Teaching beginners

I am revising my beginner's weavers course. Thsi course is tuaght over 2 weekends, a total of 4 days. My course outline is as follows:

Basics, Vocabulary & Reading a draft

Records & their importance/Why we sample

Warping a loom


Getting creative, conquering the fear of exploration

Balanced, Warp/Weft Emphasis, Warp Faced, Weft Faced

Styles of loom comparison and things to choosing a loom for you

Drafting & Drafting programs



I would appreciate advice on, the sequence of these topics. How do you structure your beginner weaving courses?

Thanks in advance,



Posted on Thu, 02/08/2018 - 00:20

I sometimes start absolute beginners on a simple table or rh loom and let them observe the two thread systems - warp and weft - and how the interlacements of plain weave make a viable fabric. 

From there is seems easier to introduce the vocab and concepts of how to prepare a loom to do the same.

With just two sessions, there is too much material - the loom types, drafting and "creative" part would be better left to a second intermediate course. It is a lot to bite off just getting to the point of warping a simple loom in plain weave in the time allowed.

Posted on Thu, 02/08/2018 - 09:19

Thanks for the suggestion Sara! I have thought about starting them weaving plain weave straight away. I think I might try this in the 2018 course. 

To be clear the course spans 4 actual sessions, a total of 24 actual class hours.

Posted on Thu, 02/08/2018 - 18:03

Just a few of my thoughts after teaching beginners for 45 years.

The sooner you can have them weave, the easier it is for them to understand the other things you teach them.  I like to have a floor loom ready for them to weave on.  That way, they enjoy learning the new vocabulary and they can see how a loom works, how sheds are formed, how the shuttle is used, etc.  Then, when you discuss the basics, they not only are more eager to listen, but they are more likely to understand what you are telling them. 

Frankly, it is not necessary to teach them warping until they have a loom to warp.  If there is a long time between learning to warp and doing it on their own loom, they forget a lot. 


Posted on Thu, 02/15/2018 - 03:47

I learned how to weave in late 2016. In the first 2 workshops I took the instructors followed the steps they use to start a new project. Calculating warp, sett, vocabulary, winding the warp, warping the loom. Argh! My head was spinning. At least they didn't include "History of the Loom"! I wonder how many budding weavers are turned off by this approach. I think it's hard for many advanced weavers to remember what is like to be a beginner. Sara and Joanne are exactly right. Get us started weaving! The best sequence I've seen so far is Jane Stafford's Online Guild. She really knows how to get beginners excited and engaged. Love her flow. Good luck!

Posted on Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:17

Thank you for confirming how I have been teaching. I learned a decade ago to get beginners weaving right away! I do teach with prewarped looms. One loom per student each with a different threading and warp. Over the 4 days students move around to different looms.

The list of lectures is what we discuss between weaving time. Reading your comments supports one change I was considering. I think teaching vocabulary at the loom is a good idea.