Thoughts on 3.5 – Good Weaving Technique – Hemstitching

Forums Weaving Discussion Online Guild Discussion Season 1 – Foundation Thoughts on 3.5 – Good Weaving Technique – Hemstitching

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    • #157500
      Ginette
      Keymaster

        Let us know your thoughts on 3.5 – Good Weaving Technique – Hemstitching.

        2
      • #157501
        zwartezwaluw
        Participant

          I feel like this is a very silly question, but I have to ask because I don’t have any boat shuttles at all. What about stick shuttles? Is it worth it for me to invest in boat shuttles right away or can I just keep using my stick shuttles?

          Thank you!

          Zee

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          • #157502
            Sandra
            Keymaster

              What kind of loom do you have Zee? If you are on a rigid heddle that is not too wide, then passing your weft yarn through your shed on a stick shuttle certainly works. However, if you are using a floor loom or wider loom, then being able to “throw” your shuttle so it glides across your warp, helps you speed up your weaving and develop a rhythm as you weave. Most weavers who have been weaving for a while have shuttles they no longer use. Do you happen to know anyone that might lend you a shuttle that they are not using?

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            • #157509
              encfarm2
              Participant

                On looms other than floor loom, there is no shuttle race to help support the boat shuttle. My friend was having trouble with many mistakes in her weaving. I encouraged her to use a stick shuttle as it is easier to catch your pick mistakes as they’re happening. The stick shuttle hugely improved her weaving. Try both, but don’t feel compelled to get a boat shuttle just because everyone says you must.

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            • #157503
              Lee
              Participant

                Jane,
                Do you do the hemstitching before you start the weaving like you did in the video?
                Lee

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                • #157504
                  Ginette
                  Keymaster

                    Hi again Lee,
                    For scarves, shawls & blankets, hemstitching is mostly done on the loom before starting to weave and when they have woven the length they want, then hemstitch again for the other end. Oh and on some sampling too! It helps to keep samples nice and tidy after they’ve been washed, you’ll see that in Season 2 on the samples. If you were weaving towels, most weavers will hemstitch after their towels have been woven and off the loom either with a sewing machine or hand-stitching. You can hemstitch towels on the loom like Jane demonstrates as well, I’ve seen weavers do that as well. I think it comes down to preference.

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                • #157505
                  melodyr2
                  Participant

                    I hem stitched my rug and want to leave a short fringe. Will the hem stitch hold it (especially when washing) or do I need to twist a fringe or tie knots in addition to the hem stitch to finish it off?

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                    • #157506
                      Sandra
                      Keymaster

                        You do need to do something to secure your hemstitch, so either twisting a fringe or tying knots right next to your hem stitch and leaving a fringe would work. You could also do a decorative edging with knotting that could look interesting and add a secure edge to your rug. Lots of possibilities but I’d want to lock the ends of the rug in to withstand the wear and tear of hard use as a rug.

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                    • #157507
                      gidget
                      Participant

                        Hi, I am a fairly new weaver learning on a 4 shaft table loom with stick shuttles. Can one use the same technique of placing weft, beating, changing shed and returning beater to the back. At present my teacher says to place weft with either an angle or a bubble, change shed and then beat. I have a 2nd hand locally made 4 shaft loom at home (in Cape Town, South Africa) and hope soon to prepare my first warp on my own and put it on the loom. I don’t have access to the wonderful yarns available in Canada and the USA so mostly use 4ply or D.K. weight knitting yarn or crochet cotton No. 5 on a Cone or balls of 4ply or D.K. weight in 50 gram balls. Any suggestions or comments would be appreciated. Finance is a consideration so I had looked at LeClerc plastic boat shuttles which were around $20 which would translate into around 292.00 South African Rand. However, the shipping cost was over R1000.00 and I would still be faced with Customs Duty and Sales Tax on arrival in South Africa. Rather daunting for an elderly person on a fixed income. Just as a matter of interest, I am 79 and only started weaving mid year 2018 although I also knit, crochet etc.

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                        • #157508
                          Sandra
                          Keymaster

                            You can use stick shuttles, your weaving will just be a bit slower. As Jane often says, there isn’t a right way or a wrong way in weaving – just what works for you. Try beating both ways and decide what you like best. I find that Jane’s way places my weft firmly in place and keeps it there until I throw my shuttle again.

                            Why don’t you introduce yourself on the Online Guild Forum You’ll find weavers from all over the world there. Have you looked for a local Weaver’s Guild, sometimes weavers downsize and are looking to sell or give away equipment they are no longer using.

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                        • #157510
                          Carol Burns
                          Participant

                            I use a Leclerc narrow boat shuttle that has open bottom. I love it.

                            2
                          • #159095
                            Rosanna Lovecchio
                            Participant

                              How tight are you pulling your hemstitch?

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                            • #159116
                              Sandra
                              Keymaster

                                Not tight but tight enough to get an even line and leave room for shrinkage.  😉

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                              • #160203
                                Katherine Kashmaier
                                Participant

                                  Thank you so much for demonstrating hem stitching and for the left handed instruction! Finally it all makes sense.

                                  Kathy

                                  1
                                • #163260
                                  Daryl
                                  Participant

                                    Am I clear that there is no catching a loop of the thread either on the straight pick or on the diagonal pick?  I think I was taught to catch a loop (I have not woven for 6 years and have forgotten a lot)

                                    Thanks

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                                    • #163307
                                      Ginette
                                      Keymaster

                                        Hi Daryl,

                                        You can do it either way, but I would give the technique Jane is showing a try and see which one you prefer. Welcome back to weaving after 6 years!

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                                    • #163463
                                      Deborah Fister
                                      Participant

                                        Again, I will change how I hemstitch. Makes so much sense to have those 2 rows of PW and nothing else in the beginning of the weaving and leaving a bit of a gap between them and the header. However, the gap at the end keeps the hemstitching from lying snug up against the weaving and the two ends don’t match. Did I miss something?

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                                      • #164544
                                        Kimberly Sampson
                                        Participant

                                          I followed this technique with a few tea towels I just made with 2/8 cotton. I’ve never tried this before, though, so I have a few silly questions before I get to cutting each piece part and washing. This part stresses me out for some reason. =)

                                          1. Does hemstitching keep my weft from coming out once I cut it off? Or do I need to do something more to ensure it all doesn’t fall apart?

                                          2. When I cut each tea towel from my warp, do I cut right up to the hemstitched area, or should I leave a little, and cut the threads closer to the cloth after i wash?

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                                          • #164551
                                            Sandra
                                            Keymaster

                                              Hemstitching often works best with a fringe, so I would leave enough to give your towels an elegant look! If you hemstitched over 3 or 4, threads – your stitching should hold. I use hemstitching on things like shawls, scarves, table runners and other items that don’t get washed a lot. With tea towels, I do a folded hem and hand sew the hem. Done that way, extends the life of the towel. These towels will be a focal point in your kitchen, so enjoy them.

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                                              • #164558
                                                Kimberly Sampson
                                                Participant

                                                  I see. I hemstitched over only two threads, but was planning on hemming them also. I definitely don’t want fringe on my tea towels. So I’ll have a hemstitch, zig zag, and then hem it.  Thank you!

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                                            • #164604
                                              Deborah Fister
                                              Participant

                                                Just make sure you have left double the width of the hem between 2 towels. So you would weave 1.5″ hem, Towel #1, 3″ hem, Towel 2, 3″ hem, Towel 3, 1.5″ hem. I learned this the hard way and didn’t have enough for a hem.

                                                3
                                                • #164640
                                                  Kimberly Sampson
                                                  Participant

                                                    Yes. I left 1.5 inches for each side of the tea towel, but I also put two rows between each towel, where I will cut.

                                                    2
                                                • #166189
                                                  Anne-Marie Binet
                                                  Participant

                                                    Do you always hemstitch over 2 picks, even for fine yarns?

                                                    Thanks!

                                                    Jane, I love your teaching style! You are a very very good teacher. I am so glad I joined this online guild!

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                                                    • #166269
                                                      Sandra
                                                      Keymaster

                                                        I always consider how the warp threads would look in a fringe.  For instance, I hemstitched a project today that combined a “shrinker” and a non-shrinker.  I was careful to separate them when hemstitching because they will shrink very differently when I finish the item.  If they were mixed together, they would do that in a single fringe.  Also, if you are combining a single thread on one colour with a group of another colour, you would have a barber pole effect.  So – use your own judgement when deciding – there is no rule!

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                                                    • #166240
                                                      Kellie Stapleton
                                                      Participant

                                                        Do you always go across the fell 4 warp threads when hemstitching?

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                                                        • #166270
                                                          Sandra
                                                          Keymaster

                                                            See above Kellie – I was thinking of you as well when I wrote it!

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                                                        • #166343
                                                          Anne-Marie Binet
                                                          Participant

                                                            Thanks for the answer. What about the weft ? Do you always take 2 picks in your hem ?

                                                            Thank you!

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                                                            • #166362
                                                              Sandra
                                                              Keymaster

                                                                Yes, I normally do!  However, there is no rule saying you couldn’t make the hem a wee bit deeper if, for instance, you were using 30/2 silk or 40/2 linen – something really fine.

