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How To Set Up A Loom

How To Set Up A Loom

Weaving is an ancient and traditional method of cloth-making. In this guide, Christine MacLeod from Weaver's Cottage in Kilbarchan, a National Trust Scotland property, shows you how to set up a standard loom for weaving.


Wrap the warp threads around the back beam and pass each thread through a heddle. The heddles are attached to shafts which are controlled by foot pedals underneath. The order the threads pass through the heddles will depend on what pattern you want to achieve in your fabric.

Traditional tartans are made using a "twill weave". The number of shafts and foot pedals on any given loom depends on how complex you want the pattern in the cloth to be.

From the heddles, pass the threads through the reed. The reed is encased in the beater. Each thread will pass through one space in the reed. Keeping the threads tight and even to ensure the best quality outcome and pull and wrap them around the front and onto the front beam. Tie the threads tightly and evenly in groups along the beam.