Tag Archives: linen

The perils of warping

warping-finger I’m really not making a rude sign in this picture. In the middle of retying the linen warp for the next project, I noticed this big friction blister that had already had the skin rubbed off.  This warp had so many problems that I investigated ways to warp differently. Katie Reeder Meek’s book  Warping with a Trapeze and Dance With Your Loom came to mind first. Here’s a bit about her technique from a participant in one of her workshops. Purrington makes a trapeze that fits all looms. I also read some articles about a “warping valet, which is kind of the same principle as the trapeze. Warped for Good is a blog that has pictures and a video. She also has an Etsy shop.

Laura Fry has several posts on her blog about her “warping valet.”  I’m going to peruse all of those more closely if the new tie-on doesn’t solve my problems. So far the warp looks good, with no loose ends drooping down in slackness. It’s going to be a while before weaving starts because the next piece is going to be ikat, and that requires tying, dyeing, and untying. I’m looking forward to weaving it though.

Now for the good news about this linen warp–I really like the heft it gives to the finished piece and the sheen and the smoothness (sometimes called slippery by me) of the yarn. Ends will be woven in today.

Linen warp problem…solution?

Taken directly facing the loom

Taken directly facing the loom

Same set-up from different angle.

Same set-up from different angle.








Yep, this is my first time using linen as warp. And yes, this is embarrassing to relate, but … What I thought was my perfectly tensioned–okay, not perfectly, but good–warp is not so much. I consistently had some loose warps, which is a problem when that warp in the interlock warp. First I tried hanging weights from the offending warps. Didn’t work so well. Then I had the brilliant idea of raising those warps and inserting a stick. Better, but they moved when I advanced the warp. Duh!

Several sticks, pulled down closer to the warp beam. So far, so good.

( Several sticks, pulled down closer to the warp beam. So far, so good.

They worked best when the sticks rested on the beam above the warp beam. More sticks, new location. Works! By the way, I am the full 60 inches of the warp width. All the ends are through the heddles and reed, but the extra width hangs in front when it’s not being used. When I finish a piece, I cut off the extra part also and use that to measure how much of the warp I’ve used.

(Each peg of the sectional warp beam has tubing over it in the hope that warps won’t get tangled or caught on the pegs. Only works sometimes.)

Organized chaos


From Hokett Would Work

Lease stick holders from Hokett Would Work

This is how things looked after getting the warp on the beam and before tying to old warp.

This is how things looked after getting the warp on the beam and before tying to old warp.

I’m sure others can do this whole warping and tying on to an old warp in a much neater way. Maybe I’ll be able to do it also after another few dozen efforts, because I learn something NOT to do every time.

Before all the tying of warp ends, here’s what it looked like. A little less chaotic. The lease sticks had been inserted into the old warp and placed into the lease stick holders. Then the whole business of tying individual ends.



After all the ends are tied–total chaos!


The linen is being used double and the old warp is single.

The tah dah moment after all the knots have passed through the heddles and reed. Doesn’t a warp look good on the warp beam coming over the back beam?

On and my careful calculations as for as warp needs? Wrong! But the error has been corrected for the future. My spreadsheet:  Spreadsheet So what did I learn this time?

 Tying old warp to new 

  • Insert lease sticks while old warp is attached to apron rod and under tension
  • Masking tape to hold ends down on lease sticks
  • Use lease stick holders http://wouldworkifhewantedto.wordpress.com/2013/04/06/lease-stick-holders/
  • Cut old warp in front of reed, knot in groups of 8
  • Wind warp using warping wheel
  • Wind extra end for each selvedge
  • Trim ends of warp before taping ends to warp in section
  • Tie each new end to old end

Had to add one last thing. Linen is very slippery. I had been told that but didn’t really consider it. This is the first warp that I’ve had that will just slip out of the heddles as you work on one of its neighbors!