Never Too Young to Learn About Looms

Share your love of weaving with a pair of picture books

Susan E. Horton Mar 18, 2024 - 4 min read

Never Too Young to Learn About Looms Primary Image

A little book love. Photo by Benjamin Raffetseder via Unsplash

With the exception of fairy tales, weaving and other textile arts seldom appear in children's books.

As adults, weavers and nonweavers alike commonly use terms in everyday conversation that are rooted in the textile world—following a thread, shuttle, web, knitting a brow. Very rarely, though, do weaving or knitting play a large role in stories meant for adults or children, whether in print or on the screen.

I believe that learning about where your clothes and linens come from should start at an early age. And that is why I was excited to learn about these two new books about weaving for kids.

The Littlest Weaver

By Robin Hall
Illustrated by Stella Lim

This lyrical and beautifully illustrated bedtime story is about helping others through weaving. A young girl and her father in Appalachia befriend a sad neighbor who has lost his family. Using their own experience of loss as a guide, the two work hard to design a rug for their neighbor to help him move beyond his sadness. Ultimately, the young girl designs the rug, and she and her father weave it. “For many days, Laurel and Pa poured sadness into their weaving like they poured molasses on their hotcakes, their tears mixing with the threads.” This book is recommended for children between four and six years old.

Sanger, CA: Familius, 2023. Hardcover, 32 pages, $17.99. ISBN 978-1641709774

Woven of the World

By Katey Howes
Illustrated by Dinara Mirtalipova

Check out this book if you like reading poetry aloud. “Click. Clack. Swish—PULL BACK.” Rather than telling a story, this nonfiction book describes many types of weaving throughout the world and throughout time, from Chinese silk to Egyptian flax to Colonial weaving and more. The colorful drawings that illustrate the many cultures include a young girl learning from her elder in multiple settings, sometimes at the loom and other times simply in the room. Each page features a rascally blue cat that younger children will love to find and point out. This book is recommended for five- to eight-year-olds and includes more in-depth information about the different cultures and weaving in its back pages.

San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books, 2023. Hardcover, 44 pages, $17.99. ISBN 978-1452178066

Interested in more children’s books with textile themes? Here are a few:

  • Abuela’s Weave by Omar S. Casteñeda
  • Charlie Needs a Cloak by Tomie dePaola
  • Rainbow Weaver/Tejedora del Arcoíris by Linda Elovitz Marshall
  • The Weaver’s Surprise by Tom Knisely

From left to right: Abuela’s Weave, Charlie Needs a Cloak, Rainbow Weaver, and The Weaver’s Surprise

Susan E. Horton’s grandmother taught her to knit, and her mother taught her to sew. Weaving came much later but has become her favorite among the fiber arts.