Weaving methods for continuous strand weaving on the rectangle
While it is the Hideaway Pin Arrangement plan that gets you the best continuous weaving results on a rectangle loom, the weaving method is part of it too. I make my rectangle looms for the right-return method and include the right return weaving instructions with a loom. If you have one of my looms or one that has the Hideaway Pin Arrangement and comes with weaving instructions for the right-return method, the rest of this page is probably just Too Much Information. Just use the instructions that come with your loom.
In the past most rectangle loom brands have promoted a left-return weaving method, and sold a video on how to start the left return method. I think it is cumbersome to have to always be watching how you twist a loop to avoid a glitch with this method. However, if you follow my instructions for pin arrangement, you can make a loom that will get you a perfect result with this weaving method. I have a pdf file I could send you on how to start the left-return method. A rectangle loom could be made to adjust for this weaving method, getting you that same end result shown in Photo 1 above. I am discussing this as you may have one of these adjustable looms and be familiar with that weaving method and be curious about getting the best results with what you already know.
With the right-return method that I like (and re-discovered), It is more relaxing to just weave with the hook the same way through each and every 'square' of the rectangle. I had been making my looms with only the settings for a perfect right-return continuous weave. This matches the right-return weaving instructions I include with each loom. It is less confusing to have a product with only one rectangle settings plan and one weaving method (right-return) to go with it. Using this right-return method on another manufacturer's looms will not necessarily improve your results unless made for right-return.
As of May, 2019, I have made my single width scarf looms with the extra setting to make the rectangle one pin shorter to accommodate the Left-Return method. I see some new weavers are choosing to use that method long promoted by a certain fiber studio. It is not that hard to understand both methods and will avoid confusion if it is explained better. My pdf file - Rectangle Methods, has link at top of page, click to see or download.
Any discoveries I made were by trial and error. I am good at very basic math and using my calculator for some things, but no advanced math is even relevant here.
The best pin arrangement for the right-return method uses a rectangle one pin longer than the left-return method. It can be explained due to the yarn turning in a different direction when you get to the far right end of the loom and make the 180 degree turn. If you used the left-return method on the slightly longer loom you would have an extra pin or two at the finish. You would deal with that the same way you have to now with an adjustable rectangle loom made the old way. You just straighten out the strands the best you can and the weaving evens out more when taken off the loom. Or add extra yarns to the open spaces before taking the weaving off the loom.
Photo 1 below shows how one of my looms, or a loom made with my Hideaway Pin Arrangement plan, will result in the last single woven yarn having an open weaving path at the finish; with just enough empty pins to take the yarn around the turns and no extra pins. This way you have less readjusting of the yarn before you take it off the loom. The last strand here was done in a pink yarn to show this. I'm not sure I was always able to explain this adequately so I made this photo and the one following.
This outcome is mainly a function of the pin arrangement, not the weaving method. My plan can be slightly adjusted for the previously used left-return continuous weaving method for rectangle looms, or for the right-return method that I think is easier to use. I have been told the right-return method is best for making fancy weaves on the rectangle loom such as twills.
Also called Continuous Weaving, Continuous Yarn Weaving, Continuous Loop Weaving. Weaving is done on a pin-frame rectangle loom with a length that is an approximate multiple of the width. The yarn is pulled from a ball or skein, warping is done as the weaving progresses. CSW is done on triangle, square, and rectangle looms. It is just slightly more complex on the rectangle. If you learn CSW on the triangle, you can master the rectangle. The concept is the same with a triangle or rectangle, each new loop interlocks the previous loop. The edges of the fabric you create are secure when taken off the loom. You can weave long scarves or shawls without the expensive and bulky floor looms. The sides of the weaving come out perfectly straight.
Warp and Weft weaving is the other way to weave on a pin-frame loom like my Hideaway Adjustable Rectangle Looms. For this, any width to length ratio works, you just lace on the warp yarn in one direction and then weave in the weft with a hook, needle, or shuttle.
When changing yarn or colors, this is done the same way with either method. At the left or starting end of the loom where the yarn change ends are tied outside a pin and can become part of a fringe if you choose. You can use a 'Russian Join' instead of knots. The reason to start in the upper left corner of a loom is simply because the instructions are made for starting there. The rectangle settings and turning points are designed by the loom maker to work correctly only when starting there. The instructions that come with your loom will indicate where to start.
