you with a high quality journal three times a year (no glossy color pictures, but lots of meaty articles and inspiration).  Then, check out the CW study groups.  These range from accessible to beginners up to a very high level, and are all done by mail or email for a very minimal fee. CW also has an excellent lending library, and you may be close enough (the US branch is housed in Alexandria,VA) to look at the books in person. Just going through the galleries on the website can be instructive. If you can scrape more funds together, CW offers a 3-day conference just before or after Convergence with instruction at intermediate to master level.  It is hands-down the most fun and best bang for your conference buck for the serious learner.  Here is the website:  http://complex-weavers.org/index.htm

Other good sources of (free!) higher education include some of the older publications on handweaving.net, such as books by Watson or the ICS staff.  Your local guild may have a collection of Weavers magazines, Bonnie Inouye's book on design, and other more modern sources.  Interlibrary loan is another way of getting a free look at books before buying.  Online, the WeaveTech yahoogroup is a great way to learn, find resources, and connect with other more advanced weavers.

A different route is to try one of the master weaving certification programs.  There are many good sources, including the Potomac Weavers, Ontario Handweavers and Spinners, Weavers Guild of Boston, HGA, etc.  There may be a local college which offers a similar program.

Happy learning :-)

Laurie Autio


Teaching is a great way to learn and organize what you know!  I've taught and mentored all levels, but really enjoy the intermediate to higher ones most.  My classes cover drafting, structures, and design, with my personal preferences in laces and formal study of symmetry.  Lately I've been teaching a multi-year class for intermediate/master level weavers which has been intense but very rewarding.  I'm cutting back this year, to think and weave, and will restart the long class again the next year.  

One of the delights of teaching a multi-year class is that you can build, rather than starting fresh with every lecture.  The group develops a common base of knowledge rather than the usual holey range of beginner to advanced that you get in guild or conference lectures no matter how you write the descriptions.

Like Susan, I am always looking to learn more, currently playing with using my 32S Weavebird like a mini-jacquard and investigating free-form laces combined with twills.

Laurie Autio, in Massachusetts


Teaching in Illinois


I love the idea of a multi-year class! What a great way for everyone to learn.

We have started a Folk Art School in central Illinois - www.threesistersfolkartschool.com - and I am teaching weaving, as are others. This school is for adults but I am also interested in teaching kids, maybe starting with children in the neighborhood. Several years ago I bought a small loom at an auction made by Heritage looms. It has one treadle and no beater, but kids love it and are able to quickly pick up weaving with it.

I would love to get a set of small looms like this but the company seems to have gone out of business.

Anyway, one of the things that I have found with kids is that 6 and 7 year olds are fascinated with my looms and can really do a lot if they are interested. What is the youngest students that you all have taught successfully? What did you teach kids?


In reply to by jennieh105 (not verified)


Hi Jennie-I have a "Heritage Looms" table loom. Have you been able to locate any company info? You mentioned Canada, and out of business--just wondered if your research would point me to any other info?  Thanks. Ginny



I've taught 4-9 year olds in public school classroom settings.  With the 4-6 year olds I used a brightly colored striped warp.  With the littlest ones I just threaded plain weave on two shafts.  One would stand on the treadles (4S Harrisville), one would throw the beater, and the other would catch.  They rotated positions with one new kid coming in each time.  That way the others became experts and could direct the newby in their job.  They made long strings of mug rugs to take home (after I cut and sewed them), or to use like a banner in the classroom.  Warp was 3/2 cotton, weft was any bright colored, textured, or interesting thing I could dig up - glitz (usually with another bright thread to bulk it up), chenille, thrum balls with diameter of a pencil, aluminum foil, rags, even toilet paper was a hit!  The 6 year olds had straight draw on 4S and did their own experimenting with patterns to create classroom banners.  The teachers had them weaving paper strips by hand before I came in so they had some of the idea - and appreciated what the loom was doing.

The 7-9 year olds were studying town history.  Our town was settled by Scots-Irish linen weavers in the mid 1700's. I gave them a simple talk about the history, discussed the difference between people weaving then and now, then showed them some older textiles and a lot of modern handwoven textiles. They had a 25/2 natural linen warp threaded to 4S points in their classroom for a month.  I had to teach one of the aides to advance the warp and repair broken threads since I couldn't be there all the time. They also had to keep a humidifier near the loom because the classroom was bone dry in winter.  I set up large 5x8 index cards with about 10 patterns, none with more than a dozen threads in a repeat.  The cards were hooked together and tied to the loom to be visible when weaving.  Each kid wove 3-8" with their choice of wefts and patterns.  Some made their own patterns.  The wefts were a real variety, similar to above, but with the heaviest being chenille.  I found it fascinating that the boys were generally more interested than the girls, and that among the ones who did best were those labeled as ADD or troublemakers.   This older group handsewed their work into little bags.  You need to make sure they label their their work if they are going to take it home and that there is a clear marker between weavers.

