Väv Immersion

Acquire a deep foundational knowledge in this 15-week weaving course
co-sponsored by Fabric of Life & Vävstuga Weaving School

Dates offered: This class will return to the regular schedule in 2019. In 2018 we are offering a 3-week Mini Immersion.

Imagine being immersed in a beautiful rural environment, weaving by day and delving into other textile wonders at night, for an extended period of time. Inspired by the weaving class Becky took in Sweden in 1981, this comprehensive course includes challenging projects and extensive theory classes, resulting in an experience to be remembered for a lifetime. Acquire a deep foundational knowledge of and capability with this age-old craft.

We are honored to have received funding from the Ddora Foundation, a nonprofit organization that seeks to benefit endeavors in the fine and applied arts, cultural preservation, and education. Ddora's generous support expanded the scholarship fund for this weaving intensive. Väv Immersion students ages 18–35 are eligible to apply for this scholarship.


Theory classes

  • fabric analysis
  • designing
  • drafting
  • project planning
  • materials
  • history
  • weaving equipment
  • business management

on your own warp

  • towels in twill variations
  • large blanket
  • yardage
  • tow linen tablecloth
  • bandweaving
  • rag rug

on shared warps

  • basket-weave breadcloths
  • goose-eye tablecloth
  • 10-shaft damask tablecloth
  • monksbelt runner
  • rosepath hanging
  • weft-faced ticking
  • rolakan
  • fine linen overshot
  • drawloom piece

Structured class time will be held 9:00 am – 3:40 pm (3:00 pm on Fridays)

Each project will be experienced in depth with ample time for designing and weaving. Practicing the skills of dressing a loom, along with writing up each detailed project sheet, ensures that you will build the confidence to pursue your own path in weaving after completion of this course.

Good record keeping is required, assuring that each student leaves the program with a sizeable binder or two with a store of precious information.

Fabric analysis sessions will strengthen and reinforce the theory behind the textile structures learned in drafting classes.

Our materials lectures include making invaluable sample cards of cottons, wools, and linens, along with the knowledge of how these various yarns are used and produced.

Inspirational classes in design will engage you in a multitude of techniques and tools for creating your individual masterpieces. A wide range of materials and mediums will be introduced and put to use.

Expand your weaving horizons with a week of Nordic Deflection. You'll experience weaving on many shafts, and using computer programs for drafting patterns and structures.

The study of history and equipment will give a well-rounded view of how the Scandinavian tradition of weaving evolved, and how it has been preserved and passed down to us through several centuries.

Our business portion of the course will teach you the basics on how to sell your work, either to continue weaving as a self-supporting hobby or to turn it into a primary occupation. You will learn how to price your pieces, approach galleries, exhibit at shows, and keep the books. We'll also explore the critical element of learning how to photograph your creations.

Additional textile tidbits

  • nålbindning
  • bobbin lace
  • spinning wool
  • spinning flax
  • processing flax
  • yarn sample cards
  • hemming
  • picnics
  • field trips
  • patterned bands

First-hand account

Tammy's Väv Immersion blog — A fascinating diary from one of our first Immersion students.

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designing with paints

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table linens

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color design

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threading heddles

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Nordic deflection

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monksbelt project

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view from down under

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team beaming

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flax house

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dalldräll in fine linen

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cozy blanket

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ground retting flax

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dressing the distaff

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drafting a plaid

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our special offsite studio

Legacy of 35 years' expertise

Becky Ashenden's 1981 introduction to the wealth of the Swedish textile world at Sätergläntan Hemslöjdens Gård, a school renowned for weaving and other traditional crafts since 1922, gave her the motivation to pursue weaving as a life passion as well as a career. The following 13 years of production and sales added experience to her initial high-level training to build a unique set of complementary skills in both the theory and practice of weaving. Her use of equipment and techniques that have withstood the test of time adds to the value of what she has been offering her students at Vävstuga since 1991. After 35 years of weaving and teaching experience, Becky has now put together a staff to offer this extensive Väv Immersion program to pass on her legacy and expertise in the Scandinavian weaving tradition.

Our 2017 staff:

Becky AshendenMain Instructor
Julie ParsonsTeaching Assistant, Find Your Design Voice, Color Theory, Natural Dyeing
Lisa HillComputer Drafting, Nordic Deflection
Lisa BertoldiSpinning
Bettie Zakon‑AndersonBusiness Management for Weavers
John Leni MarcyPhotographing Your Work

Location: Farm Studio

Prerequisites: None

Max enrollment in 2017: 8

Course fee: $9,500 (includes all instruction and studio time, course handouts)

Materials fee: Woven pieces will be charged by weight (estimated $50/week depending on amount woven, to be paid monthly).

Room & board: $2,750

  • Room at Farmhouse — rooming at our Farmhouse on Bassett Road includes a private or shared room, limited wireless internet, utilities, a small refrigerator for each room, use of a small kitchen during the week, and use of the main kitchen during the weekend for 15 weeks.
  • Room at Vävstuga — rooming at our Dorm on Water Street in Shelburne Falls includes a private or shared room, wireless internet, utilities, and a shared kitchen for 15 weeks.
  • Board — includes 3 meals/day Mon–Thu and 2 meals on Fridays for 15 weeks; storage for your own personal snacks will be provided.

Scholarships: Students between the ages of 18–35 are welcome to apply for scholarship and work exchange opportunities.

Dates offered 2017: Sep 5 – Dec 17

Schedule: Structured class time will be held 9:00–3:40 (until 3:00 on Fridays)