Nomadic Weaving Sami Style

I’m away from my big looms right now. My temporary status as a nomadic person gives me the opportunity to try my hand at Sami style band or tape weaving. The Sami are the nomadic peoples of northern Scandinavia but the tape weaving tradition is well established  in Sweden also.

If you’re interested in getting up and running with this technique yourself, this Band Weaving site, written in Swedish, has photos that illustrate the components clearly enough that you could get by without reading the words.
Here’s my kit.

Wooden band weaving supplies, backstrap and heddle

Portable. Perfect!

Here’s my warping board. In my enthusiasm, I forgot to make a cross and I paid the price with tangles later, but it was nothing that couldn’t be fixed.

And here’s the work in progress.

Tape weaving showing heddle harness and  shuttle

Not bad for my first project

I plan to apply steam to finish the tape to try and get it smoother but first there is a lot more weaving to do. Next I will experiment with different fibres and colours. The fine holes on the Stoorstålka heddle are a bit limiting on using heavier yarn for the pattern threads it seems to me. I wonder how others have dealt with that. I can’t be the first.

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2 responses to “Nomadic Weaving Sami Style

  1. I recently got a Glimakra band loom and have gotten a kick out of making tape or ribbon. It isn’t portable like what you’re doing, though! I need to earn to do it this way, too.

    • I hope Tinkerer will make me a big band loom like you have one day. The beauty of the little heddle and backstrap system is that it packs down to nothing. Even an inkle loom has a bit of a footprint, which is why I sold mine. There is a limit to how many looms will fit in my home, sadly.

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