How to Weave Hemp

Two Methods:Make the LoomWeave Hemp on a Loom

The history of weaving hemp can be traced back to the Neolithic Age, when archaeologists believed humans first began weaving both hemp and flax. When woven, it can create a fabric similar in texture to linen, and is surprisingly soft to the touch. You can continue the long history of weaving hemp by doing it yourself. Follow the instructions below to weave hemp on a simple, handmade loom.

Method 1
Make the Loom

  1. 1
    Use a utility knife to cut the flaps from a cardboard box.

  2. 2
    Set the cardboard box on the table so that the opening faces up.

  3. 3
    Mark the position of the setts along the box’s top edge with a pen and ruler. Setts are how the vertical yarn, or warp, are held in place on the loom. The spacing between the setts depends on the thickness of the hemp yarn you are using.
    • For thin yarn, the sett should be 5 to 6 ends per inch (epi).
    • For thicker yarn, the setts should be 4 epi. For example, if you are working with thick hemp yard, the setts should be every ¼ inch (.63 cm).
  4. 4
    Make ½ inch (1.27 cm) slits in the sett markings with a utility knife.

  5. 5
    Cut the hemp yarn into lengths.

  6. 6
    Tie a knot in one end of each piece of yarn and slip it in the sett.

  7. 7
    Pull each piece of yarn across the opening of the box and tape it securely to the bottom.

  8. 8
    Secure the top of the warp to the loom with tape.

Method 2
Weave Hemp on a Loom

  1. 1
    Use any yarn you would like to create a header. The header is the first strand against which the rest of your hemp yarn will be “beat” or pressed against when you weave hemp.

  2. 2
    Insert a knitting needle to pick up the warp yarn. Put the point of the needle over the first strand on the left, under the second strand, over the third and so on until the point of the knitting needle overhangs the right of the box while the other end of the knitting needle overhangs the left of the box.

  3. 3
    Follow the path of the needle by weaving over and under with the header until you reach the other side of the box. Let the yard hang down over the side.

  4. 4
    Insert the tines of a fork in the warp and draw the fork toward the bottom of the box, forcing the header against the bottom edge of the box.

  5. 5
    Remove the knitting needle and reinsert it in the warp when you weave with hemp, but this time insert the needle on the left and go under the first strand, over the second, under the third and so on until you reach the other side of the box.

  6. 6
    Rest the point of the knitting needle on the edge of the box. The knitting needle should extend over both sides of the loom.

  7. 7
    Feed the hemp yarn, starting on the right, through the lifted spaces by the knitting needle.

  8. 8
    Allow the hemp to arch a little in a curve rather than straight across the warp. This helps keep the woven fabric smooth and flat after you beat or press the strands against each other.

  9. 9
    Beat the yard by inserting the tines of the fork and pushing the yard down against the previous row.

  10. 10
    Continue the process by threading the yarn from the left to right and back again, being careful to alternate going under and over at the start of each row.

  11. 11
    Cut the excess yarn when you finish weaving, and tie knots in the top and bottom of the warp to keep your woven fabric from unraveling.

Things You'll Need

  • Cardboard box
  • Utility knife
  • Ruler
  • Pen
  • Hemp yarn
  • Tape
  • Yarn for header
  • Knitting needle

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