How I make my handwoven teddy bears – weaving the fabric

In this post I am going to tell you how I hand weave fabric for my teddy bears. Once the loom is set up (as in my previous post) I can begin to weave my fabric. This time I am using a Countermarch loom but sometimes I will use different looms which means the weaving process is slightly different.

For my countermarch loom the first this to do it set up the treadles underneath, this determines the structures I am going to weave. Each treadle needs to be tied to every shaft. The shafts contain the heddles and each of these ties will decide whether the shaft will be lifted up or pulled down, this is how the structures are created.


Weaving - treadles

Treadles tied up to shafts

When a treadle is pressed with the foot and the shafts lifted or lowered it creates a triangle shaped gap in the warp called the shed. A shuttle containing the weft (horizontal threads) is passed through the shed, the fabric begins to be woven.


Weaving - shed


The treadles are pressed in a certain order depending on what I am weaving, sometimes all twelve treadles will be used, sometimes only four may be needed. As more and more weft threads are interlaced with the warp threads the fabric grows longer. I will weave a few different fabrics from the same warp. Using different patterns and weft threads means I can produce very different fabrics from the same warp.

Weaving - fabric

Woven fabric with shuttle

Have a look at the next step – cutting the pieces