Sad Selvedges

Dear Tabby,

I’m not a new weaver, but it seems that no matter how hard I try, I still get wonky edges on my handwoven fabric. My selvedges are not consistent, and I am getting frustrated, HELP!

-Sad Selvedges in Seattle


Dear Sad,

You’re right, this is a frustrating problem, but luckily there are a few ways to mitigate this issue.

First, using floating selvedges (especially on non plain-weave fabrics) helps keep the edges from looking inconsistent and wavy. A floating selvedge is an extra one or two threads on each edge of the warp that doesn’t pass through any heddles. It stays in a slightly raised position the entire time. While weaving, the weaver must take care to go around that thread to capture it. This however still relies on the weaver to be extraordinarily vigilant about the tension they’re using while weaving.

One of my favorite tools which I have found to improve my selvedges is the End-Delivery Shuttle. It uses an internal tension device and stationary pirns to always give you exactly the amount of thread you need. When set up properly, the weft yarn hugs the selvedge thread just perfectly.

Using these techniques together will get your sad selvedges looking superb!


Schacht Spindle

Schacht Spindle Company, Inc. was founded during the back-to-earth movement of the late 1960s and its accompanying craft resurgence. Their first loom was a simple tapestry loom, a version which they still make today. Over nearly 50 years, Schacht has developed a broad range of high-quality hand weaving and hand spinning tools, including their popular Cricket Loom and Ladybug Spinning wheel. Schacht’s mission is to create beautiful and well-designed products that enhance customers’ weaving and spinning experience through innovative problem solving, creative ideas, skilled woodworking and craftsmanship, and friendly, knowledgeable customer service. Schacht’s family-owned business is located in Boulder, Colorado.