When my friend, Karma, asked me if I used this trick, I was blown away by it's cleverness and wondered why I hadn't thought of it myself. I thought everyone should know, so I'm sharing. It's one of the tips which will be included in the inkle design book I'm working on.
By using a comb with long, straight teeth, you can preview a design without even having to set up a loom. Simply weave under and over the teeth in the comb. Even numbered teeth will represent one shed, and odd numbered teeth, the other.
After weaving the preview on the comb at left, I decided to omit the motif in the center.
The actual woven strap is shown at right.
In this photo, with the woven comb laid on top of the woven strap, you can see how well the woven comb mimics the woven strap design.
The spacing on this comb is a bit wider, so the pattern is stretched out a bit from what the actual woven design is.
I searched for the perfect comb with long and strong teeth. The comb used here is actually a vintage angelfood cake cutter. It's a little bit bigger than needed.
My search finally led me to this hair pick, or Afro pick. I bought a large quantity to get a good price.
So, now they are for sale here in my Etsy shop: