Monday, June 16, 2008


In the last picture I posted of the current art piece (click here to see it), I severely cropped the image. But in cropping it, I cut off the evidence of a warp issue.   Here it is.

Art piece 2, closing in 

You might not immediately see the problem.  But if you click on the image to blow it up, the problem will jump out at you!





On the third block from each end, the warp threads are consistently loosening up.  This is not a result of faulty beaming. For some reason that I have not been able to work out, the threads on those blocks are not interacting as often with the wefts as are the threads on the other blocks.

This is the kind of thing that can happen with some lace structures.


  1. RETYING:  simply cut off each piece as I finish it and retie on.  Not my favorite solution........
  2. ADD WEIGHTS: add weights to those warp ends.  That will work.  At least until the weights drop to the floor!  So adding weights is really only a temporary solution.
  3. USE A SECOND WARP BEAM: this is the best solution. 
  4. WIND AND HANG SEPARATELY: the solution for those (like me!) who have no second warp beam is to wind the threads in those kinds of blocks separately and hang them, weighted, off the back of the loom in the manner of a supplementary warp.


Looking at the threading, I still don't understand why this particular group of threads should loosen.  If I don't understand this, I will not be able to anticipate the problem in advance and work out the necessary solution.


Here is the drawdown: 

Blocks 2,3,4

Perhaps someone  can come up with an explanation?


© 2008


Dorothy said...

I recall seeing this happen in one of my samples, but I didn't realise what was happening. I wasn't using blocks, so I suppose it was less obvious that some threads had a good reason to be getting loose. As you say, the close-up photo makes it very clear what is happening in your weaving.

Another solution, working in a similar way to weights, is to put something under the loose threads (e.g. piece of foam) that takes up the slack. The method I used when it happened in my weaving was a fishing weight hung on the threads positioned behind the back beam of the loom - in practice this meant hanging below the warp beam.

Why does it happen? Hmm. I'm really curious about this. When I look at your draw down Block three looks similar to the other blocks. Which shaft are the loose threads on?

There's something I don't understand about the draw down, when I look at blocks 4 & 3 it looks like the first three shaft lifts are 2,3,4 (if shaft 4 is at the top). When I look at block 2 it looks like the same lifts are 1,4,3. Sorry if this question is right off track or irrelevant. I'm a bit tired and got big career issues on my mind this evening,so maybe I have missed something simple here.

Anonymous said...

I'm afraid I have very limited experience of lace weaves, so I'm just here to say hmmmm, what an interesting problem.

Looking at the draft I'd expect blocks 2 and 3 to weave up the same, since they have the same pattern of interlacements, while there might be a tiny bit more take-up in block 4, which seems to have two "plain weave" ends to one 3/3 rather than the other way about.

Are you using the same treadling throughout? It could be something that is affected by a block change.

Leigh said...

I've had this happen before but thought it was just me! I don't have a clue as to what why it is happening, I'm just relieved to know that it isn't always the weaver's fault.

Peg in South Carolina said...

Dorothy, you aren't including enough shafts in the unit. Each unit has 4 shafts, 1 of which is repeated. 4,2,3,2; 4,3,4,2; and 1,3,4,3. Small differences in each block. Dreadful to thread! I hope the big career issues work out for you.

Peg in South Carolina said...

ahh, but they don't weave up the same! Look at the fabric in the drawdown, though this does become clearer when you use different colors in the wefts. And yes, I am using the same treadling, and a treadling which uses all shafts equally--3,4,5,6,7,8 repeat. I thought maybe the problem was in the tieup but it's not. With that treadling and the tieup I am using, all shafts get used equally. I will probably weight those ends until they drop to the floor and then cut off and tie on to the front beam again.

Peg in South Carolina said...

Leigh, the only thing that is my "fault" is that I can't figure it out!

Susan said...

I may be late to this discussion but if that particular block is not being used as much as the others, then the problem could be 'take up' is less in those blocks. It would not be apparent in a sample but is something that becomes greater on a longer piece. You could place a rod through the two blocks and hang weights on either end so it pulls the threads evenly. I have done this with runners where I have plain weave borders and lace throught the middle. The take up is greater in the plain weave areas and so the edge threads had to go to either a second beam or the method above.
An old mentor told me that take up can be measured as roughly 3" for very yard woven. Can be more depending on the weave structure and as much as 45-50% in rep weave.

Hope this helps... Susan (of Thrums)

Peg in South Carolina said...

Susan, that was my theory. But when I checked the tie up, the shafts were tied up an equal number of times. And the treadling was simply 1,2,3,4,5,6, and repeat, so no treadles were used more than others. I shall probably weight those loose ends, and if the weights end up dropping to the floor, I will remove what I have woven and tie on again for the remaining warp.