So you've decided to learn to weave? Now what? There are three main routes to learning to weave. You could take in-person classes, online classes or teach yourself using a variety of resources. In this blog post we will go over these three options to help you decide which path is best for you.
The In-Person Class Route
Taking a class from an experienced teacher is a great way to learn how to weave and develop a strong foundation for future development. Not only do you get hands-on help, but your teacher can help fix bad habits you didn't even know you had or before they start.
Finding a class that's convenient and affordable with the right teacher can be difficult. We recommend contacting your local weavers' or beaders' guild for direction. There are also great classes held at fiber and bead conferences.
If you're looking for a tapestry weaving teacher, American Tapestry Alliance has a great list here.
Once you've found some class options, do your research on potential teachers and the specific classes you've found. Do you like the teacher's work? Do others recommend that teacher? Does that teacher teach exactly what you want to learn? Is the class the right level for you?
The Online Class Route
Over the last few years, online classes have become a popular way to learn to weave. We even made our own Craftsy online course called "Bead & Fiber Cuffs" that goes over weaving different bracelets on a loom out of both fiber and beads. You can sign-up for it here.
If you're looking to seriously learn tapestry, Rebecca Mezoff's online classes are definitely something you should consider. Rebecca keeps adding to her stable of classes so there will certainly be a class or classes suited to your needs. We even have a loom starter package made specifically for her classes.
The DIY Route
Just one good book can start you off on the right foot on your weaving journey. For tapestry, in particular, there are many good ones. We recommend Kathe Todd-Hooker's "Tapestry 101", Kirsten Glasbrook's "Tapestry Weaving" and Nancy Harvey's "Tapestry Weaving: A Comprehensive Study Guide".
The American Tapestry Alliance has a very comprehensive list of tapestry related books.
Blogs are another great source of tapestry inspiration and guidance and they are exploding. We can't possibly list all the options, but here are a few:
Debbie Herd: http://debbieherd.blogspot.com
Tommye McClure Scanlin: http://tapestry13.blogspot.com
Kathy Spoering: http://kspoeringtapestries.blogspot.com
Jan Austin: http://austintapestry.blogspot.com
Rebecca Mezoff: http://www.rebeccamezoff.com/blog/
Kathe Todd-Hooker: http://kathetoddhooker.blogspot.com
Elizabeth Buckley: https://www.elizabethbuckleytapestryartist.com/blog/
Mirrix Looms: https://www.mirrixlooms.com/blogs/mirrix-blog
There is a ton of information available online for free. Search YouTube, do a Google search and use resource's like ATA's website to find information to help you get started.
Beadshop.com is a great resource for online beading tutorials.
Here are some links from the Mirrix Looms website that might be helpful:
Mirrix's Tapestry Weaving Basics Guide: https://www.mirrixlooms.com/pages/tapestry-weaving-basics
Tapestry is weaving, but weaving isn’t always tapestry: http://blog.mirrixlooms.com/tapestry-is-weaving-but-weaving-isnt-always-tapestry/
Why choose a loom with a tensioning device? https://www.mirrixlooms.com/blogs/mirrix-blog/why-choose-a-loom-with-a-tensioning-device
Floor loom vs. Mirrix: http://blog.mirrixlooms.com/which-is-better-for-you/
Wood frame or Mirrix: http://blog.mirrixlooms.com/choosing-a-tapestry-weaving-loom-wood-frame-or-mirrix/
10 reasons tapestry weaving should be your new hobby: http://blog.mirrixlooms.com/10-reasons-tapestry-weaving-should-be-your-new-hobby/
Heddle troubleshooting for tapestry weaving: http://blog.mirrixlooms.com/heddle-troubleshooting-for-tapestry-weaving/
Getting even tension when weaving tapestry: http://blog.mirrixlooms.com/getting-even-tension-when-weaving-tapestry/
Saori-inspired weaving on a Mirrix! http://blog.mirrixlooms.com/saori-inspired-weaving-on-a-mirrix/
Why Tapestry? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgJUgAC5mV8
Textural Tapestry: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gr6-czI3Q0
Talking Tapestry Webinar: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_59HfXbpRA
The Textural Tapestry Wall-Hanging Project: http://info.mirrixlooms.com.pages.services/textural-tapestry-wall-hanging/
Tutorial: Weaving for Dramatic Texture: http://info.mirrixlooms.com.pages.services/weaving-for-dramatic-texture
The Eccentric Wefts Tapestry Eyeglass Case: http://info.mirrixlooms.com.pages.services/free-project-eccentric-wefts-tapestry-eyeglass-case
Tapestry/Bead Cuff Bracelet: http://info.mirrixlooms.com.pages.services/free-project-tapestry-bead-cuff-bracelet-/
For Bead Weaving
Check out our Bead Weaving Basics Guide: https://www.mirrixlooms.com/pages/bead-weaving-basics and a recording of our bead weaving webinar https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPWtzdl3o70
Learn how to weave beads from a 7-year-old http://blog.mirrixlooms.com/learn-how-to-weave-beads-from-a-7-year-old/
Bead weaving warp coil cheat sheet: http://blog.mirrixlooms.com/bead-weaving-warp-coil-cheat-sheet/
The Queen Nefertiti Beaded Bracelet: http://info.mirrixlooms.com.pages.services/free-project-queen-nefertiti-bracelet
Split-Loom Beaded Necklace: http://info.mirrixlooms.com.pages.services/split-loom-necklace
What’s a warp coil? http://blog.mirrixlooms.com/whats-a-warp-coil/
Why warp spacing matters: http://blog.mirrixlooms.com/why-warp-spacing-matters/
What do you need to begin weaving? http://blog.mirrixlooms.com/what-do-you-need-to-begin-weaving/
Why weaving a scarf on a Mirrix is like frying an egg in a stock pot: http://blog.mirrixlooms.com/weaving-a-scarf-on-a-mirrix-is-like-frying-an-egg-in-a-stock-pot/
Warping is no longer a challenge: http://blog.mirrixlooms.com/warping-is-no-longer-a-challenge/
Weaving is Easy Ebook: http://info.mirrixlooms.com.pages.services/weaving-is-easy/
Which is Right For You?
Mix and match! You may want to start off on the DIY route and then find a class online or in person when you've really committed to the craft. The good news is, and this wasn't true even 20 years ago, there is tons of information available and much of it is free! Happy weaving!
Do you have something to add? Let us know in the comments!