Weaving with roving – Weaving lessons for beginners

Weaving with roving – Weaving lessons for beginners


Hello weavers. Welcome to this video lesson on how to weave with rovings. Rovings will help you create a lovely cloud like texture in your weaving projects. This video shows you three key woven techniques using rovings as the weft. Tabby, soumak and loop weave. First a bit of background. Roving is a generic term used to describe any natural fiber that has been washed and carded in preparation for spinning into a yarn. It is one of the intermediate production stages of the yarn spinning process. There are several different types of roving depending on the proposed type of spinning. In recent times wool roving has been used in the felting, knitting and weaving crafts to create a variety of interesting textures. Before we start on techniques here are some tips on handing roving. I have a 2 metre long bump of merino wool roving here. Let’s unwind it now. You will see that it is almost impossible to separate the length of roving if you try to pull it apart from end to end with your hands too close together. Give yourself about 20cm between hands and the roving will separate easily. Also, most roving comes in a thickness that is too bulky to weave. However, separating the roving along its length is easily achieved as I am showing you here. Our first technique is the basic tabby weave I will be using a length of roving that has been separated in half lengthwise, as I have just demonstrated. Due to the thickness of the wool roving compared with spun yarn wefts we will be weaving over two and under two warp threads. I always use a shed stick to weave with rovings as separating the warp threads minimises wear on the roving. So I am going to insert the shed stick over and under two warp threads at a time. Then swivelling the stick to open the shed and push it up a bit to allow room for the roving. Now feed the roving through. I have wound the end of the roving in a small bundle to make it easier to feed through the warp. Pull the length of the roving through before closing the shed. Tap it down a little with your fingers and tuck the tail into the back. Then close the shed and tap down again. Now take the shed stick out and reinsert through the warp with the opposite threads in front and behind. Open the shed again and then come back the other way with the next row of tabby. When you pull through, try to twist the roving so that it curves neatly at the end of the row and sits flat. Next pull out the shed stick out again and re-position with the opposite warp threads in front and back. Continue this alternating pattern for the tabby weave. Now I will show you how to make the pile or loop weave with rovings. Open the shed with your shed stick again. Using a finer piece of roving start as you would for tabby weave. Tuck the end in behind. Then taking a knitting needle in this case I am using an 8mm knitting needle and wind the roving around the needle as shown here. going under and then up and swiveling back and under and up. catching the roving and pulling it out towards you. You may need to help the roving on as you progress along the row. As I am showing you here. At the end simply let the needle sit on the weaving. Then remove the shed stick and using a piece of scrap yarn weave back the other way going over and under the opposite threads for one row. Then take the knitting needle out and push the yarns down with the end of the knitting needle. Next, reinsert the shed stick under the opposite warp threads and come back and repeat the steps we followed for the first row. But in the opposite direction. The final roving technique I will show you is soumak weave. I have a separate video that demonstrates this technique in more detail. The basic weave involves weaving backwards over two warp threads in the opposite direction to the weaving. Start by looping the roving around the first two warp threads on the right side of the weaving. Then, keeping the yarn hanging down in front of you pick up the next two warp threads and weave under them from left to right. And then just loosely tap it down. Then continue in the same fashion picking up the next two warp threads. Always looping around in the opposite direction to the one you are traveling in. When you reach the end of the row, loop twice around the last two warp threads. Then changing the direction of the wind around so that you are going from right to left behind the next two and work back along the row. This technique will produce the lovely soumak weave stitch. Experimenting with different thicknesses of roving and different techniques can produce surprising results. Feel free to experiment and mix it up with other traditional weaving styles and techniques. If you are after some wool rovings, visit my Etsy store for my roving packs and weaving yarn packs. And don’t forget to subscribe to my channel if you want to be the first to know when my next weaving video comes out. Thank for listening and happy weaving!

25 thoughts on “Weaving with roving – Weaving lessons for beginners

  1. Fantastic tutorial Pat!! Thank you so much for your videos. You explain in such a manner that it is easy to understand and by demonstrating as you go it is a tremendous help!! Thanks so much. I look forward to more weaving tutorials!!

  2. Great video Thank you! would you mind tell me how many ends per inch I should set using roving with carpet warp?

  3. Just stopped over at your Etsy store and it is exquisite!! I love your project packs! You are quite a talented lady!

  4. Lovely tutorial!

    The Merino looks like the combed preparation I've been told is called top, because the fibers are all aligned parallel, rather than the more jumbled look if roving that carding usually gives.

  5. I love your accent! Are you Australian? In every video on weaving I have watched, they’ve all had the same accent, and they’ve been from multiple channels. I wonder…maybe weaving is big there 🤔

  6. I am not a weaver, Plan to do some soon.
    What I’m wondering with all the Earth Color weavings, is why no one has looked for beige string to begin with? I’m going to stick it in a pot of coffee to stain it if I can’t find any. Let soak an hour, rinse & hang in the shower. The white is NOT attractive & takes away from the stunning designs I’ve seen.

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