Hack Your Weaving Studio: 10 Items from the Hardware Store to Use in Your Weaving Studio
One day, I gave up wandering around a large hardware store looking for I-don’t-know-what I thought I needed for my loom and asked one of the sales people for help. I couldn’t explain my needs very well, so he and I wandered around for a while until I finally apologized to him for wasting his time. “Are you kidding? This kind of quest makes my day worthwhile!” I can’t even remember if we were ultimately successful in solving my problem, but his response made my day, and to this day makes me laugh.
Not everything in your studio needs to come from a weaving or yarn store. Here is a list of items in my studio from the hardware store:
- Velcro strips that make a loop. I warp alone, so I use these whenever I find having only two hands is a burden.
- Long strip of 1″ x 2″ lumber and headless nails to make a raddle. (They will cut the lumber for you at the hardware store. Just ask.)
- C-clamps to attach my homemade raddle to my loom.
- Bungee cords to hold my raddle on. I’ve also used bungee cords to hold my loom together when I had to re-glue a joint that came loose during a long rep project.
- Wrench to tighten bolts on my loom, though I confess from time to time I find a nut on the ground under my loom, and I have no idea where it came from. I save them and eventually figure out their source.
- 2½” S-hooks to weight floating selvedges or repaired warp threads.
- Wooden dowels for tying on when I warp from the back. They don’t have to be much more than ½” in diameter.
- Braided nylon cord for lashing on, creating tie-up cords, making loops used in attaching a warp to the back beam when warping front to back, and attaching lease sticks to my beams when rolling on a warp. Any kind of nylon cord would work, but I like the braided type because I don’t have to burn the ends to keep them from raveling. I know some people use linen because it too isn’t stretchy but I hate to put linen in the same category as cheap nylon cord
- Wooden paint stick. OK, this isn’t actually in my weaving studio, but you know they are free, right? They work well when stirring an indigo dyepot in one of those big orange buckets. Don’t even get me started about all those cool free color palette cards in the same department! So tempting.
- Wooden yardstick and glue. Any long flat stick will work—it just has to be longer than your warp’s width. I use these when I want to cut off a sample or project, and I don’t want to tie on again because my tension is good. I weave 1″ of plain weave, insert the stick, and then weave another inch of plain weave. Then I smear white glue on the plain weave areas and let it dry. I use Velcro strips (#1 above) to stop the back beam from rolling and then cut off my weaving behind the first inch of plain weave, so the stick is encased in gluey plain weave. I use braided nylon cord (#8 above) to lash the stick back onto the apron rod. It takes longer to explain this than to do it!
Anything to make weaving easier and more fun is high on my list of must haves. What do you use in your studio that isn’t technically weaving equipment? Let us know in the comments!
Here are some actual weaving “tools” that you might also find helpful in your studio: