Admission is free on Feb. 22 for George Washington’s birthday. Admission tickets will be distributed on-site upon arrival.

Follow these step-by-step instructions to make your own loom.

Supplies Needed

  • Cardboard
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Scissors (with adult supervision)
  • Twine/yarn to use as the warp threads

Step 1

Measure out how large you want your weaving to be on a piece of cardboard. It can be long or wide, the size is up to you!

Step 2

Next, take the ruler and measure out ½-inch increments across the top and bottom edge of the cardboard. Mark each ½-inch on the cardboard with your pencil.

Step 3

Using the scissors, cut a slit on each ½-inch mark. Make sure the slit is no longer than ½-inch deep. Do this for every ½-inch mark made.

Step 4

Next, take the twine and tie a small slip knot at around the first slit made on the bottom.

Step 5

Then bring the twine up to the first slit on the top, around the back, then back down the next slit. Repeat until done. Tie a small knot around the last slit. These vertical threads are called warp threads and is what will hold your weaving together.

Step 6

Next take a long piece of yarn to use as your weft threads and weave it over the first warp thread, then under the next warp thread, then over the third. Repeat the same over/under pattern for all of the warp threads.

 

Step 7

Once you have completed the first row, take the yarn and do an under/over pattern to make the second row. It should be opposite from what the first row is. Then repeat the under/over pattern again to create the third row, which is identical to the first row. Remember to push down the rows as you go to make the weaving tight.

Step 8

If changing yarn, make sure there is a small tail approximately 2 inches long, so that they can be tucked in later and the weaving doesn’t come apart.

 

Step 9

Once you have reached the other side of your loom and finished weaving, just pop the warp threads off of the slits, tie a knot in each one, and enjoy your weaving!

Helpful Tips

  1. Don’t pull the yarn too tight when weaving. This will cause the warp threads to curve inwards in an hourglass shape and your finished weaving will not have straight edges.
  2. The general rule with weaving is to do the opposite of the previous row. It helps to say “over,” and “under,” as you go over and under a thread to get the hang of it.

A Spinning House Demonstration


Historic trades interpreter Margaret Lineberger explains 18th-century weaving.

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Learn about George Washington's sheep population and their role at Mount Vernon.

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