Four-Shaft Weaving 101 with Laurie Duxbury

This is the perfect class for those who have never woven, or those who need to brush up on the basics of warping and efficient weaving. Students will learn to warp a loom back to front, tie-up any treadles, calculate warp and weft needs. Emphasis will be placed on efficient and painless warping techniques (yes, really), understanding the basic workings of a four-shaft loom, and developing good weaving habits. Students will warp their own loom and weave a sample piece exploring plain weave and twill with variations.

The class will take place virtually in four 2-hour sessions:

The first session will cover calculating and measuring the warp.
The second session will cover warping the loom.
The third session will cover efficient weaving techniques.
The fourth session will cover finishing techniques, record keeping and next steps in weaving.

Each session is a stand-alone class as long as the student is comfortable with the steps covered in the previous sessions.

EXPERIENCE LEVEL: Beginner. This class is open to anyone with access to a four-shaft loom.


  • Warping Board.
  • Two half-pound cones of Harrisville Design Highland wool—one cone each in two different contrasting colors. One cone will be used as warp and one as weft. Please make sure yarn is on a cone and not in skein form. Balls are okay as long as you have a container to hold the ball and keep it from rolling around the floor as the yarn unwinds.
  • About 5 yards of 8/4 carpet warp of contrasting color to your warp. If you’re not familiar with 8/4 carpet warp, you can use a very strong cotton crochet thread.
  • One four-shaft loom with an 8-inch weaving width. Table or floor looms will work.
  • A reed to fit the loom 8, 10 or 12 dents/inch.
  • Raddle with clamp(s) for attaching the raddle to the loom. A raddle is a piece of equipment that goes on the back beam of your loom and has pegs or nails at one-inch intervals (or less). If you have any questions about this, contact me.
  • Rubber bands of standard diameter to slip over raddle pegs
  • A pair of lease sticks with a shoelace for each end (Lease sticks should be as long as your loom is wide. They should have holes drilled in each end. They can either be round, like a dowel, or rectangular. If you don’t have lease sticks and are unsure about what they are, contact me.)
  • Paper or warp sticks for separating the layers of warp as the warp is wound onto the warp beam. It/they should be at least 12” wide. Paper should be as heavy as paper grocery bag paper. In fact, paper grocery bags cut to fit this width work well.
  • Reed hook.
  • Threading hook if you use one.
  • Two shuttles (one will do in a pinch). They can be boat shuttles or stick shuttles. You may want extra bobbins for a boat shuttle. 
  • Small weights for optional floating selvedges. They can be pill bottles with a few coins in them, fishing weights, or anything that will hang off the back of the loom, suspended by warp yarn.
  • T pins
  • Bobbin winder if you have a boat shuttle. 
  • Yard stick.
  • Scissors.
  • Tapestry needle.
  • Tape measure.
  • Note-taking supplies
  • Fringe twister (optional)

DATES and FORMAT: (All times Eastern)
Parts 1 and 2: 9-11 am and 1-3 pm on Saturday, January 6, 2024.
Part 3: 7-9 pm on Monday, January 8, 2024.
Part 4: 10 am to noon on Saturday, January 27, 2024.

Where: Each session will be taught and recorded using Zoom.
The recordings will be posted on the guild website and remain available to students for 3 months after the last class session.

Questions about the class? Contact Laurie directly at

Laurie Duxbury lives at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. As a child she was fascinated by all things fiber, particularly when visiting Colonial Williamsburg. She learned to spin first, on a spinning wheel built by her grandfather. Spinners hang out with weavers and over 30 years ago she bowed to peer pressure. Through conferences, weaving schools, and community college, she has developed her own weaving voice. Laurie shows and sells her work regionally and has taught across the US. As a teacher, she hopes each student understands what draws them to their craft. Her goal is for them to understand what they love about weaving, and develop the tools they need to express themselves through weaving. Her favorite moments are when a student has an “aha” experience. Then she knows that a weaver is inspired to continue their growth as a craftsperson.