General Weaving Vocabulary
Backstrap Loom: Primitive stick loom with strap around weaver’s body to hold warp
Balanced Weave: Weave structure in which warp and weft are similar in size and
Batten: Flat stick with one sharpened edge that holds sheds open on
primitive looms and is used to beat weft.
Beaming: Winding the warp onto the warp beam.
Bobbin: The small spool used in a boat shuttle; or the larger wooden spool
onto which the yarn is wound on a flyer-type spinning wheel.
Carding: The process of combing out fibers with hands cards or carding
machine in preparation for spinning.
Card Weaving: A unique process of weaving in which individual warp threads are
threaded through holes in a set of cards, which are turned to form
the different sheds. (Also called tablet weaving)
Comb: A weaving tool used to push or beat weft threads into place.
Cone: The conical-shaped spool on which yarn is wound.
Creel: A rack on which spools or cones can be set for unwinding.
Dressing the Loom: Preparing the loom with the warp, so that it is ready for weaving.
Dye: A substance used to color yarn or cloth.
Embroidery: Decoration added with needle and thread to the woven cloth.
Fell: Top line of the weaving, where the warp threads cross in the most
recent change of shed.
Filler: A thick weft or rag used to fill in; primarily used at the beginning
of a weaving where the warp ends have been tied in groups to the
cloth beam rod.
Fleece: The shorn coat of a wool or hair bearing animal.
Fork: The hand beater shaped like a fork and usually made of wood, used
to pack in the weft in tapestry or rug weaving, or when weaving on
a primitive stick loom.
Frame Loom: Any hand loom that consists of a four-sided frame on which the
warp thread are wound and held in tension.
Ground Loom: The horizontal loom that holds the warp in tension with stakes
driven into the ground.
Hand Spindle: Any spindle for spinning that is rotated by hand rather than by
wheel or other power.
Harness: The part of the loom which controls the heddle.
Heading: First few rows of weaving before the actual fabric is started; serves
to equalize the spacing of the warp threads where they are tied to
the cloth beam roc, and at the same time keep wefts from
Heddle: The string, wire, flat steel (or other material) that encircles a warp
thread, so that it can be pulled up separately from other warp
Ikat: A weaving technique using tie-dyed warp and/or weft yarns; the
resulting design when woven gives a blurred effect because of the
slight displacement of each thread during the warping and/or
Inkle Loom: Small portable loom consisting of a framework with numerous
pegs around which the warp is wound; used mainly for belts and
bands of warp-face structure.
Loom: A machine or frame for weaving.
Primitive Loom: A hand loom made of sticks or bars and usually requiring the hand
manipulation of heddles.
Reed: The comblike device on a loom through which warp threads are
threaded to keep them properly spaced during the weaving, and
which acts as a comb for beating in the weft.
Selvedge: The woven edge of a fabric.
Shed: The space, made by raising certain warp threads and lowering
others, through which the weft passes.
Shuttle: Any contrivance on which yarn is packaged in order to facilitate its
passage through a shed.
Spinning: The final operation in the production of natural yarn which consists
of the drawing, twisting, and winding of the newly spun yarn onto
a device such as a bobbin.
Stick Loom: A primitive loom on which the warp is simply wound around two
sticks, and the sheds are formed by a shed stick and heddle stick.
Tapestry: A weft-face weave structure in which the pattern is formed by
different-colored wefts woven back and forth just in their color
Treadle Loom: A loom that uses treadles to operate the heddle shafts.
Treadles: The pivoted levers at the base of the loom, which operate the
Twining: The twisting of warp or weft threads in the process of weaving.
Warp: The group of parallel threads that are held in tension during the
Warp-face: Describing any flat-weave structure in which the warp threads
form the surface of the fabric and the weft is more or less invisible.
Weave: A method of interlacing threads to make a fabric.
Weft: The independent thread woven across the warp threads in such a
way as to join them together to make a fabric.
Weft-face: Describing any flat-weave structure in which the weft threads form
the surface of the fabric and the warp is more or less invisible.