From the previous example, or from your project plan calculations, you will have
determined that you will need to prepare a warp of 390 ends, each 3.5 yards in length.
Special tools have been created that will help you to do this – Warping Boards and Warping Mills. If you don’t have
access to a warping board or mill, you can thread your yarn by wrapping it around
anything that is the correct distance apart, such as the backs of 2 chairs, making sure
that you create a cross in the yarn with each revolution.
Warping Boards are generally used for projects up to 13 yards in length. Longer warps
require a Warping Mill. On a Warping board, the distance between each peg is generally 1
yard. If your project is shorter than 12 yards, it is usually easier to thread your warp
using the full length of the board.
This photo shows a 5 yard warp length.
The example given above required a 3.5 yard warp length. I usually round up 1/2 yards to
the nearest yard (if I have sufficient yarn) i.e. 4 yards. To begin warping, I tie the
yarn to the first peg on the top Right side of the warping board. Going Left, I run the
yarn Over the first peg and Under the following peg, then Over the far Left peg and
reverse direction. Then to the next peg on the Right side of the board, reverse direction
and on to the next peg on the Left side of the board and so on until there is a length of
4 yards on the warping board.
Then reverse direction and work your way back up to the top of the warping board. At the
top, go over the Left peg, Over the next one, Under the following and back to the Far
Right peg. This creates a Cross in the warp
chain. The Cross is very important, as it keeps the warp yarns in the order that you
In the above example, you would repeat this procedure until you have 390 ends. A warping
board doesn’t generally hold 390 ends, so you will need make several warp chains. I
usually do chains of 50 – 100 ends depending on the thickness of the yarn.
To keep track of the number of ends that I have wound onto the board, I use a counting
thread; a contrasting piece of yarn and lace the ends in groups of 10.
Keep Even Tension
As you are winding the warp, you might find that the tension on the warp may tend to get
tighter. If this is occurring, you will notice that the pegs are drawing in. For this
reason, many warping boards do not have the pegs glued in. If the warp is tightening too
much, the pegs will come loose rather than breaking on you. Try to keep an even tension
while winding on. Otherwise, as the tension increases, each successive warp end is
shortening and you will end up with a warp of different lengths.
Warping Board Plans
How to make a warping board.
Step 1. Choose your project and yarns.
Step 2. Determine the sett of your cloth, or how many threads per inch the fabric will be.
Step 3. Choose the correct Reed
Step 4. Calculate the Yarn requirements.
Step 5. Wind the Warp using a warping board or warping mill.
Step 6. Remove the warp chains and place them on the loom.
Step 7. Sley the Reed.
Step 8. Thread the heddles, following the draft plan.
Step 9. Wind the warp onto the back beam
Step 10. Tie the warp ends to the front beam.
Congratulations! Now you a ready to Weave!
Beginner Weaving Books
Weaving Made Easy: 17 Projects Using a Simple Loom
The small, portable rigid heddle loom can be used to easily produce loose, drape-friendly fabric as well as dense, sturdy material.
UK: Weaving Made Easy
The Weaver’s Idea Book: Creative Cloth on a Rigid Heddle Loom
Techniques include leno, Brooks bouquet, soumak, and embroidery on fabric.
UK: Weavers Idea Book
Collapse Weave: Creating Three-Dimensional Cloth
Collapse cloth when removed from the loom and washed, takes on an entirely different appearance as the threads draw up and create puckers.
UK: Collapse Weave