Quiet Friday: Band Loom Warping and Weaving

My two-treadle Glimåkra band loom is called into action. I don’t have to add hanging tabs for the towels that I am weaving on the Ideal loom. But I want to. A little band weaving here and there, and I will have this special detail ready for the towels when they come off the loom. (Watch me weave on the band loom in the video below.)

Glimakra two-treadle band loom. How to warp and weave.

How I Warp the Band Loom:

Band loom warp.

  • Put the end loop of the warp on the warp beam tie-on bar. Insert lease sticks in the cross. Tie the sticks together; or tape them together with masking tape.

Warping the band loom tutorial.

  • Remove tie around lease cross. Hold the warp taut with the left hand while winding on with the right hand. Insert warping slats around the beam the first time around, and then every other time around after that.

Band loom warping tutorial.

  • Wind on until the beginning of the warp is a few inches in front of the heddles.

Warping the Glimakra band loom.

  • Tie or tape the lease sticks to the back beam. Cut the loops at the front end of the warp.

Warping the band loom.

  • Thread the heddles, alternating between the heddles on the right and on the left.

How to thread a band loom.

Threading the Glimakra band loom.

Glimakra band loom, threaded. Steps and pics.

  • Hold the warp taut and depress each treadle to check for any crossed threads.

Warping the band loom.

  • Tie the warp onto the front tie-on bar.

Band loom ready for weaving.

  • Tighten the tension; wind your shuttle; and weave to your heart’s content! (A short cardboard quill can be used as a shuttle.)

Glimakra band loom weaving. Karen Isenhower

May you go the extra mile to add special little details.

Happy band weaving,
Karen

27 Comments

  • Alaa says:

    Thanks for posting this, Karen. It was really interesting and informative. I like the added little touches like a woven tab for hanging too.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Alaa, It makes me happy to know this was interesting and informative to you. Adding special touches is one of the great advantages of making things by hand!

      Karen

  • Geri Rickard says:

    Hi Karen! Your post and video came at the perfect time as we just finished Vavstuga Basics today. I have a band loom at home that I haven’t used yet, and 2 students purchased theirs today before leaving Vavstuga. Your wonderful blog was discussed several times around the dorm table this past week. Even Bettie said how timely today’s blog posting was! Thank you for sharing with us!!

    • Karen says:

      Wow, Geri, Are you serious?! What a wonderful co-incidence! I am delighted beyond measure that I could have some small part in bringing a helpful tidbit to Vavstuga Basics.

      Thank you for letting me know.You and your Vavstuga Basics friends have totally made me smile.

      Happy, Happy weaving,
      Karen

  • Weaver Grace says:

    What a great loom! I can imagine advantages over the more traditional designs: standing, treadles, cloth and warp beams. How interesting that you weave on it what I would consider sideways.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Weaver Grace, Good observations. (I do weave on the band loom sitting down. You probably can’t tell that from the video.) The two primary reasons I prefer this band loom over my inkle loom is 1) I can weave much faster and 2) I can put on a longer warp (I’ve done up to 10 meters).

      Weaving sideways is quite awkward at first; but, with practice, your hands become fluent.

      Karen

  • Annie Galloway says:

    I always enjoy your blog posts. You are inspirational both in weaving and spirituality.

    I’m trying to convince myself that I do not need a band loom 🙂 If you have time, would you tell me some advantages over the inkle loom (which I have). It just looks so much cleaner on the band loom. I know you can weave longer warps on it. It looks faster than weaving on an inkle…

    Thank you so much for your posts.
    Annie

    • Karen says:

      Hi Annie,

      I have a feeling we just cross posted. See my reply to Weaver Grace about weaving speed and length of warps. 🙂
      Far be it from me to convince you that you *need* something you want. I have a hunch you will be able to convince yourself.

      The advantage of an inkle loom is that you can travel with it, which I do. So, one for travel, and a stationary one for home. More weaving over all. That can’t be a bad thing!

