Interweave Staff Picks: 10 Favorite Weaving Books
The books I choose for my weaving library fall into 3 main categories: inspirational, educational, and classic reference books. Inspirational weaving books might not give me project specific information, but they provide me with new ways to look at my weaving. It might be the color in a photograph, or it might be the texture in a scarf, but something will trigger an idea. In the educational category, I place books that give project information and books that give process descriptions or weave structure specifics. Finally, classic reference books tie my craft to the weaving world that came before me. (As you might expect, there is a lot of cross-pollination between these categories. If you’re familiar with the titles I’ve chosen, you might classify them differently.)
I’m a lover of weaving who also loves books, but below I’ve limited myself to 10 books that I value in my own library. I’ve listed them here in no particular order.
1. Next Steps in Weaving by Pattie Graver
Although I find this book inspirational, it fits most easily in the educational category. It’s not for total beginners; pick it up after you’ve woven your first sampler and maybe a project or two, when you’ve decided you want to continue to weave and learn about weaving. It contains a lot of great background information about yarns, color selection, and weave structures, plus projects that help you master all this new info.
2. Color and Texture in Weaving: 150 Contemporary Designs by Margo Selby (Now sold out!)
I love this book for its beautiful and distinctive color combinations and the “out-there” weave structures she plays with. I’ve used some of her ideas for color wrapping and designing stripes. One of these days, I’m going to try some of the interesting yarns she uses, such as horsehair and wire. This book has no projects, so for me is purely inspirational.
3. The Weaver’s Book of 8-Shaft Patterns by Carol Strickler
If you own an 8-shaft loom, you need this classic reference title—my own copy is dog-eared, annotated, and coffee-stained. It contains 25 chapters, each devoted to a different weave structure. Every chapter starts with an introduction to the weave structure’s threading, tie-up, and treadling, and ends with drafts and pictures of fabrics in that weave structure. This is a pattern book for weavers looking for drafts, and a must-have for anyone weaving with 8 shafts.
4. Woven Scarves by Jane Patrick and Stephanie Flynn Sokolov
I like to use this book as inspiration. The scarves are beautiful and intriguing in their use of yarn and weaving techniques. The big plus for someone like me who has a huge stash of yarn, is that every project includes a yarn wrap to help in making yarn substitutions. Using those wraps as a guide to pull yarns from my stash, I’ve woven several scarves that are similar to the ones in this book.
5. Weaver’s Idea Book: Creative Cloth on a Rigid-Heddle Loom by Jane Patrick
Don’t shy away from this book because its title refers to rigid-heddle looms: I have found it a source of inspiration and information for shaft loom weaving too. There are quite a few great projects in the book but for me the compelling parts are the detailed photographs and the shaft loom weaving drafts that accompany the different techniques shown. I’ve been known to use those weaving drafts for projects on my shaft loom.
6. The Weaver’s Companion edited by Linda Ligon and Marilyn Murphy
If you can only have one weaving book with you on that desert island, pick this one. This is a little book packed with practical weaving tips and information. It’s my go-to book for charts and calculations when I don’t have the “right-dented” reed for my project, or can’t remember how to calculate sett for a twill.
7. Learning to Weave by Deborah Chandler
Okay, maybe I’m leaning a bit heavy on the classics here, but I can’t imagine a weaver’s library not having a copy of this book. While it’s a great beginner’s book, you’ll never outgrow it. Every so often, I draw a blank on a technique or equipment I might only use from time to time. This book fills in those blanks.
8. Winning Towels: Handwoven’s 21st-Century Towel Contest
This was the first pattern compilation I ever bought and it has delivered endless hours of oohing and aahing as well as good solid weaving advice. Who doesn’t like a handwoven towel? Two of the towels in my kitchen drawer are projects directly out of this eBook.
9. Doubleweave by Jennifer Moore
Jennifer Moore is arguably one of the best weavers and weaving instructors I know, so it makes perfect sense that her book combines technical sections on weaving a doubleweave sampler with structural background, plus some very exciting and beautiful projects for the beginning and intermediate weaver. It’s my favorite reference every time I reintroduce myself to the brain-twisty world of double weave.
10. Handweaver’s Pattern Directory by Anne Dixon
When I met Anne Dixon at a conference, we hit it off right away—weave structures nerds tend to bond. What I particularly like about this book is the way she presents the samples for each weave structure. The warp and weft are clearly identified in the photos, as well as the treadling, plus there are close-up shots of the fabric’s front and reverse sides. This is a great classic resource for any beginning weaver and holds its own for intermediate and advanced weavers.
Don’t miss out on these fabulous resources!