Vintage weaving techniques tape and ribbon

Woven cloth tapes, ribbons and narrow bands are so common and so easy to get that we don’t even think about them.                                      It hasn’t always been that way, though.

For centuries, tapes and ribbons were essential for so many reasons:

They were used for a lot more things than they are now-

Woven tapes were essential to hold clothing up, hold clothing together, hold shoes onto feet,as well as being used around the house and workshop in a miriad of other ways.

Fancier woven tapes and ribbons were used to trim and embellish all kinds of textiles, from clothing and fashion accessories to curtain ties and trims to all kinds of home decorating accessories.

Nowadays, there are lots of people who are working with tape looms, not just to re-create history, but for the pure pleasure of creating beauty in a unique way.

There are 2 styles of tape looms.

One has a box base and ratchet system to wind the warp strands onto a back beam.

photo by Grace & Fred Hatton used with permission

photo by Grace & Fred Hatton used with permission

The other is a paddle style, held between the weaver’s knees.

photo by Grace & Fred Hatton used with permission

photo by Grace & Fred Hatton used with permission

There are advantages to both, and both are very beautiful.

Here’s a great little video of a woman in historic costume, working with a paddle style tape loom, held between her knees.

Video of tape loom in use

Here is the  most wonderfully useful and comprehensive website about tape loom weaving: Tape Looms

Luckily there are some talented craftspeople still building these beautiful looms:

Jonathan Seidel


Fred and Grace Hatton

Grace Hatton has written several excellent articles about how to weave with their double hole Norwegian style rigid heddle tape loom.

Here’s a link to the article she wrote for Weavezine.

Small looms can be sooooooooooo enchanting….. and these are especially so!

Happy Weaving!

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    • Debbie Mo

      Hi, Noreen,

      I saw your wasp nest pattern on Lime & Violet a while back and unfortunately didn’t print the free pattern when it was available. Is it now available for sale somewhere? What a fantastic idea, not only pesticide free, but inexpensive and re-usable (I assume).

      I would love to buy the pattern, if you can let me know how.

      Debbie Mo

    • Katherine

      You are killing me. Due to expense and space considerations, it has been relatively easy for me to resist full-size looms, even table looms. But my resistance to inkle weaving, backstrap looms, and (especially) card weaving has been heroic for years. Look at you, chipping away at my weaving resistance. Those looms are so preeeety, and so smallllll. Good thing for me I couldn’t get that video to work.

    • Denise

      SNAP!! I saw one like this a the local thrift store and resisted buying it because I didn’t know how to use it.. I wonder if there is a chance it is still there! Not likey.. but I should look!

    • Noreen Crone-Findlay

      Hello Debbie
      Yes, indeed it is for sale at
      for $2.50
      and yes, it really does work well!

    • Noreen Crone-Findlay

      Hey Katherine
      Don’t resist the urge to weave! Weaving is gooooooooooood for you!
      LOL- just call me an enabler………….
      :o) and then have fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuun!

    • Noreen Crone-Findlay

      Ooooooooooooooooooooh Debbie! I hope that it is still there….I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you!