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One question we frequently get from new weavers is how to keep track of the length they've woven. There may be as many variations of measuring one’s weaving as there are weavers, so the good news is that you can certainly find a method that will work for you. This post will go over a few different techniques and tips.
Often the first issue that comes up is whether to measure while the cloth is under tension on the loom or to measure with the tension released. When I am weaving from a pattern, I tend to follow what the designer prescribed—if the pattern says to measure the cloth under tension, I do—that way I figure I have the best chance of ending up with the size cloth that was intended. According to this article in Handwoven Magazine, measuring your woven cloth under tension is usually more accurate because once off the loom, cloth will relax immediately and then may continue to relax, so you may wind up with different measurements several minutes apart.
Once the tension/no tension argument is decided, you have a few options for measuring or keeping track of the length.
Some people pin a tape measure or strip of craft paper the desired length of their weaving to the cloth. Paper tape measures from IKEA are great for this, although they do tear over time. Cloth tape measures can stretch and fray over time, so make sure you have a stable, sturdy tape measure.
Personally I don’t like having things attached to my weaving when I am working on it, so I mark my lengths with a T-pin and keep track of with a knitting row counter. My process is this:
We hope this post helps as you set out to weave your next project!