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Muddy Faces

Published on 15.06.20 in Craft

Peg looms for easy weaving

The story of our peg loom & how to use it.

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 in 2020 - 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.

Peg looms on the Outdoor Hub

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.

Click here to browse all our Outdoor Hub activities.

Make your own peg loom - video

A little dexterity and concentration and you can create your own traditional weaving machine. Read More about Make your own peg loom - video

Weaving on a rustic peg loom

Weaving on a peg loom is a wonderful craft activity; so simple to use and the results are fantastic!

Read More about Weaving on a rustic peg loom

How to use a peg loom - video

2 videos made by children showing you how to use this simple traditional weaving device.

Read More about How to use a peg loom - video

Guide to palm drills

Palm drills are perfect to use with children as an introduction to tool use in woodwork and simple activities.

Read More about Guide to palm drills

Peg looms on the Muddy Faces 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.

Peg Loom Set

From: £64.99 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: £21.99 exVAT

A peg loom for weaving.

Buy now

Palm Drills

From: £4.95 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

Mixed Shetland Felting Wool - Natural

£4.99 exVAT

A mixed 100g bag of Shetland wool in 4 natural colours - black, brown, grey and white - 25g of each colour. The wool is fine, soft and silky to the touch with a good, bulky down characteristic. Perfect for hand felting ...

Buy now


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