Ideas for Bandweaving Belts

comments 4
Equipment & Supplies / Projects & Ideas

Weaving belt, black and white

In the book, I’m wearing the handwoven wool weaving belt shown above. I’d like to share the details of my design with you, for this black and white belt (fixed-length), a rust-colored version (adjustable-length), and a quick-and-easy alternative made from cotton webbing.

Design

The weaving belt I got in Norway consisted of a length of webbing with short loops of cotton tape sewn to each end. Soon the loops began to fray from the abrasion of the metal hooks of the band clamp, so I decided to tweak the design and make a new, handwoven weaving belt.

I wanted my new belt to be thick wool, for comfort and flexibility. I wanted it to have metal rings instead of fabric loops, for ease and durability in hooking to the band clamp. And I wanted it to have ties, so it would stay in place around my waist while I hooked and unhooked the band clamp. I made two wool belts—one adjustable in length and one not. I wove them on the inkle loom, because my band heddles are for finer yarn, and I wove them plain, without pick-ups.

Size

I liked the length of my Norwegian weaving belt (32″ including loops at ends) so I made my wool belts that length. But even if you are my size (women’s medium) you might prefer a different length, depending on the kind of band clamp you use and the position you find most comfortable for weaving. I wear my weaving belt slightly below my waist, which puts my arms in a nice, relaxed position to make the pick-ups. It’s easy to try different sizes if you have a length of cotton webbing, metal rings, and kilt pins to hold it together, as shown at the end of this article.

Fixed-Length Weaving Belt in Black and White

  • Weaving belt black and white closeup pewter buttonStructure: Plain, warp-faced weave
  • Equipment: Inkle loom
  • Supplies: Sewing thread, 100% wool felt for facing, 4 pewter shank buttons, 2 metal triangle rings 2″ in size (I bought mine online from Strapworks in Eugene, Oregon)
  • Warp yarn: Rauma Ryegarn, Norwegian spelsau rug wool, 75 meters per 100 grams, heather black (color #516) and natural (color #501)
  • Weft yarn: Same as warp (black)
  • No. of ends: 49
  • Color order: See weaving belt warp drafts
  • Width: 2″
  • Picks per inch: 5
  • Length: Path on inkle loom 68″. Before wash, woven length at relaxed tension 44″. After wash, after ends trimmed, woven length 42″. Finished length of belt 28″ not counting rings, 32″ counting rings.
  • Weaving: It was very difficult to get a shed with this rug wool in a warp-faced weave, but the thick and sturdy belt it produced is my favorite.  To weave, I pried apart the shed a few warps at a time and beat with the tips of my fingers, poking them hard against the fell line inside the shed.
  • Finishing: Straight stitch with sewing machine across ends of band in valley between two weft rows. Cut 2 rectangles of wool felt (slightly wider than band and about 3″ long). Fold wool felt over ends of band and hand stitch in place. Fold under band at each end to achieve desired length, encasing rings at the same time. Anchor folds in place by sewing pewter buttons on with warp yarn (the buttons nearest the ends are attached using the ties—see next step).
  • Ties: For each tie, cut two 54″ lengths of yarn and with tapestry needle thread them from underside through both layers of belt, through shank of button, and back through both layers to underside of belt. Even up the ends so you have four 27″ ends of yarn extending from button on back of band.  Twist or braid a cord by your preferred method and tie an overhand knot in the end to secure. I made my ties with a fringe twister and their finished length is 20″.

