Weaving is the process of making a solid cloth by interlacing thread or yarn. It is often used to construct rugs, blankets, or cloth for making clothing or other fabric-based items. Historically, the majority of textiles were made at home through the weaving process. As pre-made textiles are more readily available in modern times, weaving is still performed; however, it is often done more as a hobby or craft than out of necessity. Rather than purchasing large quantities of all the materials and tools needed to weave cloth, a person can purchase a weaving kit that includes the necessary supplies to weave a selected item.
Weaving kits will usually come with instruction booklets. The extent of the instruction booklet will vary, depending on the skill level recommended for the kit. Beginner level kits may include instructions that go more into detail on how to set up the materials and supplies, while more advanced level kits may assume a basic set of skills and will not elaborate on the fundamentals of weaving. Most kits, regardless of the recommended skill level, will come with a pattern that instructs the weaver on when to switch colors of yarn in order to form a design.
One of the basic components of weaving kits is a loom. A loom is a device that tightly holds the thread or yarn in place and interlaces the separate pieces in order to make rows that will eventually form a solid piece of cloth. Traditional looms are often large and heavy and meant to stand alone, but a loom that comes included in a weaving kit is generally much smaller, lightweight, and portable.
Weaving kits may also come with shuttles. A shuttle is a device that is used to hold the rolled up yarn tightly while it is being woven by the loom. The size of the shuttle will typically depend on the expected size of the finished woven product. Kits intended for large rugs or blankets may require a longer shuttle, while mini-kits used for making potholders or other small pieces will only need a small shuttle.
Another common item included in a weaving kit is yarn. Weaving yarn is usually available in a variety of textures, from inexpensive yarn intended for rugs or other household items, to higher quality yarn intended for weaving fabric for clothing. Weaving kits will also usually have a weaving needle, which helps guide the yarn through the loom while it is being interlaced. Inexpensive weaving needles are often made from plastic while pricier needles are made from metal.