How do you weave a square shawl with fringes on all sides? I have been asked that several times and in this blog post I will try to answer this question. I will also show you a trick I use to get a better result.
First of all you will need to know how long you want the fringes to be. Keep in mind that the warp and the weft threads will shrink a bit once the shawl is cut off the loom and the tension is removed. Exactly how much the shrinkage amounts to, will vary with the yarn and the loom used. Make a sample with the yarn you intend to use and measure it in the loom. Then cut down, wet finish or iron the fabric and measure again. Now you know exactly how much the shrinkage is. This is especially important when weaving a pattern with squares.
When warping, warp some extra threads in the before and after you make the shawl warp. I use leftover yarn for this, however, the yarn should resemble the shawl yarn and it needs to be strong enough to be in the selvedge. In this example, I chose 20 extra threads in each side of the shawl. When threading the reed, the distance betweeen the selvedge warp threads and the shawl warp threads in the reed will become the length of the fringes, minus the shrinkage.
And here is the trick: I always take three of the extra threads from the selvedge and thread them at the beginning and the end of the shawl. Here in this photo these threads are red, dark- and light green. I call them stopping threads, the explanation for why will be provided soon.
Between the shawls I weave a section which leftover yarn, which will be cut in two when I take the shawls off the loom.
I start the shawl by weaving three stopping threads in a contrasting color, in the photo before the one above they are white. When you have been weaving about 20 to 30 cm, you will start to see why we need the stopping threads. The threads at the side of the shawl are sliding to side and the threads at the beginning of the shawl are sliding a bit downwards. Since they are only stopping threads and will be removed anyway, it does not matter. The shawl threads stay in place exactly where we want them to be. Remember to finish the shawl by weaving three picks with stopping threads.
Before you start knotting the fringes, take a taper and measure the fringes of the square shawl on all sides. Then cut them at an equal length.
When knotting remove the stopping threads a few cm at the time, this will prevent the shawl threads from gliding.
Wondering how to knot? Have a look at this video!
Questions? Leave me a commentary, I would be happy to answer!