I am embarrassed to tell people when they ask me what I weave: I mostly weave table runners. I think I should say jackets, shawls, scarves, or wall hangings. I should be making pillows, curtains, and rugs for my house. I should choose colors that go in my dining room for a tablecloth there, or weave doublewide blankets and spreads for the bedrooms, but I love a good woven table runner.
You might wonder at the number of tables I must have to display all the table runners I make, but the truth is that none of my tables have runners on them. What I like is this: I like to weave fabric that is somewhere between 15 and 18 inches wide. I love block weaves like doubleweave, turned twill, Atwater-Bronson lace, warp rep, and various supplementary warp and weft structures. All the weave structures I like—in fact all weave structures—work well as table runners.
Handwoven table runners are sure to bring a personal and unique touch to home décor during any season. Whether you’re looking to learn a new technique, weave a special gift or create a timeless Christmas table runner this holiday season, a woven table runner is always a fun and gratifying project! Weaving Today is dedicating these 4 free table runner patterns, collected in a free eBook, to all weavers looking for projects they can weave and display for everyone to enjoy. The table runner patterns included can also be improvised to create other weaving projects such as dishtowels, placemats or curtains.
This style is a favorite among weavers. They are rectangular so require little fussy finishing. They use yarns – primarily cottons and linens – that are readily available in all colors imaginable. They can be woven in just about any weave structure you’d like to explore, making them the best of “samplers you can use.” You’ll learn a lot from weaving table runners – plus you’ll end up with lots of beautiful cloth. Follow these woven table runner patterns, experiment with a variety of yarns and colors, and brush up on plain weave techniques.
I like the length of a table runner, too. It's just the right length to keep my interest, but not so long that I get bored. I usually don't want to weave too many of the same things (I especially don't like to weave many things that are exactly the same length) so placemats are out. A table runner has more status than a towel, yet it does not take much longer to weave. Since a table runner can really go anywhere in the house (or be a gift for someone else), I can use any colors I like without worrying what they match.
Inside Woven Table Runner Projects you'll Find:
Windowpane Holiday Runner in Log Cabin
Learn how to make this beautiful Christmas table runner designed and woven by Sr. Joan Marie Lovett in this free ebook. Photo by Joe Coca
Bring holiday cheer to your table this holiday season with a Christmas table runner. A Christmas table runner also makes a great and personal gift. The color-and-weave effect of log cabin combined with alternating thick and thin yarns makes a complicated looking pattern, though the weave structure is simple plain weave. A gold metallic thread accents the red plaid intersections in this cotton runner. Consider using the same idea in different yarns for a runner you can use all year round. This is a table pattern design sure to bring the holiday spirit to your table this holiday season!
Two-Block Log Cabin Runner
You'll love weaving this table runner by Jane Patrick that involves a favorite block weave, log cabin. Photo by Joe Coca
Log Cabin is a favorite block weave among weavers because of its versatility. Since log cabin is a block weave, designs can be developed through the use of profile drafts. Profile drafts are an excellent way to plan successful designs without preparing actual thread-by-thread drawdowns.
Any two-block design can be converted to log cabin (what a great way of utilizing resources!). When a profile draft is used for log cabin, filled-in squares in the profile drawdown represent blocks that produce vertical lines; blank squares represent blocks that produce horizontal lines (or vice versa). Since the contrast between these two effects is quite subtle, simple designs usually work best for log cabin.
Waffle weave on a rigid-heddle loom? Yes, you can!
Learn how to waffle weave on a rigid-heddle loom and make this beautiful, woven table runner designed and woven by Kati Reeder Meek. Photo by Joe Coca
Waffle weave is a fascinating weave structure that looks more difficult than it is. You’d be surprised to know you can weave waffle weave on a rigid-heddle loom! Your investment will be low compared to larger looms, and you will discover the fun of weaving. Weave a narrow table runner such as this one by Kati Reeder Meek, or consider putting on a longer and wider warp for woven placemats (thread the center repeat 40x instead of 25x for a width in the reed of 173?5"). Substitute other colors for the accent stripes and/or add more frequent weft stripes.
Cool Waters Table Runner by Sandra Doak is part of this free e-book. Photo by Joe Coca
The Cool Waters piece by Sandra Doak is a simple plain-weave structure and design that can be woven on any loom, including a rigid-heddle loom. Spacing a warp in this way can lead to infinite possibilities for variations on a theme: change the colors, the yarns, the width of the spacing, combine solid and variegated colors—any number of these will keep this idea fresh and exciting. Learn how to make table runners with this unique adaptation of plain weave. Learn how to make table runners with this plain-weave pattern.
You don't have to do much sewing or finishing to a table runner. The only thing you have to worry about is the edges, and for them, I can use one of my three favorite finishing methods: a hemstitched fringe, a hem, or a twisted fringe. You usually don't have to wet-finish a table runner to transform the fabric you've been weaving into something else (no fulling, collapsing, or shrinking is necessary). That means that a table runner usually looks on the loom just the way you want it to do when you're finished. Since my closest relationship to it is when it IS on the loom, this makes me happy.
From Christmas gifts to custom every day pieces, you will love this handpicked collection of hand woven table runner designs. And it’s free! Enjoy these 4 free handwoven table runner patterns. Discover a nice variety of design color and texture that you can weave up in a jiffy! Select your preference of weaving pattern or learn a new pattern to make a table runner or other weaving project for your home or as a gift for someone else’s home.
Published 07/10/2017 Updated 11/04/2022