Hands-On History: Weaving

When I teach, I love to let students really get involved in history.  Recently, we were studying 13th century Venice, and the importance of woven pieces for cloth as well as art came up in the discussion.  Weaving, though exists in lots of cultures, so you could do this when studying several times and places. With an enthusiasm for 13th century Venice and Marco Polo, we decided it was time to put the learning into action (full lesson plan available at TPT).

First, we built looms on simple pieces of wood.  I got inexpensive wood frames for $1.  Students drew a line on two opposing sides about 1/2" from the edge and then hammered in nails (with no head) 1/2" apart.  They pre-marked the places for the nails, so it went pretty fast. (Note: you could make cardboard looms if that is all you have in your budget.)

Second, each student select a thread to be the warp piece. Students tie the warp pieces on the by tying to the first nail and then looping around each nail.  Then tie it off at the end.

tYou may want to have the looms pre-threaded.  

     Third, have a wide selection of threads and ribbons read for students to weave through.  I encouraged students to keep their lines tight together, so they get a tight weave. If you have less time, you can have them weave ribbons instead.  Use yarn, raffia, cloth as well as beads, feathers and buttons to make these true works of art.  Have fun!



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