Tag Archives: 10 steps

Beginner Weaving – Tying Warp: aa110599

When the warp has been evenly wound on to the back beam, you are almost ready to weave. All
that remains is tying on to the front apron rod and checking your tension.

The warp threads are tied to the front apron rod in about 1 inch sections. Bring the bout
of threads over the rod, split the bundle in two, and tie a single overhand knot and tighten
the tension. Repeat this all the way across the warp threads.

front beam knot

Once all the threads have been tied, run your hand lightly across the threads. You should be
able to feel for loose spots – if any of the threads have an uneven tension. Again tighten all
the threads, adjusting any that are loose.

warp tension

Once you feel that the tension is even, then tie a second overhand knot on each thread to
secure them in place.

The next step is to go under your loom and tie the pedals according to the tieup plan in your

draft.

tie warp to loom

Then release the brake and advance the warp forward so that the rod is over the breast beam.
Put the brake back on, and tighten the tension on your loom. You are ready to weave!

Using a contrasting weft color, weave a header – a couple of inches of both tabby and your
pattern. Check for crossed threads and errors in threading. If there are any, you will have to
untie those threads, make the necessary threading corrections, and retie.

weave header

Congratulations! You are done and your warp is ready to go! Happy weaving!

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!
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Beginner Weaving – Beaming: aa110499

Once the warp threads have been securely tied to the back apron rod, you are ready to begin to
wind the remaining warp on to the back beam. This part of the task is a bit easier when you
have another person to help hold the warp tension while you wind on to the back, however, it
isn’t always easy or convenient to find another weaver that is available to assist. But,
it is possible to beam by yourself, though the process is a bit slower.

The method that I use follows:

Starting at the front of the loom, I even the tension on the warp threads by tugging at them
in about 1 – 2 inch intervals, until all the threads are straight. Then I go to the back of
the loom, and turn the back beam about 1/2 a revolution. I go back to the front and again
adjust the tension. I go to the back and again wind another 1/2 a revolution.

loom back beam

Once the warp has gone around once, I place a lease stick (or dowel, paper, or old venetian
blind slats) in between the warp beam and the threads. The lease sticks keep the tension even,
smoothing out any lumps, bumps and knots in the warp. The sticks also prevent the warp threads
from tangling into each other as they wind around the beam.

adjust warp tension

Again, I repeat the procedure of going to the front of the loom, and straightening out the
threads and tightening the tension all along the warp. After 1 1/4 revolutions, I place
another lease stick into the back beam.

loom back beam

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!
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Beginner Weaving – Threading Heddles: aa110399

When all of the warp ends have been sleyed through the reed, I move to the back of the loom.
To make it easier to reach the heddles, the back beam on most looms can be removed or moved
forward. I tape a copy of the threading draft to the loom for reference as I thread the
heddles.

thread loom

I thread starting from the right hand side of the loom and work to the left. Following the draft,
I select the next 4 heddles in the pattern sequence and move them to the right. I then reach
through the heddles and select the next 4 threads from the back of the reed. To keep the threads
in order, I slip them through the four fingers of my left hand and hold them under tension (to
the left of the 4 selected heddles). The threading hook is held in my right hand. Slip the threading hook through the first heddle in the pattern sequence and pick up the
rightmost thread of your left hand and draw it through the heddle. Move the threading hook
into the next heddle of the pattern sequence, pick up the next rightmost thread of your left
hand, and draw through the heddle eye. Repeat for the remaining 2 threads in your left hand.

Select the next 4 heddles of the pattern sequence and move them to the right. Pick up the next
4 threads from the reed and repeat.
twill draft

After each pattern group, I double check the threading, trying to catch any threading errors I
might have made. As some yarns can be quite slippery, I also tie each group of ends that have
been threaded with an overhand knot.

tie warp
Once all the ends have been threaded, they are then tied to the apron rod of the back beam.
Pick up a group of threads (about 1 inch) and slip them over the back rod. Split the bundle in
two and bring the ends under and back up. Tie a knot and secure it with another
knot.
tie warp to loom

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!

Handweaving Books

The Big Book of Weaving: Handweaving in the Swedish Tradition: Techniques, Patterns, Designs and Materials
This book covers basic subjects such as warping a loom and making bobbins of weft, as well as more elaborate, highly decorative projects: baby blankets, shawls, table cloths, and linen hand towels.
UK: Big Book of Weaving

The Treasure Chest of Swedish Weaving
Complete pattern drafts for rugs, curtain, table cloths, towels, bedspreads.
UK: Treasure Chest of Swedish Weaving

Hand Weaving Patterns From Finland
UK: Handweaving Patterns from Finland

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

..more Handweaving books..

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Beginner Weaving – Sley Reed: aa110299

Once you have removed the warp chain from the warping board it is ready to be transferred
onto the lease sticks on your loom. The lease sticks are 2 long sticks that hold the warp
threads in order while you are threading the loom. I usually support the lease sticks by
placing 2 other long sticks at both ends of the loom, running them from the front to the back
beam.