      Thanks for your incredibly kind words. That really touches me!
      Happy weaving,
      Karen

  • Hugh S. Myers says:

    I see you have one of the “new” band looms Glimåkra has changed the band loom slightly since I purchased mine…nothing of consequence excepting the heddles—mine are string not Texsolv. My question is where did you get the delightful shuttle?

    • Karen says:

      I bought my band loom second hand. I’m not sure what year it was made, but I know the newer Glimåkra band looms have ratchets that are a little different than mine. String heddles? That’s interesting.

      My husband carved the shuttle for me. It’s modeled after an old Swedish band loom shuttle that we had seen.

      Karen

      • Anonymous says:

        Mine uses string because it predates Texsolv!! As do I 🙂 I also carve so I guess I guess I will go the same route. I really like the idea of one handed operation so that the ‘dance’ involves all four limbs.

        • Karen says:

          Hugh, it is a great “dance” for the hands and feet.

          I will send you an email with specs for the shuttle in case you decide to carve one for yourself.

          Karen

  • Kerry says:

    Like Geri, who commented earlier, I was at Vavstuga last week! I bought a band loom like yours and then, the next morning, we saw this post about how to use it! Such serendipity! Thanks for the clear instructions!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kerry, I couldn’t be more pleased that my instructions came at such an opportune time! You are going to enjoy that new band loom!

      Happy weaving,
      Karen

  • Debbie Moyes says:

    Wow – very fun! I haven’t seen a band loom used before. I guess it’s what the Shakers use/d to weave the bands for their chairs. That is a very lovely detail…

    • Karen says:

      Hi Debbie, if I remember correctly, the Shaker tape looms were a different design, but similar function. And they certainly produced miles and miles of bands!

      Karen

  • Anne Littlebird says:

    Thank you Karen! I want to use my band loom more but it was a little daunting. This post really helped. I think the only thing I need to work with is how tight to have the warp. I think I have it too tight. I will put on a warp this week and just sit and practice!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Anne, I am so happy that this post was helpful to you! You are right–practice is the best way to learn this. It takes a while before it’s comfortable. But once it takes off for you, it’s a lot of fun.

      Happy practice,
      Karen

  • Ann says:

    Hi Karen,
    I am the other Vavstuga student who purchased a band loom which coincided with your post! I can’t express how happy I am it happened that way. Directions with the loom were sooo… minimal! Yesterday I got together with the other band loom buyer from Vavstuga and we helped each other get started. We referred to your post as we warped and then began to weave. What fun! I don’t think we could have done it without you. Great directions, photos and video!
    My mind is stirring up other uses for the bands.
    Thanks again!
    Ann

    • Karen says:

      Wow, Ann, that’s fantastic! I couldn’t be more thrilled that things worked out this way! Thank you so much for telling me your story. It makes my heart sing.

      Happy band weaving,
      Karen

  • Chris says:

    Hi Karen

    Awesome little machine and great video, it was great to see some one using one of these looms.
    I just got into inkle looming and the thing that up sets me is the amount of yarn that goes to waste when it reaches the heddles is this loom any better in that respect?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Chris,

      Good question! I think I end up with about 10 inches/25 cm of loom waste at the end, which is probably not much better than the inkle loom. However, I can put on a much longer warp, so the percentage of loom waste overall is much less. I’ve done as long as 10 yards/9 meters. In that case, the loom waste didn’t count for much.

      Karen

  • […] too, and, together, we managed to figure them out. We were helped immeasurably by this blog post by Karen Isenhower, which, serendipitously, came out the very day we purchased the looms […]

  • Ruth says:

    Hi Karen,

    I want to thank you for this post. I was inspired to purchase a band loom after reading this post several months ago. Without your instructions and video I would have really struggled to figure out the easiest way to warp this loom. As Ann commented the instructions that come with the loom are very minimal to state it kindly. I looking forward to bands to use for straps and tabs! Bless you for sharing your knowledge!

  • Julia says:

    In a few weeks, a very similar bandloom from Glimakra will move in with me. Your comments on how to prepare the warp, come to me as called (I also found another, but it seems to me more complicated). Thanks a lot for this.

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