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Review: The Weaver’s Idea Book

First, the facts:

Title: The Weaver’s Idea Book: Creative Cloth on a Rigid Heddle Loom

Author: Jane Patrick

Published by: Interweave Press, 2010

Pages: 239

Type: Weaving.


1. There’s Nothing Plain about Plain Weave
2. Finger-Controlled Weaves
3. Pick-Up on the Rigid Heddle Loom
4. Welt- and Warp-Faced Fabrics
5. More is More with Two Heddles

Weaver's Idea Book

The In-Depth Look:

This is a tricky one for me, because while I have a few books on weaving and am intrigued, curious, awestruck, and tempted by the things weavers can do … I don’t actually weave myself. I’m like the star-struck kid who devours Variety and other movie magazines but has never gone to Hollywood.

All of which is by way of saying … I’m not really qualified to review this book as a weaver. The only loom I’ve got is one of those square frames with nails along the sides.

But, still … I actually have several books on weaving (and have read them) so … let’s give this a shot, shall we?

The author says right up front, “In writing this book, I’ve assumed that you have at least warped a loom and know something about throwing the shuttle back and forth.” So, there’s that. This really isn’t meant to be a “Welcome to your rigid heddle loom” kind of book. Think more intermediate-to-advanced weaving levels.

She also says, “Although I’ve written this book for the rigid heddle loom, the truth of the matter is that many of these ideas and techniques apply to other types of looms. Therefore, I have also included drafts for shaft looms.” I think that’s a fairly important point. Rigid heddle looms are the entry-level loom–not too expensive to try getting your feet wet, but often considered limited by weavers who have gone on to the more elaborate, expensive looms. It’s good to know that this book could be used not just now, but forever, by weavers who may have stepped up the path of complexity.

I like the fact that this book does focus on the rigid-heddle loom, though, because that’s where most people start–and a lot of people end in their quest for weaving experience. There is also a lot of detail about specifics like choosing yarns, or determining size and spacing. She also provides patterns for things to use your woven fabrics for, like a felted scarf, a wrap, or a skirt.

Most of the book, though, focuses on creating different kinds of weaves, so that your rigid heddle loom becomes more flexible than you may have thought. The author says, “I kept hearing weavers–new and old alike–lament that they could only weave plain weave on a rigid heddle loom. Every time, I’d reply that much, much more was possible.”

Ultimately, speaking as a non-weaver, this looks like a great book to me. The photos of different weaves are clear and easy to see. The illustrations are good, the explanations seem like they’re clear if you understand the weaving jargon (which I’m not). The physical structure of the book is good, too–a hardcover with a wire-binding, so it’s sturdy and will stay open to whatever page you need while you fiddle with your loom.

Sound interesting? You can get it here at Amazon.com.

Want to see bigger pictures? Click here.

This review copy was kindly donated by Interweave Press. Thank you!

My Gush: Really? It looks like a great book, even if I can’t appreciate it as fully as some other people might!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Charles October 3, 2011, 3:25 pm

    This reminds me of my older sister. She bought this huge old loom from the late 1800’s or so and rebuilt it. Then she started making the most amazing cloth. Needless to say, our entire family enjoyed real hand-made clothing for many Christmases after that.

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