Enriching lives through art and craft

Four-Shaft Fundamentals: An Introduction to Traditional Handweaving · Louise NuttleFibers

Workshop at a glance

Explore how color and texture come together in the making of handwoven cloth using a variety of materials and traditional weaving techniques.


  • How to calculate materials for a woven project
  • How to measure a warp chain using a warping board
  • How to dress (warp) a 4-shaft loom
  • How to weave plain weave and a variety of twill patterns on a 4-shaft loom
  • How to finish handwoven fabric


  • A variety of yarns made from natural cellulose; cotton, tencel, bamboo
  • Protein fibers; wool


  • An appreciation of the role of traditional handweaving in Appalachian culture and society.
  • An understanding of the design and production of woven cloth
  • An understanding of the physical characteristics of natural fibers and how they contribute to the characteristics of cloth
  • Multiple woven samples exhibiting a variety of weave structures, colors, and textures
  • A length of original cloth suitable for use as a table runner or similar item

Artist Bio

Louise Nuttle is a largely self-taught weaver and fiber artist, living and working in Jonesborough, Tennessee. In 2019, following a 20+-year career in higher education, Louise established her solo studio, “Nuttle Fiber Art & Design,” as a platform for her personal exploration of the fiber arts as well as a teaching space for individual and small group instruction in spinning, weaving, dyeing, and felt-making. Outside of the studio, Louise works part-time as a fiber specialist at Two Roots Fiber Mill in Greeneville, Tennessee. Louise is a member and recent past-president of the Northeast Chapter of Tennessee Craft, a statewide organization that supports and promotes fine craft art and artists across Tennessee. Louise has exhibited and sold her work locally for over 15 years and, in 2022, was selected as one of three Tennessee craft artists to serve as a mentor in Tennessee Craft’s Master Artist Apprentice Program. Louise is also an active member and past co-president of the Overmountain Weavers Guild, and a member of the Handweavers Guild of America, Inc. nuttlefiberart.com

  • Louise Nuttle
  • Louise Nuttle
  • Louise Nuttle
  • Louise Nuttle
  • Louise Nuttle
  • Louise Nuttle

Workshop Description

This workshop offers students an introduction to the traditional craft of handweaving and the art of creating original fabric from a variety of natural materials. Students will start out by learning how to dress a 4-shaft floor loom, the mechanics of weaving cloth by hand, and the calculation of materials required to complete a given project. Beyond the fundamentals, students will explore the use of color, texture, and weave structure, together with the inherent physical characteristics of natural fibers, in the design and execution of an original piece of woven cloth. Students can expect to produce a series of woven samples, including an original length of cloth that can be used as a table runner or cut and sewn into any number of finished products. Throughout the workshop, the role of handweaving in Appalachian culture, society, and the local economy will be explored.

ART WORKSTENNESSEE ARTS COMMISIONTENNESSEE FOR THE ARTSTennessee Specialty License PlatesEAST TENNESSEE FOUNDATIONWindgate Foundation Arrowmont is being supported, in whole or in part, by federal award number SLFRP5534 awarded to the State of Tennessee by the U.S. Department of Treasury.

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