About our Learning Paths
At the Handweaving Academy, you’ll learn to design and weave your own projects, in a variety of structures. You’ll start simple, with plain weave and the basics of color, and build your knowledge incrementally, one layer at a time.
Designing your own cloth requires understanding many different things – how to create your draft, choose appropriate yarns and sett, and design the colors – in addition to all the technical aspects of actually weaving the cloth.
Trying to learn everything at once can seem overwhelming. So our Learning Paths break the learning process into bite-sized pieces for you. First you’ll learn about a structure, then how to design a simple draft in that structure, and finally how to use color in that structure. At the end of the Learning Path, you’ll design and make a beautiful piece that’s uniquely yours.
You’ll learn very hands-on. You won’t just learn theory – you’ll get lots of interactive exercises to help cement your knowledge and enable you to apply what you’ve learned. To help integrate everything together, at the end of each Learning Path, we have a Weave-Along with a project that lets you practice everything you’ve learned so far, in a supportive and enthusiastic community.
If you’d rather delve into specific areas, such as weave structures or designing with color, no problem! In the Academy, you’ll find roadmaps for those who want to delve specifically into color, drafting/weave structures, or rigid heddle weaving. (We also have an entire Weavers Toolbox section full of helpful weaving tips!)
If you prefer the freedom of individual classes over a systematic approach, that’s fine too! Our Learning Paths are meant as a guide, not a straitjacket. You don’t have to take every class – you’re welcome to dip in and out as you please.
Learning Path Summaries
Learning Path One: Designing Projects in Muted and Neutral Colors
Learning Path One
sets the foundation for designing with color, drafting, and the design process. By the end of Learning Path One, you’ll have learned how to design effectively in plain weave, using muted and neutral colors. You’ll also be able to read most types of draft and make minor alterations such as adding borders and balance threads. Finally, you’ll learn about the design process.
For more details on Learning Path One, visit this page.
In Learning Path Two,
you’ll begin to explore drafting your own designs in one of the biggest families of structure: twills. In the first half of Learning Path Two, you’ll learn the ins and outs of the basic twill structure, then design your own straight, point, broken, and M&W twills. Afterwards, you’ll learn to design in advancing and fancy twills.
Color-wise, you’ll learn about color mixing and some other color fundamentals, then get specific techniques and color recipes for working with each of the seven twill structures.
Rigid heddle weavers will find that many of these classes apply just as well to rigid heddle design, but will also find rigid heddle specific classes in Learning Path Two. You’ll learn how rigid heddles really work and why they are unique weaving tools, double density threading for finer yarns, how to design three-shaft twills, and how to weave any three-shaft design on your rigid heddle loom.
Learning Path Three: Boosting Twills from Commonplace to Fabulous
In Learning Path Three
, you’ll build on what you’ve learned, mastering advanced techniques in twill design: creating woven shading in twills, shifting twill angles, and creating subtle curves in twill. You’ll also learn to pair colors with these advanced techniques for some really amazing work!
Rigid heddle weavers and shaft weavers will both learn to design with a cartoon and pick to make shapes in 2/1 twills. Rigid heddle weavers will also learn indirect warping – both front and back.
Finally, you’ll learn about dyeing and designing with painted warps, classes suitable for both shaft and rigid heddle looms.
(Learning Path Three content may change somewhat depending on community feedback through the year. We care about our members, and want to give what you want to learn!)
Learning Path Four
Our current plan for Learning Path Four is for you to explore the crackle weave structure with us, and learn to weave with blocks and profile drafts.
Learning Path: Rigid Heddle
Yes! We have classes specifically for rigid heddle weavers, as well as many classes that apply to both rigid heddle and shaft-loom weaving. Read more about our Rigid Heddle Learning Path