Season 2, Episode 2: John Mullarkey

What can you weave with a pack of cards? More than you’d imagine…

Anne Merrow Feb 10, 2021 - 3 min read

Season 2, Episode 2: John Mullarkey Primary Image

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When you picture weaving, does the image of a big floor loom come to mind, or a heddle that holds the threads in place? How about a stack of perforated cardboard squares?

Author, instructor, weaver, and spinner John Mullarkey came across the ancient craft of tablet weaving (also known as card weaving) and fell in love with the possibilities of the technique. From creating new designs to finding the best way to share the skill with other fiber artists, John is always pushing the boundaries of what’s possible with his craft.

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Weaving well: John teaches workshops around the United States and abroad. Photo by Kate Larson

First and foremost an award-winning weaver—his Tablet Woven Tryptich won the Complex Weavers award at Convergence in 2018—John has developed a reputation as an excellent teacher. Besides teaching around the country, he is also a partner in Red Alder Fiber Arts Retreat, a multicraft event that takes place every February (except 2021) in Tacoma, Washington.


John's handspun silk shoelaces appeared in Spin Off Winter 2020. Photo by Matt Graves

In this episode, he shares what he loves about turning cards, how he creates new designs, and what makes a great fiber event.


One of John’s popular shoelace patterns appeared in Spin Off Winter 2020. (The article is available for Spin Off subscribers here.)

Little Looms Summer 2021 includes John’s pattern Astounding Laces (on sale April 2021).

Karen Donde’s profile of John Mullarkey, “A Designer from the Loom Up,” appeared in Little Looms 2016.

Read Kate Larson's interview "Roving Reporter: John Mullarkey’s Top 4 Tips for Card Weaving Handspun Bands".

Visit John’s website for more information on tablet weaving and to purchase one his books and DVDs.

Download or stream his video workshops Tablet Weaving Made Easy and Double-Faced Tablet Weaving from Long Thread Media.