Since posting my lesson on Making and Using a Cardboard Loom I have had several requests for the next stage: removing weaving from the loom and finishing it off. Your wish is my command!
This lesson is straight from my book The Work of Wool - A Montessori Handwork Album.
Regular text = what I do
Italic text = what I say
Removing Weaving from the Loom
Gather children who have woven up to the top of their cardboard loom (or as far as they want to go.)
I can see you have been working hard on your weaving and have produced some beautiful work. Now it is time to take your work off the loom so you can use it or put it on display.
To begin with, we need to release our warp threads by cutting them. I’m going to cut them in the centre at the back of the loom as I want there to be quite long threads left at each end,
Turn the loom over and cut through all warp threads roughly half way up the loom.
Now I can gently pull each thread free from the loom. I’m just going to free the bottom threads for now.
Gently pull each bottom thread from its notch, leaving the work still attached to the loom at the top.
What do you think will happen if I leave my warp threads loose like this? Yes, it could come undone. That would be a shame after all my hard work, wouldn’t it?
So I am going to tie my threads together to prevent the weft from coming off.
Take the end two threads and tie them in a reef knot.
I want my knot to sit snugly up against my weaving but not pull it so tight that it squashes it.
Continue to work along, knotting pairs of threads until you reach the end.
Note: if you have an odd number of threads you can either include the last one into the previous reef knot or use overhand knots for groups of three threads all the way along. Overhand knots make tidier tassels but are harder for your children to tie close to the weaving.
Now the bottom of my weaving is secure I can move to the top and do the same…
Release the threads from the top of the loom and tie them off.
I wonder what my weaving could be used for?
Pass the weaving around and take suggestions from the children.
I like the idea of using it as a coaster for my tea cup. If I was to do that I would need to trim the tassels a bit to make it look tidy.
Lay the weaving out on the table and show how you would trim the tassels to an even length, without actually cutting them.
But I think this particular piece would look good hanging on the wall so I will need to mount it. I have a stick here that looks to be the right length.
Hold the stick along the top of the weaving to check.
I’m going to use the warp threads to tie the weaving to the stick. I can use another reef knot.
Work along the stick, tying each pair of threads around it. Hold it up for the children to see.
I don’t really need to trim off the loose ends, they can just sit behind the weaving.
Now how am I going to hang it up? I’ll need to tie something to the stick, this would be a good use for some of the finger knitting you have been doing but I am just going to use some yarn.
Cut a length of yarn and tie it to either end of the stick, hold it in the centre to show children how it will hang.
I’m happy with that but I think the threads at the bottom still look a little untidy.
Invite suggestions from the children of ways to finish the bottom.
I could just trim them off or I could make pompoms or tassels to add. If you would like to do that, I can give you a lesson in a few days or you can find a friend who knows how to do it. Today I think I will just trim my tassels into a straight line.
Find a spot to hang your weaving and assist children to finish theirs.
There are so many ways you can use these little looms and all kinds of weaving techniques you can explore with them - they are a very versatile way to explore handwork at a very low cost. Children will come up with plenty of ideas of their own but to start them off you could ask things like:
What other materials could we include in our weaving?
Do we always have to follow the over-one/under-one pattern? What happens if we change that?
How do people of other cultures use weaving to meet their fundamental human needs?
What other kinds of looms are there?
I'd love to know how your children get on with their explorations. Please let me know in the comments section below, on the Montessori Handwork Facebook page or in the Montessori Handwork Threads Facebook group. Stay safe friends!