Looming Explained

Written by Natalie

If you happen to be a follower of interior trends, then you may have noticed that woven decorations are currently a pretty big thing. No longer consigned to the decade that taste forgot (someone else’s words – I myself am fairly partial to the seventies and an avocado bathroom suite), wool is back, and it’s looking more stylish than ever before. Not since the era of the Prawn Cocktail and the Bay City Rollers has there been such a welcome for our favourite textile, and the good news is that both high end and high street have embraced the trend alike. Even better, it’s easy to make a magnificent creation all of your very own, using the simple and much maligned loom!

It’s probably fair to say that there was once a little bit of stigma attached to looming. Sometimes seen as the poor relation to knitting, it was often considered a starting point for beginners. I can remember opening a loom set one Christmas morning – before I had learnt to knit – and from that moment on I was hooked. That little pink plastic loom and I were almost inseparable, and before long I had created a new blanket for my Sindy doll’s bed (albeit in the most revolting colour combination). I’ll admit, once I had mastered knitting needles I moved on, but the point is that looming – both as a method of knitting interior accessories and clothing – really does work, and these days, online craft sites are awash with amazing projects, from the most basic to the jaw-droppingly advanced.

Looms come in all shapes and sizes and vary hugely from project to project, but the good news is that unless you’re opting for a hardwood, hand-strung loom masterpiece to weave beautiful wall hangings, they’re really very affordable. Most looms these days are plastic, and once you can get past the unfortunately insipid colours they tend to come in, you’ll soon discover that they’re actually pretty nifty little pieces of kit. Some are long and narrow, some are round, some look similar to pom pom makers and then there are knitting dollies – which may look like a child’s toy with their cheerfully painted faces, but are actually fantastic tools for quickly and easily making i-chords (long, narrow tubes of knitting which are almost identical to French Knitting).

With a plethora of projects to make, from woven works of art to bags, storage baskets, socks, baby blankets and lots, lots more, it’s a whole new woolly way of thinking just waiting to be discovered!