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                                                            • #170192
                                                              Joy Clenaghan
                                                              Participant

                                                                Thank you for your clear and patient teaching technique. You always break tasks down into their smallest parts and you discuss the small nuances that other teachers too often miss. What a wonderful teacher you are!

                                                                2
                                                              • #174966
                                                                Martha Eskin
                                                                Participant

                                                                  I bought 2 LARGE cones at a guild sale. Then I missed out on a class in May, so I put on a warp for 2 large towels with extra extra yardage. Towels are done and I was trying to figure out what patterns to try when I decided to sign up. I always intended to use those cones for playing, now I  have inspiration and guidance!

                                                                  1
                                                                • #175195
                                                                  Helen Deighan
                                                                  Participant

                                                                    Just wanted to say a big thank you. I have been weaving for about 8 years. I have never been taught how to actually weave! I have done all sorts from block weave to deflected double cloth -quite successfully. I found your course because I was looking for ideas for colour and weave. I decided to start right at the beginning although I thought I knew everything! Wow I have learned so much. I am now teaching myself to hold and throw the shuttle correctly. Such a difference. Thank you so much

                                                                    1
                                                                  • #176061
                                                                    celesteges
                                                                    Participant

                                                                      Is plain weave the best for hemstitching?  Or will a  “modified plain weave” securely hold it in place?  That’s shafts 1, 2 followed by  3, 4.

                                                                      • This reply was modified 5 months ago by celesteges.
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                                                                      • #176074
                                                                        Sandra
                                                                        Keymaster

                                                                          I try to make my hemstitch rows as evenly spaced as possible so that I can secure the yarn in my hemstitch.  The main thing you need to do is to make sure all your ends are secure for fringe twisting or just being free.

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                                                                      • #176640
                                                                        Paul Razzell
                                                                        Participant

                                                                          At 26:16, why do you hemstitch?

                                                                          I understand why you hemstitched at the beginning of the project in this video, but by the video’s 20:16 mark, you’ve only woven a few inches of the project: why hemstitch again at this point?

                                                                          Related question: When weaving, is it necessary to hemstitch after every few inches of weave?

                                                                          Thanks!

                                                                          Paul

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                                                                          • #176657
                                                                            Sandra
                                                                            Keymaster

                                                                              Hi Paul.  Hemstitching happens at the beginning and end of a project and isn’t necessary in-between.  Jane was demonstrating the two different methods, one used at the start and the other for the end of your cloth.  She did them so close together because it was a demo video and not a project video. Hope this helps!

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                                                                          • #182296
                                                                            Linda Bonora
                                                                            Participant

                                                                              Hi. I love the instructions on hemstitching. Jane makes it look effortless – and I find it easier to do after watching her.

                                                                              Does Jane have a video or instructions on double (Italian) hemstitching? It is called for in the Candy Cane Runner pattern in the November/December 2020 issue of Handwoven magazine. I have watched some videos on the technique but have found them confusing. Was hoping Jane has one to watch.

                                                                              Thank you!

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                                                                            • #182867
                                                                              Patricia
                                                                              Participant

                                                                                Linda, I have just warped this project on my David, and searched to see if Jane had a video or discussion/instructions for Italian hemstitching, but could find none. You’ll note on page 68 of the Nov/Dec 2020 issue of Handwoven there are some instructions for Italian hemstitching, but I found them to be a little too cryptic (only 2 illustrations of the technique) and not so helpful.

                                                                                Interweave did publish a one-page PDF to download which expanded on their hemstitching instructions above, and which had 3 illustrations for Italian hemstitching… better! Click the “download this PDF” link on page: https://handwovenmagazine.com/finishing-and-hemstitching/

                                                                                However, the very best help I could find was in a little old (published 1988) book on my shelf called “Finishing Touches for the Handweaver” by Virginia West. Several online yarn sources carry the paperback for $21. As an example, here it is at Yarn Barn of Kansas (a great resource, BTW): https://www.yarnbarn-ks.com/Finishing-Touches-For-the-Handweaver/productinfo/WB-0934026408/

                                                                                Hope this helps!

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                                                                              • #184633
                                                                                Patricia
                                                                                Participant

                                                                                  Linda… here’s a PS to my post #182867 – immediately above (or below?) about instructions for Italian hemstitching. I have always used a plain (straight) tapestry needle for hemstitching, but somewhere saw a post about how much easier a bent darning/tapestry needle is for this purpose. I finally bought one and am using it now for the Candy Cane runner and, let me tell you, it is fantastic! The one I found on Amazon had two needles and a Chibi case (perfect, since the top on my 38-year-old Chibi case had recently broken off):

                                                                                  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000XZWGPE/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

                                                                                  Good luck!

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