Native American Technology and Art

Native American Finger Weaving in the Eastern Forests

Instructions for Finger Weaving Belts


1. Use an even number of strands (6-50), depending on the material used and the desired belt width. [Allow for contraction in loose spun yarn when it is tightly woven].

Cut strands to equal lengths.


2. Make clove hitch knot 6-12 " from the end of each strand with the simple diagonal weave (in the center of each strand to make opposing arrows with the chevron weave).

3. Loop the clove hitch knot in each strand over a small stick. Push the strands tightly together.

4. Pull the short ends up, so that the long ends hang suspended from the stick, and tie the short ends together temporarily in an overhand knot (or wrap the ends with masking tape).

5. Secure the knotted end of the strands above the stick to a post or chair, or tape the weaving to a table surface.

6. Twine a short string horizontally around the hanging strands (just below the stick) to keep the weaving from unraveling when the stick is removed.

7. Finish the belt with a row of twining like that at the start .

8. Braid equal numbers of the loose strands into fringe (or twist the strands into a 2-ply fringe).


As weaving progresses, on the right selvage, the last (warp) string is turned from vertical to horizontal, and the strand weaved (as weft) through the warp strings to the left.

Wrap the last (weft) strand around your left palm temporarily while weaving across the next weft strand.

[Left handers may want to weave the mirror image of the diagrams].


As weaving progresses, a strand is taken from just to the left of the center-line and is woven towards the right selvage (under-over). Then a strand is taken from just to the right of the center-line and is woven towards the left selvage (under-over).

For a belt with opposing arrows [<<>>], weave 1/2 of the belt from the center, finish off this end with a row of twining and fringe, remove the stick from the center and the center row of twining, secure the finished end, weave the second 1/2 of the belt from the center out, and finish that end with twining and fringe.


WEFT: the strand that moves through the warp horizontally (over-under pattern).

WARP: the stationary strands hanging vertically.

SELVAGE: the woven edges on either side of the weaving.

Return to Belts, Sashes & Garters

Return to NativeTech's Main Weaving Menu

Weaving Bibliography and Books to Buy On-Line

Go To NativeTech's Home Page

© 1994-1999 Tara Prindle.