Crafty DIY #1: How to make a peg loom
After an inspirational guild meeting where we were shown how to use a simple peg loom, my husband and I decided to give making one a go. With a design based partly on a wonderful article called “How to weave a woollen underblanket” by John Adams in Permaculture magazine, this loom was made using items we already had hanging about and took about an hour to make in total! It will be used for weaving fabric strips and unspun fleece into lovely thick rugs and bottom warmers for long country walks.
The directions below are specific to this loom but are infinitely adaptable to whatever wood you can find.
- A length of 12mm hardwood dowelling long enough to cut 15 x 6″ (15cm) long pegs (12 for the loom, 3 spare)
- 18″ (45cm) length of 45mm x 45mm smooth planed pine for the loom base
- 3mm drill bit
- countersink drill bit
- 13mm drill bit (either kind shown)
- Sharp pencil
- Jute twine
Workmate or knee to hold wood steady
Small boy is optional.
Sand the ends of the dowel pegs and loom base to remove any rough edges.
Mark a centre line along the length of the loom base.
Along this line, measure intervals of 1 1/4 inch. These mark where the holes will be for the pegs. We left a larger gap at each end of the loom to allow for clamps.
Mark your drill bit 1 inch from the end to ensure the holes are all even depth (blue nail polish works well).
We drilled our holes 1 inch (25mm) deep. The holes need to be deep enough so the pegs do not flip out easily when under tension from the weaving.
N.b. For future looms I would suggest that a drill bit the same width as the pegs would work better as due to “drill wobble” the holes ended up a little larger than expected so the pegs were not held securely.
Insert the dowel pegs into the loom and marvel at an instant piece of craft equipment!
Now: run the pencil along the loom base where the pegs go into the holes. This will mark the lowest point at which you can drill your threading holes.
Select a measurement that lies above this pencil line on all pegs (we used 2 inches) and mark this on the pegs.
Using the 3mm drill bit, drill a hole through each peg at the measured line. These will look quite rough, so to make them look pretty (and to make it much easier to thread) …
Thread the loom with lengths of jute twine (more on measuring warps and weaving in another post).