20 Mar Nature Weaving – By Claire Lock
The ancient art of weaving has seen a modern resurgence as an accessible and meditative pastime for little folk, mamas and families alike. Weaving can take many forms, with differing techniques used to create functional and decorative items such as basketry, textiles and home décor, like wall hangings. Natural materials used in weaving can include wool, grasses, cotton and an abundance of other plant fibres, making this a tactile and creative way for children to connect with nature and express themselves through art.
Creating a woven nature hanging invites quality family time through foraging for materials, and sitting down to create together. This activity not only engages the tactile senses, but also the fine motor skills, through actions such as cutting, collecting, binding, warping and weaving.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
- Collection of similar size sticks, at least 1cm thick
- Wool or thick cotton, such as embroidery thread
- Natural loose parts such as seasonal plant cuttings, bark, feathers and flowers
1 Collect your natural materials from your garden or local area. Some plants will be suited to ‘ephemeral’ or temporary creations, while others can dry out to create long lasting creations. Plants that dry and weave well are lavender and natives including Knobby Club Rush, Flax-Lilies, Flat Sedges, Grass Tree leaves and Common Everlastings.
2 Make your nature loom (frame). This will form the basis of your woven nature hanging and hold the ‘warp’ (vertical threads) you will weave into. To make a square or rectangular loom gather four sticks of roughly the same thickness. Use the wool or cotton to ‘lash’ (tie) the sticks together in the four corners until they hold firm.
3 Warp your loom to create tension and a framework for weaving. Tie an end of wool or thick cotton around the bottom left corner of your stick frame before drawing it up and around the top stick. Wrap it around the top stick twice to help hold it securely before bringing the warp thread back down to the bottom stick. Wrap around the bottom stick twice then continue the process until you reach the end of the frame. Tie your warp thread to the end of the stick, keeping the tension in place.
4 Get your weave on. You’re now ready to weave your collected natural treasures. Let your children experiment with their natural materials, working them over and under the warp threads to create their own unique weaving.
5 Hang your creation in a special spot by attaching some wool to your weaving loom.*
» Want to experiment with other sustainably sourced materials? Try cutting strips from old clothing or visit your local op shop for secondhand yarns.