Leclerc counterbalance loom

Put the lease sticks into the two loops that are formed by the cross.

lease sticks

It is best to centre the warp on your loom. In order to do this, measure and find the centre
of your loom. On my looms, I have marked the centre of the beater bar with a permanent marker.
If your finished project is going to be 20″ wide, then measure over from the centre 1/2 of
this amount i.e. 10″. This will be the starting point of your threading the reed.

sley a reed

I usually thread starting from the left and work to the right. Using the lease sticks as the
guide, select the thread on the most lefthand position and pick it up with my left hand.
Holding the threading hook in my right hand, I place it behind the reed and bring the hook
through the reed dent. With the hook, I then pull the thread through the dent. I then move the
hook into the next dent, pick up the following yarn thread in the sequence and repeat.

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 Weaving 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!

How to Make a Warping Board
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Beginner Weaving – Warp Chains: aa110199

warping board

Using a different colored yarn than your warp, tie a loop around the Cross. Then secure
the rest of the warp with additional ties in 1 or 2 yard intervals.

warp cross

To remove the warp from the warping board, a warp chain is made. Starting at the bottom
of the board, put your hand through the loop that is formed. Bring your hand through and
take hold of the warp, drawing it through the loop. Then put your hand through the new loop that is formed and pull the warp through again,
forming a new loop. Repeat until you reach the end of the warp.
warp chain

warp chain

warping chain

warping chain

warp chain

If you want to start weaving right away, you can place the warp chains onto lease
sticks and take it to your loom. If you aren’t ready to weave yet, the warp chains can be safely stored until you wish
to use them. If I am storing them for some time, I attach a note to the chains. I record
details of the project I have planned.

Type of yarn

Total warp length

e.p.i. – # ends per inch

sett

project width

doubling up ends into the same dent if necessary.

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!

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Beginner Weaving – Wind Warp: aa100999

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 Board

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.

warping 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
threaded them.

warp cross

Warp Chains

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.

Counter Thread

counter thread

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!

Weaving Books
The Weaver’s Companion (The Companion Series)
The Weaver’s Companion (The Companion Series)
Learning to Weave
The Big Book of Weaving: Handweaving in the Swedish Tradition: Techniques, Patterns, Designs and Materials

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Beginner Weaving – Calculate yarn: bl092599

Even if you have a pre-determined pattern, it is a good idea to double check that you have sufficient yarn to complete your project.

Take-up and Shrinkage

To calculate the length of warp required, take the length of your finished project and add 10% – 15% for take-up and shrinkage.

e.g.

  • Finished project: Table Runner length = 36″ + 2 inch hems = 40″
  • Take up and shrinkage 15% = 6″
  • Total length = 46″

Loom Waste

You will need additional warp length to be able to tie the warp ends to the back and front of the loom. This is called loom waste. Loom waste is generally about 27″ but I add a full yard for loom waste. This gives me a few additional inches of warp for sampling and playing with new designs or colors.

So, for this project you would need:

46″ + loom waste 36″ = Total 82″ or 2.3 yards warp length.

Make More

Because there is always a considerable amount of loom waste in a weaving project, it is usually advisable to make more than 1 item at a time.

To make 2 table runners, the warp length would be:

2 x 46″ = 92″ + loom waste 36″ = 128″ or 3.5 yards.

Width of Project

Next, you will need to know the desired width of your project. Add 10% – 15% for take-up and shrinkage.

  • Project width: 17″
  • Takeup and shrinkage – 15%: 2.5″
  • Total width: 19.5″

EPI

You will now need to calculate how many ends of yarn you require. Using the sett that you figured out above, multiply the sett (number of ends per inch) times the total width of the project.

  • Sett: 20 epi
  • Total width: 19.5″
  • 18 x 19.5″ = 390 ends

Total Warp

Each warp end will be 3.5 yards long and you will need 390 ends. To calculate the total warp length, multiply the total warp length x the total number of ends.

  • warp length: 3.5 yards
  • # ends: 390
  • 3.5 x 390 = 1365 yards

YPP

Yarn is usually sold by weight, in number of lbs. or grams. The yardage measurement is sometimes shown on the cone of yarn, or you can ask your yarn supplier how many yards per pound there are in the yarn you purchased. The hemp yarn shown above has 1500 yards per pound (ypp). So you would need 1365/1500 = .9 lb. of yarn for the warp.

Table of Yarn Measurements

Weft

Don’t forget that you will need yarn to weave the weft as well. If you are using the same yarn for weft as well, you will need approx. the same amount to complete the two table runners – 1.8 lbs.

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!

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Beginner Weaving – Reed: aa092599

A reed is usually made of metal and sits in the beater. It looks much like a comb with small teeth.It’s purpose is to keep the warp threads spread across the web, at an even distance, and is used to beat the weft threads into place while weaving.

bamboo weaving reed

Reeds come in several standard sizes such as 6, 8, 10 or 12 epi. Metric size reeds are also popular. This table gives some of the more common Inch and Metric size reeds.

Dents per Inch Dents per Centimetre
4 1.5
5 2
6 2.5
8 3
10 4
12 5
15 6
18 7
20 8

Once you have decided on the sett of your project, you will need to choose an appropriate reed. Choose the reed that best distributes your yarn to the appropriate sett.

For example, if your sett is 8 epi then use an 8 dent reed, threading one end into each dent. If your sett is 20 epi, choose a 10 dent reed, threading 2 ends into each dent. If you do not have a selection of reeds to choose from, try to space your yarn evenly in the reed that you have, by doubling up ends into the same dent if necessary.

reed

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!

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