Weaving with a backstrap loom with Ann Richards and Deirdre Wood

Constructed and woven textiles

Ref: SWE11926

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About this course

Experiment with weaving textures, shapes and colour effects, which are created through the interplay of warp and weft yarns using a traditional rigid heddle backstrap loom.

Course Description

Experience the simplicity and portability of weaving on a backstrap loom, used to weave narrow strips of cloth suitable for a variety of uses.

You will learn how to make a warp and set up a rigid heddle backstrap loom, which can be used to weave narrow strips of cloth suitable for a variety of items, including bracelets, bags, table mats and wall-hangings. As you experiment with various techniques and materials, including different colour combinations and yarns of different thickness and stiffness, you will also discover how the qualities of cloth can be altered by wet finishing.

You will also have an opportunity to examine examples of back-strap weaving and textiles from the tutors' collections, including traditional pieces that have been assembled from narrow strips of fabric.

This course is particularly suitable for beginners as it gives a basic introduction to weaving, without any of the complex equipment that is normally needed. It will also be suitable if you have attended related courses on simple weaving and wish to further develop your skills, including the use of two rigid heddles for more complex weave structures. In addition, it may appeal to those who already have some experience of weaving on conventional looms, but would like to experience the simplicity and portability of the rigid heddle backstrap loom.

On the first evening you will set up your own backstrap loom and weave sample pieces, experimenting with a wide range of different materials. Towards the end of the first day you will probably be ready to set up a second warp, to weave on the final day.

By the end of the course you will have a good sense of the general principles of weaving and also have a range of sample pieces that could form the basis for the design of finished items.

Please note weaving is a physical, but rewarding process and this method involves fixing a loom around your back to weave.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops until 9pm, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • Weaving materials and equipment to make a simple backstrap loom to keep are provided

What students need to bring

  • A basic sewing kit, including scissors


Ann Richards

Ann trained at UCA, Farnham, where she later also taught for many years. She works with high-twist yarns to create flexible, textured fabrics and textile jewellery. Over the past twenty years she has given workshops in the UK and internationally and is the author of "Weaving Textiles That Shape Themselves".

Deirdre Wood

After training at UCA, Farnham, Deirdre has brought a fresh approach to the ancient technique of strip weaving, twisting her strips to give the fabric a third dimension. Recently she has begun to use fibres with contrasting physical properties to create dramatic curved strips and circles designed for architectural settings.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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