Learning how to weave at Chicago's Weaving School in Irving Park

CHICAGO (WLS) -- In a room full of more than 120 looms, you'll find Natalie Boyett, the owner of The Chicago Weaving School.

"We have some weavers who love to weave creative pieces of art and others who want to weave functional objects like dishtowels or rugs," Boyett said. "It's where everybody can come and find their voice in this medium which I love."

Her classes attract an array of people, most of them, eager to find a creative outlet.

"Weaving has such a broad range of expression, it can be really simple, really complex, really technical and it can get real primitive," Boyett said.

It's something that's very meditative and contemplative but it's also very social," student Marla Lappe added. "You just are constantly creating something beautiful, it's sort of amazing."

Weaving is different than knitting or sewing, which primarily involves stitching or looping one strand of thread or yarn.

Instead, it requires two types of yarn or thread that are interlaced to create fabric or cloth.

Here are the basic steps of the process:

- Count and measure all your warp threads.
- Dress the loom by pulling the warp threads through the reed and the heddles, and winding onto the loom.
- Press the treadle to raise some of the warp threads, pass the shuttle through, and beat with the beater to pack the weft down.
- Continue to weave your cloth and remove it from the loom when you're done.

The school also offers basket weaving and special workshops where you can learn unique weaving methods and tips.

"There's nothing they don't know and their attitude is 'Well, of course, you can!' so how can you go wrong?" student Rebecca Allard said. "I'm in for life."

Jalyn Henderson is a Community Journalist at ABC 7 Chicago. She tells stories on the north side of Chicago in neighborhoods like Uptown, Edgewater, Ravenswood, Lincoln Square, West Ridge and Rogers Park. If you have a story to share in these neighborhoods you can send an email to Jalyn.L.Henderson@abc.com
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