Paper Yarn Weaving

Paper Yarn Vase
Paper Yarn Vase

I had the opportunity to take a seminar with Pirkko Karvonen, on weaving with paper yarns.

I wove these paper vases, using the technique described by Pirkko.  The warp was a 3 ply hemp, and the coloured weft was paper yarn, alternating with a weft of 6 ply hemp.

Paper Vase

Paper yarns have been used in Finland, Sweden and Japan to make textiles, clothing fabrics, placemats, rugs and other decorative items. Once paper yarn has been woven, it retains its strength and can be cleaned by wiping with a damp cloth.  Paper yarn is low in
dust and is a good alternative for those with allergies and environmental health problems.

Paper yarn is best used as weft.  When you weave with it, dampen the paper yarn before you weave with it. Try to weave all the paper yarn that you have dampened that day. If you are interrupted, you can put the damp paper yarn into a plastic bag to keep it moist
and use it the following day.  If you leave it damp for too long, it may mildew or start to
fall apart.  When I wove with the paper yarn, I wound it onto a bobbin and then dipped the bobbin in a small dish of water, before I wove with it.

Pirkko Karvonen
Holding a flower made with paper yarn.

Pirkko Karvonen

Paper Yarn Vest
The Japanese vest was woven with a silk warp. The special paper used as warp in the vest was folded and cut into narrow strips(about 2 cm wide), almost to the edge of the paper. This cutting technique is similar to that used for cutting rag rugs.

Sakiori
How to make paper yarn. The paper is dampened and wrapped in a towel. Let the damp paper rest overnight.
The next day, when the paper is opened up, it produces a long narrow strip. The narrow strip of paper is then rolled on cement or a smooth surface to produce a spun yarn. The edges of the paper are rolled between the fingers to smooth them. The selvage edges will show up as slubs in the weft of the fabric.

The Thread in Everything
An article about Pirkko Karvonen in Athabaska News.

Where to Find Paper Yarn
Borgs Vavgarner
Paper yarns from Sweden, in a nice selection of colours.
Habu Textiles
A very unique assortment for the yarn connoisseur: raw silks, bamboo, hand-tied ramies, cashmere, paper, naturally gold silks, hand spun silks/cottons, silk stainless steel and much more.
Woodnotes
Ritva Puotila weaves rugs, carpets, table runners and accessories with paper yarns.

More about Weaving with Paper Yarn
Hemp Rep Placemats
Japanese Paper Weaving
Paper Yarn

AMAZON Hand Weaving Books
Weaving on a Little Loom (Everything you need to know to get started with weaving, includes 5 simple projects
The Key to Weaving: A Textbook of Hand Weaving for the Beginning Weaver
The Weaver’s Companion (The Companion Series)


Learning to Weave
The Big Book of Weaving: Handweaving in the Swedish Tradition: Techniques, Patterns, Designs and Materials
The Handweaver’s Pattern Directory
A Weaver’s Book of 8-Shaft Patterns: From the Friends of Handwoven


Krokbragd: How to Design & Weave
Doubleweave: On Four to Eight Shafts
Double Weave: Theory and Practice<
Magic of Doubleweave: The Best of Weaver’s (Best of Weaver’s series)
Weaving In the Arts: Widening the Learning Circle

EBAY Paper Yarn
Paper Yarn – US
Paper Yarn – UK

Last Updated on April 19, 2021 by Paivi Suomi

By Paivi Suomi

I've had an interest in weaving, looms, yarns and textiles since I was a small child. I learned to knit, crochet, sew, do needlepoint at my mother's knee. My grandmother was a Saami from northern Norway. I am very interested in studying more about traditional Saami and Finnish style weaving and handicrafts. Paivi Suomi