I've also done tapestry weaving on notched cardboard with 6-8 year olds (brownie troup), which they turned into little bags.  I didn't find it as fun as the floor looms, but the results were definitely creative.

Can you post a picture of the one treadle loom?  Sounds interesting!




Please let me know if you will be in the DC area.  It would be great to meet you!  Alison is just up the road in NYC so if you are heading there you could look her up too.

Sounds like you have lots of offers for meetings all over the US.  I will PM you my cell phone so you can call when you have your itinerary.



Oh yes, I'll definitely be going to DC-the Textile Museum!!! I would love to meet you too. I'll be in touch. 



Your a brave brave person, my friend.

I've thought about offering a kids class, however, I'm not a kid person, but I do love seeing "the light come on."  I, too, have found boys to be more interested when I'm doing demos.  Thank you for sharing your technique.  It might spur me to offer a class now. 



You have such great ideas! I love the idea of stripes for a warp! When I go to an event with kids, I usually bring a tote full of balls of yarn left from projects and let them pick, but you have given me other ideas to expand this.

Here is a picture of the loom:


Heritage Loom

I love this little loom!



I am also in the DC area: Alexandria, VA. My cell number is 703-975-7248. Let me know when you plan to be here. I teach at The Art League ( http://theartleague.org ). If there is enough advance notice and you would like to teach a backstrap class, let me know. I would try to arrange something.



I'm Cherri Hankins. I teach weaving and spinning in Richmond, VA. Hi Susan!

My studio is in the far west end of Richmond and I offer classes in floor loom weaving, tapestry weaving, rigid heddle weaving, and love it! The studio has one large 16 harness macomber with double back beams, 2 small macomber looms, 5 Compact Leclerc looms, 3 Schacht looms, a Leclerc 45" Nilus, a Lillstina, a Leclerc Tissart 45" tapestry loom, and a Toika 45" tapestry loom. 

I've been weaving for 19 years, and teaching in public art centers for 11 of that. My first solo show just closed and will now begin to travel. It is a show designed to invite the unsighted community into our wonderful experience of art appreciation, because it was designed for the Unsighted, is called "Unsighted- The Tactility of Textiles" and is intended to be experienced with one's fingertips! Now, back to the daily business of weaving and sharing that joy;0)



My name is Deanna.  I have been teaching for over twenty years.  I have taught through University classes, classes in shops and private lessons at my home.  Currently I teach in a local weaving/knitting shop, Three Wishes Fiber Arts.  I teach a lot of beginning classes, but love to teach more adavanced classes.  I have set up a series of weaving classes that cover different weave structures, warping methods, drafting methods, and different fibers to use. 

After a day at work on the computers, the classes refresh the mind and keep me excited about weaving.



 I'm Tommye Scanlin and I teach weaving--mostly tapestry weaving.  I retired from full-time university teaching in 2000; there I was teaching weaving, surface design, color theory, watercolor painting, art education at both undergraduate & graduate levels.  I'm happy now to be teaching on a slower pace, week to two week long sessions once or twice a year (classes for 2010 include John Campbell Folk School in March and Penland in August).  I also occasionally offer private instruction at my studio in Dahlonega, Georgia, USA.

I bring copper pipe looms along with me for students to use in my classes (ones I built based on Archie Brennan's design).  For my work I use several loom types, including the copper pipe frame loom, a plumbing pipe loom (also from Archie's design), a Tissart tapestry loom, an a Fireside tapestry loom.  I have assisted students with other types of tapestry looms and I've also owned a Leclerc Gobelin style tapestry loom in the past.  

My website is http://webme.com/tmscanlin and my blog is http://tapestry13.blogspot.com



I love it that the ADD and "trouble makers" did well with weaving.  Goes to show that given a very interesting, engaging project, attention can be kept on track.  

I think it would be very good for children with dyslexia as well.  When my son was having a hard time learning to read and write English, he was able to learn and read Chinese words, and to spin and knit.  I believe those activities helped his reading progress.  I think learning challenged kids are very fortunate to have somebody like you teach them weaving!




I've always thought this might be a great activity for dislexic kids. It's also been high on my list to work with autistic kids.

Whether that would be best with weaving or feltmaking, I don't know.



some people, myself included, who have mild to severe dyslexie, seem to be good "kinetic learners."  Anything I do with my hands "sticks" and I found that, even with college lectures, if I could net throughout the class, I would have almost total recall of what was said if I picked the knitting up again!

It also helps those of us who have trouble with attention to focus better.

Learning a musical instrument is also great for these problems!

Nancy C.


Hello there fellow weaving teachers!  My name is Pam and I am so very lucky to have the job as the Resident Weaver at the John C. Campbell Folk School  www.folkschool.org 

Not only do I maintain the weaving studio, but I order yarns and equipment, hire the weaving and rug teachers and I also teach.  It is a great job!  My main focus is teaching beginners, but I also have other more advanced classes I like to teach as well. 

I sure hope everyone has a great 2010!!!  Happy Weaving!

Pam Howard


Hi weaverjochen

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