Time Out says
A weaving school from a duo who fell in love with freestyle weaving and decided to showcase why
I’m not going to lie, I didn’t know what I had signed up for. I thought I was going ‘looming’. In a ‘sorry, can’t come to the pub tonight, I’m going looming’ kind of way – which, in hindsight, sounds pretty sinister. A trip to The London Loom in Hackney Downs Studios quickly corrected my hobbie-to-be. Turns out, I went weaving. On a loom. Gotcha.
I rock up on a rainy Wednesday evening. My mood is instantly lifted by the rainbow of multicoloured threads and psychedelic fabrics on display like a sweetshop. Francesca – one of the two founders – was just as colourful and welcoming, introducing us to the looms with an obvious love for all things weave.
Workshops vary in length and expertise, from freestyle weaving for beginners, to tapestry and warp measuring for more advanced loom-lovers. In our two hours, we’re aiming to weave a small wall-hanging. Sure. Francesca explains how to prepare our yarns and pass them through open threads, switching to each new row with a wooden foot pedal. ‘I will definitely break this’, I think, as I settle in front of the delicate-looking contraption.
There are just three of us in the class and we’re soon let loose on the wall of threads, free to experiment with whatever we fancy. The choice of colours is overwhelming. After my first couple of rows, I seem to get the knack of it. Francesca is on hand to help with more complex designs, but I find the real joy comes from the zoned-out moments of focus. It’s incredibly relaxing. There’s a definite rhythm to it and we spend the majority of the workshop in silence, peacefully lost in our own weaves.
My ‘wall-hanging’ ends up neon green, metallic gold and a ridiculous combination of other colours. The weaver on my right, however, opted for a beautiful range of muted tones: very tasteful, very Scandi. Why didn’t I think about colour matching? How did that sparkly purple fluff sneak in? But, then again, I think it would be a complete waste to come here and not embrace the hundreds of amazing textiles on offer. I head home proud of my glittery, neon mess and stick it straight on the fridge.
Freestyle weaving workshops run regularly throughout the year. Two hours (£45) or five hours (£100) with all materials included. Children’s classes are also available.
Users say (17)
Average User Rating
4.9 / 5
- 5 star:16
- 4 star:1
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Very relaxed weaving in a lovely workshop in Hackney. Brilliant choice of colours and with expert help I managed to weave an amazing amount of fabric - http://wp.me/p8eU67-m0
Two hours of The London Loom’s Freestyle Weaving is one of the best ways to spend two hours in London. Friendly tuition, scores of colourful yarns to use, great music and fun atmosphere. Wish I could go every week to try out new techniques!
The London Loom is Zen Hilarity if you can imagine that. Sign up for weaving on their Saori looms and amaze yourself by creating something wonderful in just a few relaxing hours. Or sign up for a class like this week's International Women's Day-inspired "Make a Felt Badge of your Favourite Woman" workshop and prepare to meet interesting people, have some laughs and walk away with your very own art! I'll be going back.
Spent a fantastic five hours with the hilarious Francesca and Brooke and went from a complete rookie to producing a massive six foot weave. There's an enormous selection of yarns to choose from. It definitely beats the Penis Museum in Reykjavik as a way to spend an afternoon.
I recently went on a two week holiday to London and Reykjavik and my favourite two hours of the whole trip was the weaving workshop at London Loom (favourite three hours if you include my visit to Violet cakes afterwards!). Loved the opportunity to learn how to weave on the floor loom (which turns out is very easy) and having the freedom to choose from a whole wall of colour for my weave. Loved it! Just wish I had done it earlier in my holiday so I could have gone back again. And again.
Perfect mother-daughter activity! I booked two hours as a birthday treat for my mum and she (and I!) absolutely loved it. You don't have to have any experience (we certainly didn't), and it's a surprisingly "easy" activity. Francesca and Brooke have created a comfortable, creative environment with lots of "hygge" :) Hoping to return soon!
