Thursday, April 3, 2008


I'm almost ready to start winding the warp onto the back beam. I have yet to hang the weights off the front of the loom. These will tension the warp so that I can move the lease sticks up the warp to clear all the threads.


I move the lease sticks individually. I have moved the first one up. This one will stay up there until I start winding the warp. The second one I will move up also, but it will slide back down to the raddle. That doesn't matter. The warp will flow nicely through the stick.

Note the excellent view of my very amateurish nail pounding........


The rod is now safely on the back beam. It is running parallel to the warp beam. That is critical. If it does not run parallel, the warp will go on crooked and as you weave, the warp tension will get increasingly uneven.


And now it is time to put on the warping sticks. The LeClerc back beam is not round; it is octagonal. I put on eight sticks. Then I wind two to three layers and put on another eight sticks. I continue this way until the warp is wound.

Because the warp is bombyx silk, fine, and very slippery, I insert the warp sticks frequently. I don't want any slippage.


Remember twists? I'm not done with watching for them. The bout on the right shows what they should look like as I wind them on to the beam: a ribbon of yarn.

The bout to its immediate left shows what they should not be: a round twisted group of yarns. And the bout on the left is not so great either. So I straighten them out before I even try pushing the lease sticks up in preparation for more winding on.


Below, the last of the warp has been wound on. I have removed the front beam, the cloth beam, and the top half of the beater. I have moved the lease sticks up close to the heddles and attached them to the side pieces of the loom. And I have put books under the shafts to lift them up to a comfortable threading height.


All in all, the warp wound on nicely with little trouble. Only one small problem: a knot appeared out of nowhere on one of the warp ends. Of course it wanted to glue itself to neighboring warp ends. And I will have to watch for that little devil when I start to weave so that I can cut it out right at the back beam and treat it as a broken end. If I don't do that, its attaching to neighbors will likely raise havoc with my sheds. Another reason to get rid of knots while making the warp to begin with!

Related Post:

Even Warp Tensioning
Here are the Warp Bouts


Janice said...

Peg, these descriptions and pictures are a great help--the detail is so precise. In that part where you say you've found another twist, you say you untwist it--how do you do that at that point without making a mess of the warp?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all that detailed information and great pictures!
Jusr curious - what do you use for warp weights?
Thanks. Isabelle

Laura said...

Hi Peg,

When I tie the cross, I tie the four arms of the 'X', not the waist. Makes it *much* easier to find the actual cross and insert the lease sticks properly. :)



Peg in South Carolina said...

Laura, a tie the waist AND the four arms. You are right, the four arms tied makes it very easy to insert the lease sticks but, in the case of fine and dark colored warps (and perhaps ageing eyes, though mine have stayed pretty good)it doesn't guarantee that there won't be a twist. The tie at the waist is the counting thread. When it is important that all bouts face the same direction, I can easily tell from the bow which side is which.