Weaving Finishing Techniques

You can debate whether the often large amount of time spent weaving a project develops a weaver’s patience or whether weavers are patient by nature. I’m sure I don’t know, but I do know there is a certain peace found in time at the loom, whether warping or weaving. The projects found in the May/June 2017 issue of Handwoven take that peaceful feeling one step further and, in some cases, multiple steps further with exquisite finishing techniques.

finishing techniques


Only recently have I come to realize there are two schools of thought about finishing by hand versus machine stitching handwoven projects. Both methods have staunch advocates, although I imagine most weavers use a bit of each to finish their projects. This issue comes down firmly on the side of finishing by hand. It celebrates the patient and sometimes slow work of hand-finishing techniques.

In some cases, a combination of techniques creates a beautiful and complex finish: Deborah Jarchow’s shawl combines decorative stitching and a bound fringe; Tom Knisely’s rug combines a Damascus edge, fabulous V-shaped braids, and 3-strand braids; and Deanna Deeds’s Gumdrop Scarf includes Danish medallions and twisted fringes. Both Sarah Jackson and Nancy Dunlap added beads but in very different ways: Sarah added seed and large beads to weft twisted fringes, while Nancy wove the beads directly into her scarf.

In another take on knotting, Anita Osterhaug knotted macramé fringe on a silk scarf designed by Susan Du Bois and woven by Charlotte Updike, and Rosalie Neilson added interest to her rep runner with Cavandoli knots. Finally, Suzie Liles used loom-controlled and weaver-controlled techniques to add lacy touches to her placemats and mug rugs, and Donna Hudson, inspired by a lace sampler, incorporated weaver-controlled leno lace in her linen wall hanging.

Whether you only ever finish projects by hand or hardly ever finish projects by hand, I think you will find the finishing explorations in this issue interesting and compelling. They may even convert you to the peaceful world of hand-finishing.

Weave well,

Featured Image: Rag Rug with a Triple Finish by Tom Knisely from the May/June 2017 issue of Handwoven.

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