Weaving a sling bag
Updated: Jun 7, 2020
I was in Bangkok for a work trip, and was looking to try out a new craft on one of the evenings. I was super happy to chance upon The Loom, which offered weaving workshops!
The Loom is conveniently located at a mall right beside a BTS station (Ekamai) in Bangkok, which was thankfully easy to get to after work on a weekday!
They have various weaving looms set up in the studio, and there’s an empty spot for me!
The instructor, Wiwan, was super helpful in recommending me a workshop based on what I was looking for – I only had ~2 hours, but wanted to make something that I could use. I originally asked to make a mini bag (listed under the kids section), because it seemed like the only “practical”/useable item that could be made within 2 hours.
I told her that I loved trying out craft, and she recommended that I do one of the normal weave projects (because it’s not as simple as the kid’s one, which would be more fun for me), and she could convert the output into a bag for me (sew up the sides, and add a strap). That was perfect for me!
The first step required me to pick a set of colours to weave (she already has a few sets of colours to choose from), and with some assistance from my husband via whatsapp (can’t decide, as always!), I managed to land on one 😀
The assistant help me to start the process, and demonstrated what to do
We used natural silk yarn to weave, and Wiwan explained to me that the thickness of the yarn isn’t perfectly consistent, because these are twirled by hand from thinner silk fibres.
I got to try 4 different weave patterns in the design, and it was truly fascinating to see how the different threads and styles result in different patterns. I was particularly impressed with the zigzag section (middle right in collage below): it was done by twirling the bunch of thread as we make each weave – how does it form a perfect zigzag?!
Thanks to Wiwan for helping me take photos while I was at the machine! When we were done, we did some knits to end off the weave, and give the ends the adorable tassels.
Wiwan helping to sew my woven open into a bag
And we’re done! So glad to have a little woven handmade bag of my own
Details of the workshop
Duration: website listed 2-3 hours, i personally took closer about 3 hours, because we had the extra step to convert the final piece into a bag
Price: THB 1,800 (~SGD 80) for the WEAVE_EZ I style, and I topped up another THB 200 to convert it into a bag. I made enquiries via Facebook messenger on their Facebook page, because of the super short notice (1 day in advance), but you can also reach out via their website
Level of fun: 3/5
This was my first time trying weave, and it was very interesting to see the mechanics behind weaving and how a loom works! The act of weaving also feels somewhat meditative, when you focus on just one thing, and doing it repeatedly with care. There was one split moment when I lost focus, and got confused about how to do the next weave (the same step I was doing repeatedly for the past few minutes or so)!
Trying out 4 different weave patterns made it interesting, and for those with a short attention span, you learn a new pattern quite soon after you master one!
Overall, it was an enjoyable, therapeutic, and meditative activity
Level of difficulty: 2/5
Weaving itself wasn’t difficult, but ensuring a good weave does take some technique. The signs of a well-woven piece have smooth edges with consistent thickness (by taking extra care, and pulling at the same tension whenever making a turn at each end), and also having a consistent width for the overall work (there’s a tendency to pull too much whenever you change direction, which causes the piece to become thinner than the originally planned width).
There was always help on hand to help check whether I was on track, or to ask questions, so that certainly helped!