Fringeless: Four Selvedge Warping with Sarah C. Swett
Produced by Rebecca MezofF
This online class will teach you how to warp a loom so that when you are finished weaving, there is no fringe and no hem. This warping method is often called four selvedge warping.
Taught by master tapestry artist, Sarah C. Swett, it is a unique opportunity to learn how to warp and weave tapestry in this fun way while getting all of Sarah's inside weaving tips. You'll see Rebecca in this course also asking questions, giving her two cents about tapestry weaving, and generally keeping the camera rolling.
Introduction to four selvedge warping and weaving
Materials you'll need
Weaving on a four selvedge warp as well as some exceptional tapestry weaving tips from Sarah
Removing your piece from the loom and finishing
Suggested projects and resources
You will need a loom that has tensioning ability to do this technique. We provide plans for making a variety of pipe looms or you can use a Mirrix. Looms without tensioning (the ability to get longer to make the warp tighter) will not work for this method of four selvedge warping. You can make a copper pipe loom for about $25 plus one simple tool ($8-10) and we'll show you how to do that in the course. Or for a little more investment but far less fuss and no cutting, you can make a galvanized or black pipe loom which screws together in about five minutes. All you have to do is buy the parts (and again, we'll show you how).
Looms with beams to roll the warp on will not work for this technique either. This is not the technique to try on your floor loom. A simple pipe loom is the best choice.
This is not a beginning tapestry class. It is assumed that you have warped a loom for tapestry before and that you know basic tapestry techniques.
Regular price for the full course: $249
Why would I want to use this warping technique?
Four selvedge warping is a rather magical way of setting up a tapestry warp. When you're done with the piece, you'll remove the two supplemental warps and your piece will be finished. No hems, no fringe. You also don't need to put any kind of header in your weaving. This particular technique is different from the way the Navajo weavers work in that you get a working shed for the entire time you are weaving. There is no painstaking weaving with a needle to finish up the work.
What is this thing about a jig? I am not a woodworker and I'm not sure I can make that.
In the course we present three different ways to make a jig and you might come up with your own modification. If you have woodworking skills or a friend who does, certainly you could make a simple wooden jig. But Rebecca and Sarah both make sturdy jigs out of PVC pipe. Cutting PVC is simple with a rotary "cutter" (a simple, inexpensive, pressure-applying rotating tool available at any hardware store) or PVC snip. You could probably even use a hacksaw (a tiny little hand saw with a strong blade). Alternatively you can make a jig out of straps or twine and plain old sticks. It does not have to be complicated!
What is a jig anyway?
The four selvedge warping technique involves using a sort of scaffold to hold the warp you will weave on while attaching a supplemental warp. The jig can be very simple and we'll show you how to make one one in the course.
A jig is also a lively folk dance and you'll hear some of this music in the course played by Sarah herself.
Can I use a Mirrix loom for this technique?
Yes! A Mirrix is just a pipe loom with some added features. You'll need two slight modifications to the usual way you use the loom to use it for four-selvedge, but it works well. You'll need to use loom extenders on most Mirrix looms. Six or twelve inch extenders are sold by Mirrix or you can buy 1/2 inch threaded rod and a connector at your local hardware store. I'll tell you how in the course. The other thing you'll have to modify is the heddles if you want to use the shedding device. You'll need to make a set of heddles that are slightly longer for this technique. I'll show you how to do that too with a little bit of crochet cotton or strong yarn.
What kind of loom do I need for four selvedge weaving?
For this technique, you need a loom that has tensioning ability. The warp is put on with some kind of a jig (could just be sticks and string) and when that jig comes out, there is slack in the warp that has to be taken out. This means your loom has to have the ability to get longer. How much longer depends on the kind of jig you use. Pipe looms of all varieties work really well for this technique and we'll give you instructions on how to build a couple different kinds in the course. Never fear, if you are not handy and want to purchase a loom, there are options out there! THIS is one. If you already have a Mirrix, you can use that.
I just don't think I can make a loom or a jig. Can I buy something?
Sure you can. We'll give you resources. It is unlikely you'll be able to buy a jig, but you can use sticks and straps to set up the warp.
But I'd like to encourage you to try! Making a pipe loom and a PVC jig are not difficult tasks. They use very simple tools and all materials can be found in a small hardware store. Heck, if you get friendly with the hardware store people, they might even cut the PVC and/or pipe to the lengths you need and then all you have to do is fit them together. Making things is a wonderful way to build knowledge and confidence. Give it a try! Maybe my old weaving teacher can give you a little courage.
If it just isn’t for you, Magpie Woodworks is selling them here: https://magpiewoodworks.com/
How long is the course?
This class has about 20 core videos in it. The course includes an additional set of bonus videos for reference and fun. Many of the videos are short explanations about how to do a particular step in the warping process. Others are quite long so you can see the whole process carried out.
This time of year is so busy! Do I have to do the course material now?
No you don't! After registration the course material is yours to use whenever you'd like. If you don't have time for a few weeks or months, that is just fine. You can enjoy the class when you have the leisure to dive in. More information on this on my FAQ page.
How much time does it take to put on a four selvedge warp?
That depends! At first, it takes awhile. The process takes attention and has multiple steps. Over time, it gets easier and you can warp a loom this way with a small warp in less than an hour. As you'll see, Sarah can do it in much less time!
Have more questions? Check out my FAQ page HERE for more details.
I don't offer refunds for online courses. Please review the FAQ pages carefully before signing up!
Below are some photos of work done in by people taking the Fringeless online class. Some of these weavers have been making tapestry for a long time, some are quite new at it.
Click the images in the gallery below for larger images and captions.