Weaving belt rust colored brass pins

Adjustable-Length Weaving Belt in Rust

  • Weaving-belt-rust-colored-closeup-brass-pin2Structure: Plain, warp-faced weave
  • Equipment: Inkle loom
  • Supplies: Sewing thread, 100% wool felt for facing, 2 large and 2 small handmade brass pins (I bought mine from Twilight Forge on Etsy), 2 solid brass rings 2″ in diameter (I bought mine online from Strapworks in Eugene, Oregon)
  • Warp yarn: Halcyon Botanica, 100% worsted wool, 640 yards per pound, dark rust (color #46) and light rust (color #45)
  • Weft yarn: Halcyon Rug Wool, 260 yards per pound, dark rust (color #107)
  • No. of ends: 61
  • Color order: See weaving belt warp drafts
  • Width: 2¼”
  • Picks per inch: 6
  • Length: Path on inkle loom 68″. Before wash, woven length at relaxed tension 48″. After wash, after ends trimmed, woven length 43″ (easily stretches to 46″). Finished length of belt 28″ slightly stretched, not counting rings, 32″ slightly stretched, counting rings. The end folds and pins can be repositioned to adjust the length as needed.
  • Finishing: Straight stitch with sewing machine across ends of band in valley between two weft rows. Cut 2 rectangles of wool felt (slightly wider than band and about 3″ long). Fold wool felt over ends of band and hand stitch in place. Fold under band at each end to achieve desired length, encasing rings at the same time. Anchor folds in place by inserting brass pins as shown, at the same time attaching ties as described in the next step.
  • Ties: For each tie, cut one length of the rug wool (weft yarn) 60″ long. make a twisted and folded cord by your preferred method, and tie an overhand knot in the end to secure. My finished cords are 24″ long. When the large brass pins are placed to secure the fold-backs, slip the cord onto the pin, so the cord extends to the front from underside of belt.
  • Notes on Yarn: It was very easy to get a shed with this yarn in a warp-faced weave. The yarn is springy and the finished band has a certain amount of elasticity, so I measured for length by stretching it slightly, to approximate the tension it would be under when in use. Since the Botanica is much lighter in weight than the Rauma Ryegarn that I used for the black and white belt, I used heavy rug wool for weft to add a little bulk.

Looking at the Back

Weaving belt black and white back sideThe ends of both belts are faced with wool felt, a nice way to finish thick pieces like these. In the black and white belt, the yarn for the ties goes through the button shanks before being twisted. In the rust-colored belt, separate ties are slipped over the pins as they are inserted.Weaving belt rust colored back side

 

 

 

 

 

Quick & Easy Weaving Belt in Cotton Webbing

  • Supplies: 2″-wide heavy-duty cotton webbing (as is used for furniture moving; I bought mine on Etsy), sewing thread or perle cotton for attaching buttons, iron-on denim patch material for facing, 2 buttons, 2 metal triangle rings 2″ in size (I bought mine online from Strapworks in Eugene, Oregon), 2 lengths of cotton ribbon about 20″ long  (my ribbons are pick-up-woven in 5/2 perle cotton, UKI natural #79, navy #15, light rust #108; step-by-step instructions on pages 122-126 of the book)
  • Preparation: Hand wash webbing to pre-shrink. Cut to the length you need, allowing at least 4″ at each end for fold-backs.
  • Assembly: Cut two 2″ circles from iron-on denim patch material. Fold circles in half, encase ends of webbing, and iron in place to keep webbing from raveling (see photo below for how it looks when finished). Hand or machine stitch ribbon ties in place on fold-back portion. Fold back ends of webbing, encasing rings at same time. Sew buttons on to anchor fold-backs in place as shown.

Weaving belt cotton webbing handwoven ties

Adjustable Version of Cotton Belt

You can also make an adjustable version by not attaching buttons and using large kilt pins to hold the fold-backs in place. For this set-up, I use twisted cords made from cotton yarn (here in Lily Sugar ‘n Cream in bright navy) instead of woven ribbons for the ties, attaching them as I insert the kilt pins.

Weaving belt adjustable size cotton webbing materials

4 Comments

  1. Patricia Don Diego says

    I used to weave a long time ago. I got out all my weaving things, including my inkle loom, and started to weave again. Feels so good. I just got your band weaving book and am very very happy with it. I am Finnish and weaving feels like “going home”. Thanks for writing such a good book. I was surprised to see you live in Arlee, I live in Stevensville.
    Patricia Don Diego

    Like

  2. Jean Flores says

    I love your book! Can you tell me how much of each color I need of the Rauma Ryegarn. About to order it from the Woolery and they have skeins of 80 yards each. Thank you!

    Like

    • For the warp length and other specs listed in my pattern I bought one skein of each of the two colors and had just enough of the black. If you need a longer warp length you’ll need two skeins of the main color. I’m happy to hear you love the book!

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s