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Free Weaving Pattern: Handwoven Serape Poncho by Julia Weldon

Today I am thrilled to share this new weaving pattern designed and woven by Julia Weldon. Julia writes: 

"Subtle color variations in the Fingering Weight Wool Weaving Yarn from Mountain Meadow Wool Mill, woven in the simplest structure, creates a fabric with amazing depth and richness. With nothing more than steam pressing, the finished cloth has a hand and drape that is luxurious and soft.

Using a small loom the poncho is woven double-wide, with the head opening section woven in two separate layers. 

This wool yarn is unlike any other I've ever woven with in 20 years of weaving! Although it is very strong (not a single broken warp) the wool has a soft feel. The subtle color variations create a fabric with gorgeous depth and richness, almost an antique look. This color, Cider, was used along with the color, Maple, in both the warp and weft. The finished plain weave cloth has been steam pressed, but not wet finished yet. Even so, it has an amazingly luxurious drape and feel.

In addition to the wool mentioned above, a multicolored Malabrigo Rios Merino (#862 Piedras) and Berroco Ultra Alpaca (6280 Mahogany Mix) were used as accent weft across the shoulders and along the lower edge.

To weave a double-width fabric, one shuttle is used.  For the area of two separate layers two shuttles are used.  In each case the treadling remains the same."

To see the further details and instructions for creating this poncho, please scroll down past the photos. Photos, design and weaving by Julia Weldon. 

handwoven poncho

handwoven poncho

handwoven poncho

handwoven wool poncho

handwoven wool poncho

handwoven wool poncho

handwoven wool poncho

The Details

  • Warp Yarn: Mountain Meadow Wool fingering weight wool (366 yards Maple Syrup and 1,314 yards Cider). (You need 1 cone of Maple Syrup and 4 cones of Cider for this project, for warp and weft)
  • Weft Yarn:  Mountain Meadow Wool fingering weight woolMaple Syrup and Cider), 1 skein Malabrigo Rios Merino (862 Piedras), 1 skein Berroco Ultra Alpaca (6280 Mahogany Mix).
  • Equipment: 4-shaft loom, 23” weaving width, 12 dent reed, 2 shuttles, 2 bobbins, 140 heddles on each shaft
  • Weave Structure: Double weave (plain weave double-wide and two layers)
  • Warp Length: 3 yards
  • EPI: 24 EPI, sleyed at 2 ends per dent in a 12 dent reed
  • Width in reed: 22"
  • Warp Ends: 560
  • Warp color order: 82 ends Maple Syrup, 438 ends Cider, 40 ends Maple Syrup
  • Woven length (measured under tension on the loom): 76.5”

  • Finished Size (after steam pressing, but no wet finishing): Length: 68” plus 8” fringe on each end. Width: 39”

Weaving and Weft color order

Weave Double-width (one shuttle)

  • 5.5" - Maple wool
  • 2" - Ultra Alpaca
  • 0.5" - Cider wool
  • 1" - Ultra Alpaca
  • 20.75" - Cider wool
  • 8 shots - Malabrigo

Weave Two Layers (two shuttles)

  • 16.5" - Malabrigo

Weave Double-width (one shuttle)

  • 8 shots - Malabrigo
  • 20.75" - Cider wool
  • 1" - Ultra Alpaca
  • 0.5" - Cider wool
  • 2" - Ultra Alpaca
  • 5.5" - Maple wool


weaving draft


  1. Wind a warp following the warp color order. (You can hold two strands together as you are warping. This decreases warping time considerably. If you do this you will either need to purchase two cones of Maple Syrup, or wind one cone into two balls).
  2. Center the weaving for a width of 22”. Sley 2 ends per dent in the reed, thread a straight draw (4,3,2,1),
  3. With scrap yarn weave a header (double-width) to spread the warp.
  4. Weave following the weft color order for indicated lengths. 

To weave double-wide

Use one shuttle.  Begin passing the shuttle from the right.  The fold edge will be at the left selvage.

To weave two separate layers

Use two shuttles.

Shuttle A: Pass from the right (treadle 4)

Shuttle B: Pass from the right (treadle 3)

Shuttle B: Pass from the left (treadle 2)

Shuttle A: Pass from the left (treadle 1)

Do not allow the wefts to interlock at the selvedges.

When weaving is complete remove the fabric from the loom. In order to waste as little warp as possible, untie the bundles from the front and back beams instead of cutting them off.

Make twisted fringe using 16 warp ends in each fringe. Tie an overhand knot 7” from the cloth and trim the ends leaving 1” beyond the knot.

Using a single strand of Berroco Ultra Alpaca, crochet a single row around the edge of the head opening.

For decoration and a bit more reinforcing of the ends of the head opening, weave two small triangles using Berroco Ultra Alpaca.  Leave long tails at the start and end of each triangle.  Use these long tails for sewing the triangles onto the poncho.

Center the woven triangles at each end of the opening and whip stitch them to the cloth using a tapestry needle and the long tails.  Take the tails to the inside of the cloth, needle weave the ends toward each other, and tie the two ends together to secure.

On this poncho the triangles are woven on a 3” homemade loom.  A beautiful 3.5” triangle loom is available from Hazel Rose Looms (Tiny Weaver Set) and instructions for weaving the triangle are available on youtube.

To finish the Serape Poncho, steam press on wool setting.