Tablet Weaving Loom
How to Make the Cards for Tablet Weaving
Playing cards or the cardboard from cereal boxes make good tablets for the beginning tablet weaver. Cut them into squares out of whatever card stock you use. Make an X from one corner to the other. Using the center of the X, make a circle using a compass. Where the X and the circle intersect, punch the holes that the warp thread will go through, inside the circle (see following diagram). Round off the corners, if you desire, using either a corner punch or a nail clippers. That's it!
Once you get them made you can either set up a loom with the backstrap method (as seen in the video below) , warp your existing rigid heddle frame, table or floor loom, or you can make this loom by The Loomy Bin. It's my favorite! I get the "tama" (weights) for it at my local farm and tractor supply. They are corner ceramic insulators for electric fences. Perfect for the job. You can find them on Amazon too. If it turns out you really like tablet weaving, you may want to invest in a good set of cards. Lacis cards are my favorite.
I find a wooden TV tray table just the right thing to clamp the loom to. When I use it, I like to tilt the table towards me so that the front beam is in my lap. That makes it very comfortable and I can weave for quite a while.
[Click the images to enlarge]
Here's a close up of how the web is anchored to the cloth end (additional explanation below).
This is how it looks from the side.
Here's the back showing the "tama" which weight the warp for the perfect tension. I use ceramic insulators for electric fences as the tama. They weight about 1.6 oz each. You can find them on Amazon (affiliate link) https://amzn.to/3hqHNJ5 or your local farm supply stores.
Here's a close up of the warp beam. We used a brass rod instead of a wooden dowel. The spring we got, which is used to separate the warp, was not long enough so I use document clips to keep it centered.
How to Attach to the Front Beam
I secure my cards to keep them order. I find that knitting stitch keepers are awesome for this. Then I insert the dowel, which is wider than the supports to the front beam, into the initial shed behind the knots in the ends of the warp. I bring the dowel over the top of the front beam and through the supports so that the dowel is on the card side of the supports. Once secured, I go to the back of the loom and attach the warp end to the leaders on the tama and wrap the leader and the warp around the tama. I let them hang until they *just* reach the floor. Then I start weaving. Once I establish the pattern, the width of the cloth and have some length, I secure the cards with knitting stitch keepers and secure the warp to keep it from falling to the ground because of the tama. Then I remove the dowel and wrap the woven bit around the front beam like this:
Fold the cloth under itself.
Bring the fold over the top of the front beam and then under towards the back.
Insert the dowel, which is wider than the front beam supports, into the fold.
The tension on the warp will force the dowel up against the supports, locking the cloth in place. I always make sure the layers of the cloth are lined up directly on top of each other.
To advance, I secure my cards so they don't get out of order. Next, I grab the warp and pull it towards me a little. That releases the grip around the beam. Then I pull the cloth end away from me at the same time I'm pulling the warp end towards me. Once I advance enough, I gently release the warp end and it locks in place.
How to Make A Warp for Tablet Weaving
Set up two posts apart by half the distance of your needed warp length. Put one thread through each hole in the pack of cards. Hold cards and leave in position with left hand, wrap threads around posts with your right hand, dropping a card on your way around. When you are done, arrange cards in necessary order. Cut the warp off the pegs.
How to Tablet Weave