Like all fiber arts, weaving is a dive into antiquity, but our Soumak Weave Scarf pinpoints your time travel to Anatolia circa the 7th century BC, the birthplace of the soumak technique. Used then (and now!) to create things like sturdy rugs and saddlebags, here we use it to form rows of raised twisted stitches that flow across the width of this beautiful and timeless scarf!

Soumak Weave Scarf | Purl Soho

You’ll breeze through the plain weave sections on our favorite table-size Cricket Loom from Schacht Spindle Co. And for the single soumak rows, you’ll use a tapestry needle (called a sou in ancient Persian) to make little half hitches across the row, moving forward four warp threads and back two. But don’t worry, we explain it all in the pattern below!

Soumak Weave Scarf | Purl Soho

For the main yarn of our Soumak Weave Scarf, we chose our Understory, a super soft and squishy mixture of baby alpaca, baby yak, and silk. And for the rows of soumak weave, we used Mulberry Merino, whose shiny silk component makes a very nice contrast to Understory’s earthiness.

Soumak Weave Scarf | Purl Soho

We’ve made it easy for you to jump right into this project by assembling all you need in our Soumak Weave Scarf Bundles: three skeins of Understory and one of Mulberry Merino. Pick from three soft, neutral palettes, and hit warp speed for your travel back in time!

Soumak Weave Scarf | Purl Soho

Designed for Purl Soho by Carrie Laing.

MATERIALS

Soumak Weave Scarf | Purl Soho

Our Soumak Scarf Bundle includes enough yarn to make one scarf.  It includes….

  • Warp Yarn + Weft Yarn A: 3 skeins of Purl Soho’s Understory, 50% baby alpaca, 25% baby yak, and 25% silk.
  • Weft Yarn B: 1 skein of Purl Soho’s Mulberry Merino, 80% extra fine merino wool and 20% mulberry silk.

Choose from three color palettes…

SILVER BERRY (Shown above, we used this palette for our sample): Understory in Silver Berry + Mulberry Merino in Peach Stone

WILLOW BARK (left): Understory in Willow Bark + Mulberry Merino in Field Mouse

PINK EARTH (right): Understory in Pink Earth + Mulberry Merino in Baby Fawn

You’ll also need…..

STRUCTURE

Plain Weave + Soumak Weave

WARP

Warp Length: 96 inches (includes 26 inches of loom waste)

Warp Ends: 114

Width in Reed: 14 inches

Ends Per Inch (E.P.I): 8

Picks Per Inch (P.P.I): 10

SIZE

Finished Dimensions, Unblocked: 12 1/2 inches x  74 1/2 inches long with a 1/2 inch fringe

Finished Dimensions, Blocked: 12 1/4 inches x 74 inches long with a 1/2 inch of fringe

NOTES

Using The Cricket Loom

Cricket Looms come with a very user-friendly instructional booklet that walks you through every step of the weaving process, from assembling the loom to tying the fringe. For even more guidance, check out our Cricket Loom Tips.

Working Soumak Weave

To begin, place the heddle in neutral position and thread a tapestry needle with approximately 30 inches of Weft Yarn B.

Set Up

Soumak Weave Scarf | Purl Soho

Starting from the right and moving left, pass the threaded needle over the first 2 warp threads.

Soumak Weave Scarf | Purl Soho

Then moving right, bring the needle back under the first 2 warp threads.

Soumak Weave Scarf | Purl Soho

Pull the yarn through, leaving a 3-inch tail lying on top of the first 2 warp threads.

Continue

Soumak Weave Scarf | Purl Soho

Moving left, pass the threaded needle over the next 4 warp threads…

Soumak Weave Scarf | Purl Soho

… then moving right, back under the previous 2 warp threads, coming out above the warp and creating a loop.

Soumak Weave Scarf | Purl Soho

Pass the needle through the loop and pull tight.

Soumak Weave Scarf | Purl Soho

Repeat by passing the threaded needle over the next 4 warp threads to the left, then back under the previous 2 warp threads to the right, pulling the needle out above the warp threads and through the loop.

Continue in this pattern across the width of your warp.

PATTERN

Warp The Loom

Set up the warping peg 96 inches from the front of the loom.

Tie one skein of the Warp Yarn to the back apron bar.

With a 8-dent reed in place, begin threading the heddle by pulling the first loop of yarn through the second slat from the right end of the reed.

Working from right to left, thread the next 56 slats, so there are 57 slats threaded in total.

Tie the yarn to the back apron bar.

Wind on the warp using paper to separate the layers.

Working from right to left, thread the yarn through each of the holes on the heddle.

You should have a total of 114 warp threads.

Tie the warp threads on to the front apron bar in groups of 6.

Weave

Wind a shuttle with Weft Yarn A.

With scrap yarn, or using the Weft Yarn doubled, weave a couple of inches until the warp threads are evenly spread out.

NOTE: When you pass the shuttle through the shed for the first row, leave a 36-inch tail, which you will use at the end for finishing.

**With Weft Yarn A, weave in plain weave for 16 rows.

With Weft Yarn B, weave a row of soumak weaving (see Notes, above).

With Weft Yarn A, weave in plain weave for 20 rows.

With Weft Yarn B, weave a row of soumak weaving.

With Weft Yarn A, weave in plain weave for 4 rows.

With Weft Yarn B, weave a row of soumak weaving.

With Weft Yarn A, weave in plain weave for 4 rows.

With Weft Yarn B, weave a row of soumak weaving.

With Weft Yarn A, weave in plain weave for 10 rows.

With Weft Yarn B, weave a row of soumak weaving.

With Weft Yarn A, weave in plain weave for 26 rows.

With Weft Yarn B, weave a row of soumak weaving.

With Weft Yarn A, weave in plain weave for 4 rows.

With Weft Yarn B, weave a row of soumak weaving.

With Weft Yarn A, weave in plain weave for 7 rows.

With Weft Yarn B, weave a row of soumak weaving.

With Weft Yarn A, weave in plain weave for 14 rows.

With Weft Yarn B, weave a row of soumak weaving.

With Weft Yarn A, weave in plain weave for 3 rows.

With Weft Yarn B, weave a row of soumak weaving.

With Weft Yarn A, weave in plain weave for 3 rows.

With Weft Yarn B, weave a row of soumak weaving.

With Weft Yarn A, weave in plain weave for 3 rows.

With Weft Yarn B, weave a row of soumak weaving.

Repeat from ** 6 more times.

With Weft Yarn A, weave in plain weave for 16 rows.

Leave a 36-inch tail of weft yarn for finishing.

FINISH

For a complete how-to on this step, visit our Finishing with Hemstitch Tutorial.
Use the 36-inch tails to finish each end of the scarf with a hemstitch.

Make the hemstitch around groups of 6 warp ends across the width of the scarf.

Cut the fringe 1/2 inch from the end of the weaving and weave in the hemstitch tails.

Weave in the tails of each soumak row directly under the row, on the side of the scarf that wasn’t facing you as you were weaving. This will create a nice, neat row and make the tails practically invisible!

Gently hand wash your finished scarf in cold water, laying it flat to dry.

Soumak Weave Scarf | Purl Soho