Skip to content

Backstrap Weaving

My journey with backstrap weaving started when I struggled to continue my textile practice after graduating. I was faced with two main constraints: money and space. My limitations made me reconsider my practice, and that’s when I found backstrap weaving.


Backstrap weaving is a practice that comes mainly from South America in places like Guatemala and Peru. I recently found out that Polish weavers used a backstrap-like loom to make traditional shirt cuffs (I am half Polish). That’s why I love weaving - it’s an activity that throughout history has connected all cultures across the world, even if we are not aware of it.

One bar, carrying the spread-out, parallel warp threads, is attached to a pole or a tree; the other is fastened to the waist of the weaver, who can adjust the tension by leaning forward or backward. This makes minute regulation possible and with it a more delicate weaving operation.

Anni Albers

When backstrap weaving, my body becomes part of the loom. The process really wouldn’t work without it. Whenever I move forward or backwards, the loom changes and morphs into what I need it to be. It is labour intensive, tedious but surprisingly meditative.

When I’m on the backstrap loom, each warp shift of odd- to even-numbered threads is lifted up by my fingers (Albers, On Weaving). I am the loom and the loom relies on me. In turn, the loom makes me entranced in its process. It’s repetitive, constrained but freeing.

I hold regular backstrap weaving workshops open to all levels. Sign up to my newsletter to be the first to hear about the next one!

Backstrap Weaving