Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

Test weaving the warp

I finally got the warp lashed on successfully.  The next step was to treadle tabbies to discover problems.  And there was a problem.


A bad spot where warp ends were crossed at the reed.  It took me three attempts before I finally got it right.  I always have problems trying to figure out how to fix this kind of a problem.  It always involves experimenting.  But I’m much calmer about it that I was.  Especially when it occurs in only one place.


The orange you see consists of shots of tabbies in some 60/2 silk I had leftover from another project.  Throwing these involved dealing with sheds that did not want to clear big time.  Each time I treadled I had to clear the sheds manually before I threw the shuttle. I used a long pickup stick and my hands to clear the sheds.  Gradually there were fewer and fewer threads blocking the sheds.


I have a cosmetics mirror standing on a table next to the loom, positioned so that I can see through the sheds from one end to the other. I used to use two mirrors, one on each side of the loom.  I broke one of the mirrors.  And now I’m finding that one mirror is sufficient.


When things started settling down a bit, I started weaving crackle.  It’s not very visible here but I was throwing shots of blue 60/2 silk pattern weft alternating with shots of orange 120/2 silk for the tabby wefts.  Again, lots of clearing of sheds.  But slowly in got to the point where strumming the top of warp would clear the sheds and I would need need only a few ends to clear.

I still have two more sheds to work on till they start clearing more easily.

It is typical for my silk warps to take a bit of weaving before the clearing of sheds really settles out.  Maybe five or six inches.  In any case, right now I am going to use this test weaving, so to speak, for trying out part of the treadling design I have worked out, and trying different ways of using colors in the treadling.  I will continue to use leftover yarn, partly because I still have to wind the bobbins for this warp.  But also, I think it will be kind of fun to try using wildly different and unplanned colors just to see what happens.

I had been worried about how such a wide warp would handle in 60/2 silk.  Up till now I have only woven narrow things, generally 10” to 12” wide.  I am pleased that this warp is behaving so very well.  It is nice to be weaving again!

Test Weaving the Warp” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on August 4, 2010. ©2010 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina


Delighted Hands said...

Yippee! Weaving at last....let the fun begin! (Only one spot of crossed threads? Good work!)

PegAlex said...

thank you for such detailed photos.
this wee grasshopper is learning much at the side of your loom.


Annie said...

My weaving teacher always told me a warp won't 'behave' until the woven part has passed the breast beam!

Peg in South Carolina said...

Thank you Delighted Hands and PegAlex. Annie, I am so glad to know that a weaving teacher says that!