Looking for something different to do in London and be creative? This is a brilliant way to spend a few hours and could become addictive! Francesca and Brooke have created a relaxing inspiring environment...the music was great as well! making it perfect for allowing your creative soul to emerge a create a lovely fabric which you can take away and put on your wall or make into a cushion cover...I hope I can go back as this was just a perfect little bit heaven. Thanks girls xx
A super cool and wholly inspiring studio where you can learn to weave from scratch or extend skills you might already have. Francesca was incredibly welcoming, helpful and encouraging as I sat at the floor loom for only the second time in my life. The range of yarns available is huge and I loved it that there were so many flouro colours and exciting textures such as mini pom-poms. I look forward to my next visit.
This is an amazing class for anyone ranging from a beginner to enthusiast. Francesca and Brooke who run the studio couldn't be more helpful, but were also great to give you space to do your own thing. I couldn't recommend it more highly. They also offer kids classes which I'll be coming back to try when my cub is old enough but you can tell how wonderful these two would be with children so I'd definitely suggest it as an activity to do with anyone from friends to family or solo. Their studio is also amazing and just being there is good for the soul... 5/5 stars, everyone should give it a go!
The 'Freestyle Weaving' workshop was really great. I wasn't sure exactly what to expect, but was pleasantly surprised at how simple the process of weaving on a loom is to learn (I'm sure mastering the technique is a different story). Brooke was a lovely host. All four looms were being used by other students and myself - there was even a father-son couple in the class, which was really nice to see.
I emailed in advance as I am vegan and don't use animal products (wool, silk, etc) and there were more than enough types of yarn for me to use. The process is meditative and I even extended my stay by an hour to add more to my creation.
If I lived in the area, I would definitely do more workshops and may have to come back the next time I'm passing through London.
Review for handloom workshop:
Well that was FUN! Everyone should treat themselves to some time @thelondonloom... Brooke and Francesca's passion for weaving is infectious... Gorgeous natural yarns, beautiful colours and the mini loom is now mine to keep. If weaving was on prescription our society would be a whole lot happier! I have booked another class to try japanese weaving next...can't wait!
Review for Japanese weaving workshop:
Having withdrawal symptoms after my Japanese freestyle weaving class over a week ago. It was SO much fun! Using the two pedal floor loom so satisfying and good for the soul! Francesca and Brooke have an amazing array of yarns to choose from on their colour wall. I definitely recommend this for some colour therapy to brighten your day/week/year!
Probably one of the best ways to while away an afternoon in London. I have zero experience of weaving but really enjoyed my time at the London Loom. I've already planned my next visit, this time with my sister!
My sister-in-law and I attended a class at The London Loom and absolutely loved it. I learned how to make my own warp with Francesca, whilst my sister-in-law enjoyed a one-on-one freestyle Japanese weaving class with Brooke. The atmosphere was warm, welcoming and incredibly fun, and whilst there was lots of talking and laughter, there were equal parts concentration and learning going on. They have a fabulous selection of wool from Japan and the UK and I cannot recommend them highly enough whether you are a beginner or have a little experience, as I do.
Brooke and Francesca have hit the nail on the head with The London Loom. The classes may seem expensive, but the quality of the experience (and the materials they've curated) is worth it; this place is full of heart and soul! I've already booked a second weaving workshop (with one of the handy discount codes they give away so often) and will also be trying out the tapestry. It's such a satisfying and creative way to spend a couple of hours!
I loved my 2 hour Japanese Freestyle work shop. It's not as difficult as I thought it would be and Francesca and Brooke are very competent and inspired me to just go with the flow and create a piece of my mind:) This place is great and I will be back for a longer work shop. The London Loom FTW!
I participated in a tapestry weaving class with The London Loom this last week and absolutely loved it! Francesca and Brooke have created a lovely little place in London to weave in a calm and relaxed way and it's just a pleasure to take a class with them in their studio :) Highly recommend it!
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