How to do woven hem stitch


The hem stitch is a tidy way to start and finish a piece on the loom, especially if there will be a fringe. This is a demonstration of how to do the hem stitch on plain weave work.  I am working on a ridgid heddle loom.

First, notice that the best area in which to weave on the loom is about 1/3 of the way toward the beater from the cross bar beause the shed is nice and open for the shuttle to fit through.  This is where you want to start your hem stitch.

  1. Warp your loom and get the area of the warp cranked that you would like to work moved into the optimal position.
  2. Make one pass with the shuttle, beat (which is really more like place) and make the second pass with the shuttle, beat.
  3. With the working yarn on the right side, cut off yarn 3.5 – 4 times the width of your work.
  4. Do Hem Stitch: beneath the two passes, move the darning needle and working yarn under the first two warp threads moving right to left (or any two as seen below). Pull the yarn tight.
  5. Hem Stitch

    hem stitch

  6. Cross the working yarn over the two warp threads and then insert the needle diagonally from the bottom right corner (beneath two weft passes) up to the top left corner (above two weft passes), under the work (do not catch the work on the needle).
  7. Hem Stitch

  8. Pull the yarn through and taught. Repeat with the next two stitches. “Under two, around and up two.”
  9. Completed Hem Stitch

Notice that when done correctly the hem stith groups each two warp threads under what looks like a purl stitch – great for making twisted fringe!


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