Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Posted by Peg in South Carolina


When I thread, I pull out a group of heddles.  In the case of this crackle warp, I pull out eight heddles—the four heddles for the first unit on shafts 1-4 and the four heddles for the second unit on shafts 5-8.  After I have threaded them I pull out the next group of eight from that block, thread them, then go on to the next eight.


When I have threaded all the heddles for a given block I go about checking my accuracy. 

To do this I normally pull at each thread and, if it is threaded correctly, put it in my right hand, continuing this way until all the threaded heddles have been checked.  Assuming they are all correct, I then tie the group in a slip knot and then proceed to the next threading block.

Threading heddles

In the photo (the colors are totally inaccurate, but for this color accuracy is unimportant) you can see the checked groups of warp ends with their slip knots.  To the left is the next group of warp ends to be threaded, but I have not yet pulled out any heddles.


But checking a 60/2 silk threading?  I can’t see the gossamer stuff! Even with my miner’s light on my head, trying to find individual warp ends is a nightmare.  More than halfway through the threading I realized that I do NOT have to grope for the thread itself;  I can simply select the correct heddle.  If the correct heddle is threaded (and not crossed), I slip the warp end high into my right hand and proceed until I am done and ready to tie the slip knot.


Once upon a time I used to just eyeball the threading.  I could get away with it (well, pretty much) if I were using thick yarn.  But the finer the yarn, the more I need to actually check each warp end individually using my fingers.

Of course, this method appears to slow things down.  In reality it does not.  Nothing is more time-consuming than re-threading to correct an error, even if the only thing that needs to be done is to insert a repair heddle.  More likely, total rethreading of a large number of warp ends is called for when there is an error.  And that is really time-consuming.

Checking the Threading”  was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on June 1, 2010. ©2010 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina.


SOiNTOiT said...

I've always done the same thing! I don't think I could proceed to the next step without that last self re-check. (I still hold my breath, the first few inches wondering if a 'distraction' or misunderstanding is going to rear its ugly head and am always so amazed that something so complicated, taking so much focus, can come out perfectly!)

Spinning Out of Control said...

Very good advice. I need a lot of light when threading and checking myself afterwards. Luckily, my loom is by our big front windows so that helps.

Peg in South Carolina said...

Well, mine may well not come out perfectly............. Thanks for visiting my blog. Now, why are you a weaver when you create such beautiful art work using surface design techniques?

Peg in South Carolina said...

And the older I get, the more light i seem to need.....

Anonymous said...

Check, re-check and check again....is my motto.

Peg in South Carolina said...

Shirley, a very good motto! I have very slowly and painfully been converted to it.

Delighted Hands said...

There are a lot of steps that are a bit laborious but when you get the the dancing/weaving part-it is all worth it!!!

Peg in South Carolina said...

Nice to hear from you, Delighted Hands. I don't mind threading; I almost enjoy it. It's just that I had no concept, when I began, just how many heddles 1600 were! Perhaps having to add 500 heddles to my loom to thread the project ought to have given me a clue..........!