Weaving, Spinning, Dyeing Books

I've listed the Weaving, Spinning and Dyeing Books I own with comments about their contents.
These are only my own humble opinions and I'm sure many would not agree with all of them.
Many are now out of print but you might try to get any that sound useful to you through your local inter-library loan program or at used book stores.

Table of Contents

Weaving Books
Small loom Books
Tapestry Books
Card Weaving Books
Twining Books
Spinning Books
Dyeing Books


"New Key To Weaving"
By Mary E. Black
copyright 1945,1949 and 1957 by MacMillian Publishing Company
Library of Congress card number: 57-12564

This is a 559 page classic. A textbook of hand weaving for the beginning weaver.
She gives explanations of looms, different weaves, reading drafts, and problem solving.
When I'm having problems or trying something new this is one of the first books I reach for.

The Weaving, Spinning, and Dyeing Book
by Rachel Brown
Copyright 1978
ISBN 0-394-71595-0 paperback
A must have for every Fiber Artist..
I like this book so well that when the backing came loose I punched holes in all 407 pages so I could put it in a 3 ring binder. This works really well since I have added index tabs to the pages and can insert additional pages with notes on projects, looms or techniques.
I used directions form this book to build my Navaho loom, Hopi belt loom, Backstrap loom and Inkle loom.
Weaving Techniques and Projects
by Sunset Books
Copyright 1974
ISBN 376-04751-8

More good basic weaving information in only 80 pages.
The first part covers weaving terms, basic theory of different weaves, tools and techniques, simple looms such as frame looms, pin and nail looms, and shaped cardboard looms. Different weaving tools, shuttles, and beaters.
Instructions for building and using a simple 4 harness loom are given.
It explains reading and making pattern drafts.
A chapter on needle weaving with helpful hints and lots of ideas for finishing the ends of weavings is nice
There are also a few pages explaining floor looms and how they work.
The first part ends with information on dyeing, using color, and making calculations for yarn use.
The last half consists of directions for projects.

Step by Step Weaving
by Nell Znamierowski
copyright 1967
Published by Golden Press
This 96 page paperback has lots of basic weaving information.
The chapters include:
Women's Work The First 20,000 Years
Women, Cloth, and Society in Early Times
by Elizabeth Wayland Barber
Copyright 1994
ISBN 0-393-03506-0

Elizabeth Wayland Barber is an archaeologist and a weaver.
I found this book fascinating. She has put a human female face on history.
It helped give me a feeling of direct connection back through the ages to all of the women that have provided untold generations with functional and beautiful textiles.

Weaving: A Handbook of the Fiber Arts
by Shirley E. Held
Copyright 1978
ISBN 0-03-022691-0 soft cover
ISBN 0-03-042821-1 hardcover

This is one of my all time favorite fiber books.
It covers it all. History, evolution of non loom processes such as sprang. netting and basketry.
Hand weaving of the past and the 20th century
Loom weaving from choosing material, drafting, and weaving to finishing.
Next comes spinning and dyeing to be followed by a great section on designing .
It ends it's 388 pages with Appendices full of information on drafting, characteristics of common sheep breeds and other animal fibers, metric conversion tables and yarn designations.

Weaving as a Hobby
by Marguerite Ickis
Copyright 1968
ISBN 0-8226-0287-3

70 pages of basic information on building and using a 4 inch weavette loom then goes on to instruction for weaving on 2 and 4 harness looms.
A good basic book.

Foundations of Weaving
by Mike Halsey and Lore Youngmark
Copyright 1975
ISBN 0-8230-1916-0

A nice all over look at weaving. They explain basic weave structure, frame looms, box looms, rigid heddle looms, and roller looms.
Color, texture and finger manipulated weaves are explained.
They explain 2 and 4 shaft looms and the basic weaves to be woven on them.
Double weaves are explained and they talk about technique and design.
The book ends with appendices chock full of other weaving information.
Excellent photos and illustrations are used through out.

Elements of Weaving
by Azelea Stuart Thorpe and Jack Lenor Larsen
Copyright 1967

Buy this one if you find it.
It contains fiber history , using a frame loom, a backstrap loom with a rigid heddle, a rigid heddle loom, using the 4 harness floor loom, explains drafting, basic weaves and derivatives, double weaves and laces.
Materials, design, texture, color, and pattern are discussed.
Loom types, accessories, and tools are also covered.

The Joy Of Hand Weaving
by Osma Gallinger Tod
Copyright 1964

A complete textbook on weaving from weaving a book mark on a simple homemade board loom to multi harness floor looms.
A definite buy if you run across a copy.

Handwoven Laces
by Donna Miller
Copyright 1991
ISBN 0-934026-66-1

Looks interesting but I haven't started using my 4 harness loom yet.
Since almost all of these weaves need 4 or more harnesses to weave it will be awhile before I'm ready to try them.