A continuous strand weaving underway on a simple board loom made with the Hideaway Pin Arrangement . Parts of the fabric are completing as you go. When you get to the final single strand, that yarn will lock everything in place, you will have no extra pins and no missing pins.
All the pins do is hold the yarn until the scarf is taken off the loom. If the loom you are using doesn't come out perfect like this one, don't worry you may not have done anything wrong, that is the way the looms were designed.
It is the series of interlocking yarn 'loops' that will hold your scarf together when taken off the loom, and the fabric will even itself out after use. Question is, why not have it come out perfect while it is still on the loom? My looms do this.
Photo 2 below shows a typical finish to a continuous rectangle weaving you might get using widely sold adjustable rectangle looms. As you can see, there are places where there is not space for a single yarn, other places where you have to fill in one or more yarns. By the way, my looms can be said to be 'adjustable' too, just not in the same pinwheel style as those looms. 'Modular' to me means the same thing. With my Hideaway rectangle loom set, you change the width (narrow side) by changing out the modular right end rail. The lengths are adjusted by moving the rail along the length to pre-drilled positions. I now also make a simpler one-width scarf loom that adjusts in length only.
Formula for figuring yardage on a rectangle loom when doing continuous strand weaving.
Multiply the number of pins on the narrow end of the rectangle by
The length of the rectangle setting in feet
Equals the number of yards of yarn needed. You may have a little extra but if you plan on a fringe for your scarf you might have to add more.
Example: Your rectangle loom has 49 pins on the narrow end (the 15" setting on my 15x60" Medium Sett recloom).
You have the right end rail set out at the 60" setting (60 inches equals 5 feet).
I have been putting this out to get the Hideaway Pin Arrangement for the rectangle and the right-return rectangle CSW method in wider use. It would be simpler if there was only one way to figure rectangle pin arrangement and one way to continuous strand weave on a rectangle but that is not the case. Unless you want it to be for you.
Explanation of the Hideaway Pin Arrangement for Continuous Weaving on a rectangle pin-frame loom
This chart below shows the possible shapes and sizes for my 72" rectangle loom. The colored dots are on the long rails to show you where to mount the movable right end rail for a perfect weaving outcome. There are other dots of the same color that show you where to turn the very first yarn strand to get started on the right zig-zag track. Lengths are approximate, do not come out exactly, usually are a little longer.
I now have for sale the formula I use for pin arrangement on my rectangle looms. It is 4 pages, talks a little about loom construction but mainly is about pin arrangement for continuous weaving on a rectangle loom.
On Ebay I have it listed to be sent in a business envelope first class mail as shown in photo. Cost: $7.50 with free shipping including International. Couldn't figure how to have listed as a digital file.
You can buy it in my Etsy shop, www.etsy.com/shop/RogersLooms as a digital download. $6.00 usd.
With this formula, you can make your own rectangle loom or hire a handy-person to help you. Make scarves for gifts or to sell. Make looms for friends or to sell. Does not go into construction details, but does have tips on planning the size and pin arrangement of your loom. You can see below on this page how I made a simple loom from a melamine board, you could do the same with plywood. Etsy digital purchase now includes 4 files: Pin Arrangement, Weaving inst., "Rectangle Experiment" & Explanation of the 2 different ways to continuous strand weave on the rectangle - Left Return and Right Return.
These pdf files all have information about rectangle looms. Some were copied from my old site and have links, but the links don't go anywhere now. Good information for Do It Yourself people. I am glad to help anyone wanted more information.
Rectangle Experiment PDF Experimenting with various pin spacing plans. Good information for someone interested in learning continuous strand weaving on a rectangle pin-frame loom. No, I haven't completely retired.
Hideaway Rectangle Loom assembly PDF Comes with my Hideaway Rectangle Looms. Oct. 2016 version.
You can get a digital copy of my Hideaway Pin Arrangement Formula along with my Hideaway Continuous Weaving Instructionsfor the Rectangle at my Etsy shop, www.etsy.com/shop/RogersLooms
NEW - 2 page pdf file "Rectangle Methods" - explaining the 2 ways to do rectangle continuous weaving. Original left-return method and my right-return method
Now on Youtube My youtube channel is "Hideaway Looms". Latest video is 'doublestackingsm' This video shows how to do the continuous strand weaving on the rectangle, weaving two layers on the same loom and joining them lengthwise before removing from the loom. https://youtu.be/5bqAFRN2-s4
Another youtube channel for continuous weaving is "thePacadashery" Lots of great videos!