I think inkle weaving is a lot of fun and a great way to work out ideas (especially when it comes to color) for a project before moving on to my floor looms. When I learned to weave in 1969, I started on four-shaft floor looms. It took me 30 years before I wove on an inkle loom.
Learning to weave on an inkle loom was sparked by a small group of us in the Seattle Weavers Guild taking on the responsibility for weaving one of our monthly samples. Most of us working on this sample had not woven on an inkle loom, so it was a learning process for all of us . . . which at one point involved the group creating a “human warping board” in a parking lot that amused diners in a nearby restaurant . . . however, that’s a different story.
An inkle loom is the equivalent of a two-shaft loom. Warp-faced bands are the most frequent thing woven; however, it’s capable of much more. The images below are samples I made when exploring two-shaft rep weave, shibori, and weaving with wire (to name just a few)
Since my first inkle loom warp, I have had many inkle weaving adventures, from publishing a monograph Handwoven Decorative Trim: An introduction to weaving passementerie trims to working with Richard Ashford of Ashford Handicrafts in New Zealand to develop their small inkle loom, the Inklette . . . . a small portable inkle loom for the weaver-on-the-go.
There are many resources available to help get you started.
First, there is a monograph written by Mary Meigs Atwater, How to Weave on the Inkle Loom, and is available at http://handweaving.net/DAItemDetail.aspx?ItemID=1593)
Below is an image of Mary Meigs Atwater weaving on her inkle loom. She believed inkle weaving should be a part of every weavers repertoire (I happen to agree with her). Several years ago while I was teaching a workshop for the Mary Meigs Atwater Guild in Salt Lake City, UT, I was fortunate to see the inkle loom in the image. It was thrilling to learn the loom is still being used!
In addition to her monograph, there are a variety of other web-based resources to help you learn and be inspired by a loom many overlook or having collecting dust in the back of a closet.
Weaving on the Inkle Loom article by Mary Meigs Atwater – http://handweaving.net/DAItemDetail.aspx?ItemID=8060
Beginning Inkle Weaving by Heather Heroldt – http://www.heatherspages.net/uploads/6/7/2/6/6726652/beginning_inkle_weaving.pdf
Inkle Weaving 101 blog post by Sara Lamb – http://saralamb.blogspot.com/2006/05/inkle-weaving-101.html
Inkle Weaving web-based write-up by Earth Guild – http://www.earthguild.com/products/riff/rinkle.htm
Give it a shot! Gather a few weavers together and begin to explore the potential of inkle weaving!