Updated: Aug 28, 2021
This autumn, I am preparing to offer my first traditional Norwegian weaving course. During the course, we will learn to weave narrow bands, specifically for traditional, Norwegian, heirloom, knitted garments.
Historically, however, these bands were woven in a variety of widths and lengths, and used for many practical purposes.
The course will begin with an in depth theory or “how-to” - we will then move along putting the terminology and theory into practice by weaving simple, colourful Viking band patterns.
Once we have gained control weaving a variety of these bands, we will move along to weaving using the «plukkebånd» technique specifically from my region of Norway. There are two levels of difficulty within this technique.
Once we have gained this understanding we will move along to weave the more complex, beautiful Samisk bands, which offer an additional challenge.
Of course there will also be stories and related history to share!
As a participant you will need to decide if you will approach the weaving by using the traditional backstrap method or by using the rigid heddle method.
I will explain and compare the advantages and disadvantages around these two methods.
See the Zoom Check in discussion opportunity below.
If you are interested in the backstrap method you will need to source a heddle with a minimum of 16 slots and 15 holes.
Here is an example of the type of traditional heddle that I mean. This company is in Sweden and they ship worldwide. https://shop.stoorstalka.com/en/products/handicrafting-diy/yarn/weaving/bandweaving-heddles/standard
*Do note however, that one might need a more advanced heddle as we progress with our weaving skills.
You will also need a shuttle or band knife.
I prefer a wooden shuttle, but here is an example:
You can create your own backstrap, yarn threader, band lock and materials to prepare and secure your warp. I will guide you with all of these materials. You will probably find most everything you need right within your own home.
We will begin weaving with an inexpensive 8/4 or 8/2 cotton. These numbers are important when you source and organise your materials and you will learn more about them within the course. For now, 4 is 4 ply and 2 is 2 ply. This cotton will not weave traditional narrow bands, but somewhat wider bands in the beginning as you gain control.
You want to plan approximately 5 complementary colours + white. I will explain how to plan your colours within the course based on our first pattern.
After some time and much practice, we will progress along to the traditional thin wool/linen weaving yarns used for narrow band ribbons.
Your first woollen bands can be woven from your Rauma gammelserie or lamb’s wool yarn that you have in your stash.
If you are approaching the weaving using a rigid heddle loom, any size loom will work. But, you will need a 60/10 dent reed. A smaller rigid heddle is the ideal, but it will limit you to small weaving projects. I am fond of Ashford looms, but there are many other options available to research.
Unfortunately, I will not be able to offer support on other types of looms - such as tablet/card weaving looms, Inkle looms etc. If you are using other types of looms, you will need to have the experience and understanding of warping the loom on your own, based on this technique.
Here is an example of the small rigid heddle loom. They also have a YouTube video for this Sampleit loom to view.
Your loom will come with everything you need except the additional 60/10 reed heddle.
I do suggest you ask around at your local guilds or libraries to see if you can check out or borrow a loom. Put out a local notice! Someone might have a loom you could borrow to explore, before you invest. Also! a second hand loom would be perfect.
You want to be very careful with the loom you choose. A child’s loom or hobby loom will not support the weaving of traditional bands.
It will be up to each participant to organise materials for the course. I will offer support in any way that I can.
I will also support with the thin, traditional Norwegian weaving yarns when we move into that advanced phase of the course. These weaving yarns are from another heritage breed of Norwegian sheep and are just stunning!
Registration for the course will OPEN at the beginning of September and we will start immediately.
I will be offering a specific weaving Zoom Check in this week (and next week) on Thursday, August 12th at 9 pm Central European Summertime.
If you are interested in the course and you have the possibility to join, email me directly and I will provide you with the log in link and password.
Please leave any questions, thoughts or wonders in the comments below.
Warmest regards from the farm,