The Weaver's Playground: How to Weave a Scarf

Learn how to weave a scarf on a 4-shaft loom or a rigid-heddle loom in this free eBook that includes 7 free patterns on handwoven scarves that you'll love.

Long Thread Editorial Staff Jul 10, 2017 - 7 min read

The Weaver's Playground: How to Weave a Scarf Primary Image

Using Harrisville Shetland wool and a simple pick-up pattern on his rigid-heddle loom, Joe Sullins wove this beautiful scarf with a waffle-weave texture. Photo by Joe Coca

Learn how to weave a scarf with these free patterns on handwoven scarves.

Handwoven scarves are the weaver's playground: a chance to explore color and weave structures to your heart's content. When you learn how to weave a scarf, you're not committing your loom for weeks or months, and you don't have to spend a fortune on yarn. They're quick to warp, quick to weave, fun to give and to wear. They don't take up closet space, so you can have scarves for every mood and season.


  For your weaving and wearing enjoyment, we've updated our free eBook, 7 Handwoven Scarf Patterns. With these fun-to-weave and fun-to-wear projects, you can fill your closets with a variety of hand woven scarves.

Weaving a scarf is the perfect project for a new weaver. It's also a fun way for more experienced weavers to discover new techniques or simply work through a quick project they will be able to show off. Follow these woven scarf patterns, experiment with a variety of yarns and colors, and brush up on creative plain weave, waffle weave, basketweave, and more.

Learn how to weave a scarf with the following projects:

How to Weave with Sock Yarn

Weave a scarf with knitting yarn!

Serendipity by Joan Sheridan Weaving a scarf with sock yarn designed for knitters is a boon for weavers. Available in a wide variety of styles, colors, and blends, it is inexpensive hard-wearing yarn, perfect for weaving scarves. This hand woven scarf is made with a singles variegated sock yarn and a hand painted mohair bouclé. It blends texture and color beautifully, and you only need one skein or ball of each yarn.


Waffle Weave Scarf Pattern

This rigid-heddle scarf pattern will teach you to weave waffle weave on a rigid-heddle loom.

Shetland Scarf by Joe Sullins This handwoven scarf is a beautiful waffle weave pattern, easy and quick to create on a rigid-heddle loom. Weave structures like the one used in this woven scarf pattern are created by using a smooth flat pick-up stick to pick up certain warp threads and create patterning. Once the scarf is wet finished, it transforms into a lofty garment that is as much fun to wear as it is to weave!

Free Scarf Weaving Pattern

Weaving a scarf gives you lots of room to experiment, even if all you have is a 4-shaft loom.

Big Bumps by Madelyn van der Hoogt You can create exciting effects just by weaving together two fibers that react differently to wet-finishing. Learn how to weave wool and cotton together and how to best predict the shrinking/fulling of your fabrics to get the results you want. Follow Madelyn’s instructions on how to achieve nicely rounded circles and square squares in this modern and unique woven scarf pattern.

Two Free Basketweave Scarf Patterns

Weaving a scarf on a rigid-heddle loom still offers tons of design possibilities.

Basketweave Scarves by Liz Gipson Basketweave is a useful structure for the rigid-heddle loom. Fine threads doubled or tripled in both the warp and weft create lighter-than-air fabrics with beautiful drape. Liz walks you through the process of weaving scarves using basketweave, from start to finish, for a fine and beautiful end result! You'll also learn how to wind a warp with doubled threads—a useful skill for any weaver.

How to Weave and Felt a Scarf

Many of these scarves are four shaft weaving patterns.

Felted Lace Scarf by Madelyn van der Hoogt This hand woven scarf is pure fun! It’s quick and easy plain weave, woven with only one shuttle. Every other inch in both the warp and the weft is an empty space. During wet-finishing, the soft, loosely woven merino wool fulls to a felted texture producing two independent but interlocking woven grids of small plain-weave sections. No one will believe this is a 4-shaft project, much less that it's plain weave!

How to Weave a Scarf with Leno Lace

Learn how to weave leno lace with this 4-shaft weaving project.

Warped and Twisted Scarves by Ramona Abernathy-Paine Leno (pronounced lee-no) is a lace weave created by twisting warp ends around each other and holding the twist with a weft end. This interesting woven lace scarf project uses beads, but not the way you think. All you need is a four-shaft loom and 20 pony beads, available at craft stores, and this tutorial to walk you through the "bead leno" technique! Once you master the basics, you'll be ready to design and experiment with leno yourself.

If you’re looking to get into weaving, or if you’re just looking for some new scarf projects to weave, the projects in Handwoven's free eBook will whet your weaving appetite.

Each of these scarves goes beyond the ordinary, without the need for more than four shafts. Some of the projects even allow you to give your rigid-heddle loom some love. Use pony beads to weave leno lace, master basketweave, and even learn to create unusual effects by spacing your warp threads!

For me, the question is never really how to weave a scarf. It's which scarf to weave first, and where to stop. These free handwoven scarf patterns are a great place to start, whichever you choose to weave first. And the joy of scarf weaving is that you never have to stop! So let the fun begin.