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Muddy Faces

Published on 15.06.20

Peg Looms for Easy Weaving

The story of our peg loom


boy with a peg loom and piece of weaving drapped into a big black bag, holding up some shafts of wool
woven wool fibres laid on a wooden board

The first time we took our new peg loom out and about was at the Forest School Association's festival in Norfolk - and it was met with such enthusiasm!

People were intrigued with how it worked and others were asking where the idea had come from. The conclusion by most was that it is so simple yet so very clever, and that the items created from un-spun sheep’s wool were amazing.

The inspiration for our peg loom came from Coralie Hopwood of the John Muir Trust. She brought one back from Estonia, where she had been participating in an Erasmus-funded visit, through ARCH NET4, about managing Natural and Cultural Heritage Assets, with other natural environment professionals from Scotland.

Her group spent a morning with Merike Sepp and her husband, who run a wool factory and weaving workshop on their farm on the Sõrve peninsula, Saaremaa Island, the most south westerly point of Estonia. Merike showed the group traditional weaving techniques using peg looms and long, untreated sheep fleeces, whilst also singing traditional working songs.

The experience inspired Coralie to work with Liz at Muddy Faces to try to make some portable, Forest School-ready peg looms for use in the UK with groups.

Coralie said: "The profoundly calming experience of gradually building up a weave, whilst talking, singing and sharing with those around us, was wonderful. I thought it would translate very easily to wellbeing and creative activities out in the woods back home."

For groups that are more advanced in their tool use, a project to create a peg loom from scratch is something that could be worked on over several weeks - see video below for how to do it. The loom could also be scaled up and down, and used with other natural materials such as grasses or willow.

We have a brilliant selection of peg loom videos for you!

This first one is a Muddy Faces-family homemade film showing you how to make your own peg loom at home. (2 mins 17)

Our 2nd Muddy Faces-family film shows you how to use your peg loom. (3 mins 40)

How to weave on a rustic peg loom - The Commoning Family:

The Commoning Family live and work in the New Forest and are passionate about conservation and education.

“We are New Forest commoners and we turn out a small herd of New Forest ponies, Aberdeen Angus cattle and pigs on to the Forest. Having lived in the New Forest all of our lives we are passionate about ensuring our commoning traditions and the extraordinary biodiversity of the Forest which it supports continues.”

We sent the family one of our peg looms and asked them to give it a go - they mastered rustic weaving brilliantly and have produced this fantastic video of how to do it. (7 mins 43)

Mum Lyndsey said

"Thanks Muddy Faces, we absolutely loved using the peg loom. It was so easy to use and we were all able to create lovely pieces which were both decorative and practical.

The Shetland wool was amazing, so soft and beautiful. We had lots of conversations about the properties of wool and the importance of using natural materials. We loved making different patterns by changing the colours of the wool and varying the thickness of the stripes.

Whilst it is an amazing starting point for home schooling, I can’t wait to use the loom with my Forest School groups where weaving is one of our favourite activities and the peg loom can be used by small groups and individuals."

Follow the Commoning Family on twitter here.

wooden disc with the words Mud Champion burnt into it

Mud Day is coming!

29 June is International Mud Day - as you can probably guess, it's our favourite special day.

Are you a mud champion?

Some people are still wary, or love the idea of mud play and mud kitchens but have no idea how to start. Of course there is loads of information on the Mud page of our Outdoor Hub, but we'd like to hear from you - the experts.

So this year we're gathering your best Mud Play Tips - it could be anything to do with mud kitchens or mud play, but here are some possible areas to consider...

  • how to start?
  • what to use?
  • favourite bit of kit
  • what have you/your group learnt through mud play?
  • how to cope with mud & mess
  • favourite mud activities
  • best evidence/research
  • favourite book
  • social media to inspire you
  • fondest memory of playing in the mud?
  • how will you be celebrating Mud Day?
girl in a flowery dress and green hat carrying a plate full of mud and feathers and flowers

Send your mud play tips to share@muddyfaces.co.uk, please title your email MUD PLAY TIPS... there will be prizes for our favourites!

We are still welcoming new photos to our Mud Gallery too - we're very happy to credit you/your project in this ever-growing and inspiring gallery of mud play in many different forms.

Send your Mud Gallery images to share@muddyfaces.co.uk - please title your email MUD GALLERY.

(we loved this image sent in last year so much that we used it on the cover of our catalogue!)

SHOP:

Our one stop shop has a diverse selection of practical, educational and inspiring products for all your forest school, outdoor play and learning requirements.

WE ARE OPEN!

Orders may take a little longer than usual to process. We are getting orders out as quickly and efficiently as possible whilst ensuring we adhere to safe working practices. See our full Covid-19 statement here.

BUT WE ARE STILL OPEN FOR BUSINESS!

Peg Loom Set

From: £58.29 exVAT

This is the set we sent to the Commoning Family to try out (see above). It includes • 1 x 8 peg loom
• 300g each of black, brown, grey & white sheep's wool • ball of thick flax string.


Buy now

Peg Loom

From: £13.19 exVAT

A peg loom for weaving.


Buy now

Palm Drills

From: £4.94 exVAT

A palm drill can be used one handed. They are light and easy to carry around. Our child sized version has a smaller handle and drill bit, making it ideal for little hands.


Buy now

OUTDOOR HUB:

Our Outdoor Hub is free to everyone and packed full of literally hundreds of step-by-step, photo-illustrated activities. You don't have to be out in an amazing Forest School or woodland setting, most of the activities can be done at home, in a yard or garden, many of them can be adapted and done indoors.

We really do encourage you to get outside if you can - the benefits to your health and wellbeing are huge - you can read all about them on the Outdoor Hub here.

Click here to browse our Outdoor Hub activities

Our activities are organised in categories so you can find what you need, or use our keyword search (scroll down the left hand menu) to follow your children's interests.


The Outdoor Hub has a wealth of inspiring activities, events and information. Each section has been designed to encourage engagement in the outdoors, connection with nature and to help spark imaginative play and creativity.

Weaving on a rustic peg loom

This loom is so simple to use and the results are fantastic!

Read More about Weaving on a rustic peg loom

Guide to palm drills

Perfect as an introduction to tool use and for children to practise the skill of drilling.

Read More about Guide to palm drills

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