I get questions all the time from workshop students and other followers online as to where I source my weaving materials and tools. So I decided to put together a comprehensive guide to help you out!
Weaving loom - You can find my lap loom in my Etsy shop. These looms are handmade by my partner and I in our basement/laundry room/woodworking studio! We source wood locally and cut, sand, and polish it by hand to create these truly beautiful looms. Availability varies, but generally we have them available in maple, hickory, cherry, and walnut.
Weaving comb - Also available in my shop. Also handmade by us, available in cherry and walnut. Love this little comb, it really helps with pushing down your weft threads. However, if you're not ready to invest in a comb, you can use a fork or even your fingers!
Bonsai scissors - Available individually here. Vintage-style sheers, 4" total with 1" steel blades.
Tapestry needle - This comes in my weaving tool kit, but you can get these at any big-box craft store. Look for #13 size tapestry needle, usually will come in a two-pack.
Cotton warp thread - Available in my shop. I generally use this thin 4-ply thread for warping my looms, but remember you can always use yarn or a thicker cotton thread. This thread doesn't stretch and is thin enough to work with thicker yarns easily. However, when you use a different type of thread, you can experiment with having a different color warp and letting the warp peak through your weaving.
Yarn - I get my yarn from a variety of sources! I shop big box craft stores like Joann and Michaels, and generally try to stick to wool or wool-blend yarns when I'm shopping there. I used acrylic a lot when I was first starting out, and I think it's a great option for when you're first learning to weave because it's cheaper and easier to come by. However, acrylic yarns fall apart and pill more easily, so I generally stay away from them at this point.
I buy a lot of my materials for my workshops at We Are Knitters and Wool And The Gang. These two are very similar in the types of yarns they offer and I don't really prefer one over the other; usually I decide which I'm shopping at based on the colors I'm looking for. Wool and the Gang offers more bright color options, while We Are Knitters have a lot of very pretty pastels and muted colors.
Specialty yarns - I purchase a lot of these from my local yarn shops. When I first started shopping them, I was super intimidated because I had never worked with yarn before and had a pretty steep learning curve. However, I've found that the people working at yarn stores are nothing but friendly! If you ask for help, it's helpful to mention that you're a weaver so that they know you're not working on a knitting or crocheting project. (Side note: I find that a lot of times yarn shop employees are super intrigued by weavers because they don't come in as often, so feel free to show them pictures of some of your creations! I've made some fiber friends that way, for sure!)
Also, I definitely recommend checking out local yarn shops when you travel! This has become one of my favorite new traditions and it's even a good way to get recommendations from those super kind yarn shop employees about other things to do in the city!
Art yarn - Incorporating artisan yarn into your weavings can be such a fun process! I'm a big supporter of Ugly Hank by Beth Meyer of Cincinnati, OH. She makes beautiful handspun yarns, most (if not all, at this point!) handdyed by her using natural materials. Also, just an aside, Beth is pretty much the loveliest person ever -- so there's that! I also love Serene Fiber Arts by Amanda French (another very lovely person!). She offers weaver yarn packs with a variety of yarn options -- these go a long way in your weavings and I'd definitely recommend them!
Silk Ribbon - I source my silk ribbon from Honey Silks & Company -- they offer an awesome monthly subscription box in which they send out two 40-50 yard skeins of chiffon ribbon and a couple 10-yard samples of ribbon. They often include a bonus item too like a cute print or even a coffee mug!
Roving - I source my roving from Purple Moose Felting, which is run by the lovely Caryn! I find that the "Merino Wool Top" is super smooth and easy to work with, and comes in a variety of awesome colors.
Fibreshare - If you're new to weaving and yarn in general, I would definitely recommend participating in Fibreshare! This is a worldwide fiber swap program run by Beth Meyer and Ashley Thurman. I became familiar with a lot of new yarn brands through Fibreshare and -- bonus! -- made a ton of new fiber friends! They also host a lot of fun giveaways on Instagram and offer exclusive coupons to its members.
Other resources - If you're new to weaving and want to learn the basics, pick up my Beginner's Guide to Weaving E-Book. It's a 16-page comprehensive guide to getting started in weaving and it's only $5! You'll learn how to warp your loom, basic tabby weave, soumak braid stitch and how to finish your weaving and take it off your loom.
Also, if there's a technique you want to try, but you can't find any information on how to do it, check out The Weaving Loom. Kate writes this blog and experiments with all kinds of weaving techniques and provides very in-depth instructions on how to try them yourself!
How you feeling? Ready to get your weave on? Get to it! And if there's anything I've left out, leave a comment here and let me know!