Peg loom weaving is my personal favorite craft. It was easy to learn, relaxing to do, and I can knock out a beautiful hand woven rug in just a couple hours. I also like that it doesn’t require a lot of stuff, or bulky equipment. I can easily tuck my loom away in any corner or closet until I’m ready to use it again.
The art of peg loom weaving dates back to the viking age. Not only were vikings fierce warriors and sailors, they were also a farming culture. Not surprisingly, sheep were among their livestock a perfect fit for the harsh northern climate. The peg loom provided a simple tool to utilize wool and transform it into blankets or shawls.
All you need to get started with the peg loom, is the loom itself and whatever fiber you choose for your weft and warp. I recommend getting practice with yarn, but once you have the weaving process get as creative as you like with the materials used. I’ve even seen people weave plastic grocery bags to make a waterproof bed roll.
The peg loom is a board of varying lengths lined with holes. Each hole is fitted with a removable peg with a hole drilled towards the bottom of the peg.
The weft is the material you will be weaving around the pegs. This can be basically any type of material. My favorite to use is raw wool, but you can use roving, yarn, even scrap fabric cut into strips.
Warping is the structure or support of your creation and should be a spun fiber. I prefer to use actual warping, either cotton or wool. Tightly spun yarn will also work, as well as twine. Just be sure to choose something that the weft will fill in around and that can be finished at the ends without unraveling.
First you will want to determine the desired size of your finished project. Place pegs across the loom to your desired width. Length of the warping should be double your desired finished length plus 12 inches. For instance if you want a four foot long rug, measure the warping to nine feet. That is 4′ (desired length) x 2′ (for double warping) +1 (additional 12 inches, or 1′ added for finishing) = 9′ .
Thread the warping through the hole in each peg and tie off at the end, creating double warp off each peg. Now your ready to weave a heading.
There are two ways to create a heading. My preferred method is to use the warping material and weave through single warp strands for 10 to 15 rows depending on thickness of the warp. This creates a nice tight weave to lock in your weft, especially if using raw wool. This method also works well using your chosen weft material if it is a spun fiber.
Option two would be using the warp material or anther thin material around the pegs to create a weave around the double warp. For this option choose a fiber that will create a tighter weave than the weft that will be following the heading. Headings are intended to provide security to the weave to hold it together when your final project is in use.
Following the heading begin weaving the weft around each peg. Start a few pegs from the side to avoid having a loose end on the edge of your piece. To weave, pass the material through the every other peg. The ends should loop around the final peg, and continue with the same weaving pattern in the opposite direction.
When the pegs are full of material, pull the peg free out the top of the weave and replace in the loom hole pushing the completed weave down the warp strings. Continue this process until you have filled the warp to desired length.
Finish your project using the same heading technique that you used to start the project.
Lastly, you will cut your project free from the pegs, leaving at least a four-inch tail. You can tie the strings in bunches of three or four and leave the tassels free or braided. If you don’t want tassels, you can knot the strings for security then weave the loose ends back into the piece to create a clean edge.
Have fun getting creative with this simple weaving technique! I would love to see to your completed projects or answer any questions you have, just leave a comment below.