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Backstrap Weaving


Learn the basics of Guatemalan style backstrap weaving and discover the flexibility and fun of weaving with a backstrap loom.

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In this workshop, we will weave in the Guatemalan style of backstrap weaving. This produces a sturdy, warp faced textile which can be embellished with vertical stripes, ikat, warp manipulation, or secondary weft. For those who are familiar with standard loom or rigid heddle weaving, the main difference you will find between those and Guatemalan backstrap weaving is that backstrap weaving uses a continuous warp (it isn’t cut to dress the loom) so that it is possible to create cloth with three or even four selvages (if you are really good!). Backstrap weaving is a very good lesson for any weaver to learn or review the basics of weaving. It’s also very portable and takes up virtually no space in your studio (my loom fits into a cut-off blue jean leg!).

For this two-and-a-half day workshop, the first session—the short one—will be a demonstration of the warping technique, which is some ways is much simpler than with European style looms—there are no eyes to thread!! During the second session, the participants will begin the warping process, and by the third session everyone should be well on their way with weaving. The project will be a two-color panel which can be used as a couch pillow or a hand towel.

The materials fee covers all of the yarn used for weaving and a backstrap. The loom itself will be available free of charge during the workshop, and may be purchased for $45 if you decide you want to keep it after the class.

Dates: Friday March 24, 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm; Saturday, March 25 and Sunday, March 26, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Location: DFG Studio at 2701 W. Superior St., Suite 210, Duluth, MN 55806

Tuition: $225 DFG members, $255 non-members

Materials Fee: $25 (paid to instructor during class)

Instructor: Louise Young


Instructor Bio: Louise learned backstrap weaving about 20 years ago from Lydia de los Santos in Santa Catarina de Barahona, Guatemala. She has since studied weaving in other Guatemalan communities and also in the Andes (Peru and Bolivia), and Myanmar. She prefers weaving on a backstrap loom because of its portability—she loves setting up her loom under the silver maple in her yard—and its flexibility. And, backstrap loom weaving keeps her flexible too!


Refund policy: If you need to cancel your class registration, you will receive a refund, less a $5 administrative fee, if the cancellation is received fourteen days prior to the class. If you cancel less than fourteen days before the class, you will not be eligible for a refund. If for some reason DFG needs to cancel a class, you will receive a full refund. Please contact if you need to cancel.