Warp factor meh

I’ve warped up quite a few warp weighted looms for museums all the proper size with hand spun threads. However in my day to day life I use a working model of a warp wieght because- a) I rarely have time to set up a full size loom in schools ( the mini one can travel fully warped and just slip in and out of the van) b) it’s a better size for children to demonstrate with. I always stress that the loom is a toy size, and I warp it with linen string because a) it takes a lot of punishment and I have to Penelope it about once a week, and b) string is a little thicker so everyone can see how it works more easily.

The process of warping up is exactly the same with the baby loom though. I like to start with a tablet woven header tape

I use use two wefts, one of wool and one of string, alternating them on each turn. Becuase this is a demo loom I want the warps nicely spaced for visual clarity. Each time I take the weft/ warp string through I take it across the other side of the room to wrap around a fixed point, in this case my embroidery frame, it’s important to always wind in the same direction.


Winding in the same direction each time means that when you cut the weft/warp at the winding point you get two distinct sets of thread – these will become your front and back sheds.


You can then chain these warps separately, marking each with a different colour so you know which ifs front and back.


Jobs like this are why I had Gareth make my frame at slight variance with authenticity and put a shelf in.


Once all of the weft/warps are woven in and chained, you can sew it to the top bar of the loom. I use a pipecleaner as a needle.


Once that’s attached you can flip the top set of threads out of the way so you’ve got easy access to the back set.


In this case I’m reusing the old heddles to save time ( a practice attested to by Hoffman), so the next step is to thread each weft/ warp through the heddles, making sure to run each one down from the tablet weave so they stay in the correct order.


Then chain stitch the bottom of the warp to space it evenly, again making sure all the threads stay in correct order. Make sure not to chain to close to the heddles.


Now ow you can bring the top set of weft/warps down and thread them in between the heddles, again taking care to run each thread down from the tablet weave so that they stay in the right order. Chain that one too and you’re ready to weave.


The nice thing about using the heddles over again is that if you had a nice clear shed with the last warp you get the same again.

~ by opusanglicanum on July 11, 2015.

7 Responses to “Warp factor meh”

  1. I’m sure that anything that made life easier was adopted with alacrity! Our ancestors weren’t stupid, they just had less knowledge than we do…

    • Exactly, often when trying to explain history you have to get past the assumption that lack of technology equals stupidity, whereas I think it’s often the opposite- we think we are clever because we have an iPhone, but how many iPhone users could actually explain how it works?

      • Exactly.
        Almost none of them!
        And when we do try to come up with low-tech solutions, I think we tend to over-engineer, instead of genuinely doing the simplest thing that will work.

  2. My goodness, that looks like hard work – even on a mini scale with a few shortcuts. I think I’m lucky to stick to embroidery, where all the hard work of weaving has already been done by someone else.

  3. Fascinating but looks way to complicated for me – I’ll stick to a needle!

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