Tuesday, March 11, 2014

5th grade weaving underway!

***Update: My weaving handout is now available on Teachers pay Teachers -  https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Mrs-Knights-Smartest-Artists - see if it might help you, fellow art teachers :) ***
It's finally time for weaving! The kids really love it every year and are so engaged and innovative. We are starting a little earlier this year and will start and stop the project a few times during this last 9 weeks, as we need to work in clay and a few other things. So far, we have learned the vocabulary words warp, weft, loom, fibers, and textiles.
I have never had real training in fiber arts, but I have always dabbled in needlework since I was a kid, so most of my techniques are self-taught. I have learned some tips from fellow art teachers too and I really enjoy the entire process. Please excuse me if some of my terminology may be a bit, shall we say, amateur.
This is the back of the loom after the warp strings are applied. The warp strings are like the bones of the weaving as they hold things in place but don't show much.

Here a student is doing the tabby weave.

This is how we prepare short yarn for certain patterns, like the two color stripe and checkerboard.

My trusty Yarn Barn, keeping things under control in the fiber department.

This student has completed a tabby and dovetail pattern.

We will be learning about the history of weaving, which dates back thousands of years, and also looking at some modern examples.
Several people have asked for my handouts. I made these years ago from an assortment of other handouts given to me by colleagues and I don't have them in digital form, but you are welcome to these pics... It is really easy to find diagrams of weaving techniques on google if you want to make your own, teachers.


  1. Were did you get the trusty Yarn Barn? I need one!

  2. The very cool Yarn Barn came from Dick Blick. I've had it a while - I hope they still sell them! I have ordered from them for all my classroom needs for over 20 years :)

  3. Love the way your organize this project. I'm assuming their loom goes into the zip lock when they are not weaving? Very advanced weaving techniques as well; I've never progressed that far with my elementary students. I'll take a few tips from your organizational skills. Thanks for sharing.

    Kim @ Art on my Hands

    1. Yes, into the big ziplock it goes, but it bugs the kids that they can't zip it because the loom pokes out. I recommend doing one to two techniques per session, and doing an up-close demo for each. Take it slow. We will be on and off this lesson for a while to avoid burnout.

  4. Love your "yarn barn!" It's amazing; I was thinking of doing a similar thing with a large box, but your set up is an even better idea. Love your site, so many fantastic activities going on!!

  5. I love the yarn barn; it's awesome! Your site is really fantastic, so many great activities going on and chronicled!

  6. Great ideas. Do your students use a needle?


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