Potholder looms (and potholder weavings) have come along way since the rainbow-colored, polyester kid crafts days. In fact, now they’re viewed as a great way to make modern weavings. And they’re easy to use too!
I took a weaving workshop with a friend, about a year ago, that was focused specifically on using a potholder loom to create little weavings. I was instantly hooked and found it to be a pretty meditative process. Something that I now do when I want to take my mind off of more stressful things. These pot holder weavings are fast (an hour or so from start to finish) and pretty fun.
There’s also lots of ways you can customize them to make them more unique – with hand dyed weaving loom loops, knot work, branches, yarn, etc. Recently, I’ve been thinking about ways I can incorporate ceramic elements, now that I’m making pottery, that I could weave into the loops as well. Sky is the limit!
So, I guess what I’m trying to say is… While it’s true that you make these weavings with a potholder loom, these aren’t the technicolor kids craft potholders you might be picturing. These are nice pieces – things that you hang on the wall if you wanted to. Obviously, they can also be used as actual potholders. But they can be more than that too.
Anyway! If you’re looking for a simple, elevated craft to try, click through. You only need 2 items to get started with weavings like these. Which might actually be the best part.
During the cold winter months, having a potholder loom handy is a great way to keep your hands busy while you’re passing the time indoors.
I learned how to weave from an amazing artisan, Kate Kilmurray, whose work is featured in shops around the world. She teaches online classes as well, so if you’re interested in learning more from an expert in this field, be sure to check her out.
What is a potholder loom?
A potholder loom is a basic loom with pins on all 4 sides, used for weaving pieces that are potholder size. The looms come in two sizes: 7 inch and 10 inch. The most common used of the two is the 7 inch (called the traditional size).
The History of the Potholder Loom
I was curious how potholder looms originated, so I looked it up.
The potholder loom was created as a way to reuse cut-off strips (called loopers) of hosiery and socks, sometime in the 1930s. Before that, these extra pieces of fabric had been going to waste.
So, sock factories started marketing these looms, complete with the loops to use, as craft projects for homemakers to make potholders. And in turn, created a way to make money off of the once unused loopers at the factory.
*The photo above shows a bag of pro size loops on the left and a bag of traditional size loops on the right.
Are there different sizes of looms for potholders?
Yes. There are two sizes for potholder looms.
A 7 inch loom, with in 7×7 inches, is called a traditional potholder loom.
And a 10 inch loom, which is 10×10 in size, in called a pro size loom.
What size will the final weavings be?
This depends on the loom you use. But generally speaking, if you use the 7×7 traditional size loom, your finished potholder weaving will be about 6×6 inches.
And if you use the 10×10 pro size loom, your final weaving will be roughly 8×8 inches.
Sources for Weaving Loom Loops
The type of loom loops you use will play a huge part in the final overall look of your weaving.
There’s all types of loops to choose from – cotton, wool, hand dyed, recycled, etc.
And you can find them many places online, including:
- Friendly Loom
- Harrisville Designs
- Purl Soho
- Kate Kilmurray (good selection of hand dyed loops that are more unique – I use them often)
Pot holder Loop Sizes
There are 2 basic sizes for potholder loops. Traditional size and pro size. These sizes refer to the size of the loom you are using.
So if you are using a 10 inch loom, that’s the pro size. And if you’re using the 7 inch loom, that’s the traditional size.
Potholder Loom Patterns
There are loads of pot holder loom patterns available for sale online (on Etsy, Amazon, and other online retailers).
But my favorite resource right now for creating pot holder patterns (and it’s completely free) is the potholder design wizard from Friendly Loom.
You can change up the colors and pick from more than 20 pattern designs. AND if you like what you see, you can add the loops you need straight to your cart from there. Pretty cool feature, imo.
But I also just like it from a pattern planning perspective. It really helps to visualize things.
Should I buy a metal loom or a plastic one?
Pot holder weaving looms are made of plastic or metal or wood. But I do not recommend using a plastic loom.
The plastic ones are not great quality and can break easily. Whereas with a metal loom, it will always stay the same. Buy it once and you’ll use it forever. And the metal looms are still very affordable (under $20 for the traditional size).
Wood looms are great too. Just wouldn’t suggest plastic.
Do you have to use the metal hook that comes with your loom?
Nope! You can use your hands for the entire potholder weaving if you want. No hook required.
Actually, I was taught to use my hands for weaving, not the hook. And I like it that way. Feels less fussy.
But if you like the hook better, that’s fine too. It’s really just a preference thing.
Books on Potholder Weaving
- Potholder Loom Designs: 140 Colorful Patterns
- Artful Twill Weaving with Loops: Endless Possibilities
- Radical Potholder Weaving
Looking for more weaving ideas?
- Learn how to make a loom for less than $20 – in 2 sizes!
- A DIY way to weave a wall hanging that I swear by.
- This list of DIY art ideas has a weaving in it – number 4 on the list.
- Last but not least, a 5 minute woven wall hanging.
Just a heads up that this post may contain affiliate links. I make a small commission when items are purchased through my link.