There are several types of weaving:
- Tablet weaving
- Loom weaving
- Various braiding techniques
- Naalbinding (more of a needle lace than true "weaving", though also looks a lot like knitting and was commonly mistaken for it at one time)
- Various knotting techniques
- Various lace techniques
In short, weaving is any technique that takes threads and entangles them in a more-or-less orderly fashion so that you end up with a solid piece of fabric or braid.
In the most common form, weaving is performed on a loom which holds several threads in place (called the warp threads) while the weaver passes another thread back-and-forth, lacing these threads in place (this other thread being called the weft thread).
The warp threads generally form the stengthening shape for the cloth/braid, while the weft thread basically holds them into the shape they are held into while on the loom - so that once the cloth is removed from the loom, it retains its shape.
In period, early wheel-spun techniques for spinning thread made a softer, less strong type of thread than the traditional whorl-spun thread. The wheel-spun threads were actually illegal to use in the warp-thread as they were considered too weak - especially where the cloth/braid was to carry weight. Whorl-spun thread was thus used for quite a long time after spinning wheels were invented and put to use.
The pattern or colour of the finished (woven) fabric depends on the weights, colours, patterns and methods used for the weaving itself and is highly dependant on which style of weaving is done (eg the list at the top of this page).