Manual Of Swedish Handweaving
By Ulla Cyrus-Zetterstrom
Copyright 1984
ISBN 91-36-02139-3

This is another book I bought before I have the skills to use it.

Weaving Arts of the North American Indian
by Frederick J. Dockstader
Copyright 1978
ISBN 0-06-430397-7 paperback

I really enjoy this book. I like Native American designs and this book covers textile art from Alaska to the Southwest and over to the east coast.
Very nice photos- I wish more of them were in color.
I have done several weavings on my Navaho loom using the traditional four selvage warping and I'm working on a design for my next weaving.

Back to top


Fiber & Bead Jewelry: Beautiful Designs to Make & Wear
By Helen Banes
Copyright 2000
ISBN 0-8069-6082-5 hardcover
ISBN 1-4027-0073-3 paperback

How To weave beaded jewelry on a pin loom.
The basic directions for getting started with this type of needle weaving on a pin loom are given.
There are some very good designs but many are repetitive ideas on the same design.
Part of the book covers personal history and examples of Ms. Banes other art work from painting to tapestry.
I much preferred the designs and directions in the original book "Beads and Threads:A New Technique for Fiber Jewelry" written with Diane Fitzgerald.
I have made one necklace with this technique and I'm working on my second. I plan on doing more.
It is a very slow technique but very portable and I enjoy working on them while watching TV in the evening.

Band Weaving: The techniques, looms, and uses for Woven Bands"
by Harold and Sylvia Tacker
Copyright 1974
ISBN 0-442-28404-7

A really good book for band weaving. They start with simple finger-woven bands then show how to make small looms for Hungarian weaving and for twining bands. Kids will enjoy using the Hungarian loom along with learning how to weave on soda straws.
They cover building and using rigid heddle, backstrap and inkle looms.
There is lots of information on card weaving.
The last chapter covers weaving variations for special effects
The photos are excellent and the illustrations are clear. A really good book for those that enjoy weaving with simple portable equipment. Most of which they can make themselves.
Through out the book there are good ideas for projects that use woven bands.

Textures and Patterns For the Rigid Heddle Loom
by Betty Lynn Davenport
copyright 1980
Published by Dos Tejedoras

GREAT NEWS- Betty has informed me that her book is once more in print. I'm delighted to hear that this very informative book is again available in a clear and readable form.
You can find it for sale at:

The copy I have is a version photocopied by the author after the original went out of print.
I found the quality of the photocopied version to be very poor. The information is still very interesting and extremely useful.
The information here is for the photocopied version.
The first 45 pages contain numerous patterns that can be woven by manipulating the warp with your fingers or pick up sticks. These could be used as accent bands or as all over designs.

The rest of the book contains photocopies of various articles she has written, mainly for magazines.
They cover:

I must admit I haven't read the separate articles yet. I was put of by the quality of the printing. Parts of mine are not readable.
If I had seen this copy before I ordered it I would not have bought it. I'm glad I have it though. It is a good reference for those interested in learning more pick up patterns.
The Weaving Primer
by Nina Holland
Copyright 1978
ISBN 0-8019-6625-6 paperback

A complete Guide to Inkle, Backstrap, and frame looms.
Lots of good information and some interesting patterns and projects.

Rug Making: techniques and design
by Mary Allard
Copyright 1963
Library of Congress Card Number 63-10590

A rather comprehensive look at weaving flat and textured rugs.
Some of the designs are rather dated looking but the basic information is sound.

Creative Work with Textiles
by Hetty Mooi
Copyright 1975
ISBN 0-442-25490-3

This is not strictly a weaving book since it also includes embroidery, macramé~, drawn thread work, and other techniques.
I have found many of these other techniques help me design weavings and many of them can be combined with weaving.

Creating Rugs and Wall Hangings
by Shirley Marien
Copyright 1975
Published by Viking Press

This book covers a number of techniques for making rugs and wall hangings.
Flat-Woven: twining, tapestry and variations.
Pile rugs:knotted pile, latch hooked pile,and rag pile
Embroidered rugs and Hangings
Crocheted and knitted Rugs, also Tambour chain crochet
Braided and Macramé rugs
There are lots of inspiring photographs of all kinds and sizes of rugs and wall hangings.
The illustrations are really helpful along with clear directions.
I frequently reread this book or browse through the photos when I'm planing new projects.

Weaving is Fun"
by A. V. White
published by Dover Books
Copyright 1959
ISBN 0-486-22724-3

This is a small basic 94 page book on weaving.
It has chapters about weaving on cardboard looms, box looms and small home built roller looms.
There are plenty of weaving patterns and discussions on weaving materials.
It ends with a little explanation of larger looms and how to finish weavings.
It includes a few simple rather dated projects.

Byways in Handweaving
by Mary Meigs Atwater
Copyright 1954
published by MacMillian Publishing

She gives history, equipment needed, materials, how to weave, variations and patterns for the following types of weaving:

She also covers braiding, knotting, and plaiting.
She has a large amount of information on belt weaves from Peru, Guatemala, Bolivia and other areas.
There are also directions for warp faced weaves from Scandinavia, Africa, and Egypt.
She ends with some thoughts on the use of handicrafts in occupational therapy .
I found some of the illustrations hard to understand but overall it is full of really great ideas that I hope I find time to explore more fully.
Frame-Loom Weaving
by Jane Redman
Copyright 1976
ISBN 0-442-26860-2

Lots of information on building and using frame looms.
Really nice illustrations showing tapestry techniques along with discussions on yarns and color.
Chapter 4 covers pile and manipulated weaves. It then has a chapter on finishing details and the last one covers design.

Off the Loom: Creating with Fiber
by Shirley Marein
Copyright 1972
SBN 670-52053-5

An interesting book that covers finger weaving, sprang, twining,crochet and macramé.
There are chapters on designing and dyeing.
How to weave on inkle and frame looms are also included.

Back to top


Small Woven Tapestries
by Mary Rhodes
Copyright 1973
ISBN 0-713-46375-9

This is a nice basic book to get you started with tapestry but I wouldn't recommend buying it. Check it out of the library or borrow a copy.
There are others books with much better explanations of the techniques used in tapestry weaving and I need to buy one of them.
I found many of the designs used for examples rather poor and uninspiring.

Back to top


Creating with Card Weaving
by Sally Specht and Sandra Rawlings
Copyright 1973
ISBN 0-517-503484
ISBN 0-517-503794

A 95 page paperback book with enough information to keep you busy weaving for ages.
Very clear directions and lots of inspirational examples.
It also explains how to draft your own designs.BR>

Card Weaving or Tablet Weaving"
by Russell E. Groff
copyright 1969
Published by Robin and Russ Handweavers
Spiral Bound 46 page book

Contains basic directions for card weaving along with full directions and drafting patterns for 53 patterns.
Printed in a script font that is a little hard to read since the pages are very crowded. The patterns are well worth the trouble of dealing with the poor layout and print.

Back to top


The Basic Book of Twining"
by Ester Warner Dendel
Copyright 1978
ISBN 0-442-22078-2
100 page softback book

This book contains information on getting started and basic skills.
It also covers making shaped pieces, baskets, and a bag done over a box.
Nice chapters on Maori twining methods as well as various Indian nations.
She also covers twined sculpture, twining on fixed warps, and warp twining.

The photos and illustrations are excellent and inspirational.
Twining is useful by itself but it also works well in combination with tapestry and other weaving.

Back to top


Hands on Spinning
by Lee Raven
Copyright 1987
ISBN 0-934026-27-0
Interweave press

An excellent introduction to spinning that takes you step by step from spinning fiber by hand to hand spindles to spinning wheels.
Lee explains fiber processing and how to store your fiber and yarn. She tells how to make a simple hand spindle and discusses various types of wheels and their parts.
Learn how to spin, ply, and select fiber.
There are also nice instructions for a number of small projects. Included are hats, socks, mittens, shawls and sweaters.
This is a good basic book and one I should look at more often. I had forgotten about the projects in it.
This is the first one I always recommend to new spinners.

by Bette Hochberg
Copyright 1977
ISBN 0-9600990-4-2

This is an excellent book for those interested in hand spindles. It covers how to prepare fiber, how to spin and how to select a spindle.
Interesting history of hand spindles and information on lots of different kinds of spindles from different countries and cultures.

The Joy of Spinning
by Marilyn Kluger
Copyright 1971
SBN 671-20859-4

An interesting book with some good information.
More photos and illustrations would have helped.
Tells about spinning on great wheels, treadle wheels and handspindles. How to prepare fiber and the differences between fibers.
Worth picking up if you run across it.

Back to top


Hands on Dyeing
by Betsy Blumenthal and Kathryn Kreider
Copyright 1988
ISBN 0-934026-36-X
Published by Interweave Press

They cover using Union Dyes (household dyes), Fiber Reactive Dyes (powdered and liquid form), Acid Dyes, and pre-metallized dyes.
They stress keeping careful records so that colors will be consistent and reproducible.
They go on to teach the dyeing techniques with a variety of beautiful projects.
A first class book.

North American Dye Plants
by Anne Bliss
Copyright 1976
ISBN 0-934026-89-0
Published by interweave press

A little book with lots of information.
It contains ink line drawings of each plant with a short history and where to find it.
Information about what parts to use, what colors it will produce and whether it is lightfast.

Natural Dyes and Home Dyeing
by Rita J. Adrosko
Copyright 1971
ISBN 0-486-22688-3

A practical guide with over 150 recipes and some interesting history.

Colors from Nature
Growing, Collecting & Using Natural Dyes
by Bobbi A. McRae
Copyright 1993

Good information with a nice section on projects using dyed material in a number of different Fiber techniques.

Back to top

Copyright ©  Barbara A. Herdman