|Warping or Dressing the Loom
Winding a warp is just a matter of measuring all of the
warp threads, so they are of equal length. To keep them
all in order, the threads are crossed. The warp is taken
off the reel by making a single crochet chain.
The warping reel that I used was copied from one at the
Penland School. The original was hung on the wall, but
we made a floor stand for it. It folds for storage.
There are many ways of getting a warp onto a loom in preparation for weaving. I
thread the loom from the front, although many weavers choose to thread from
the back. Threading through the front works best for the type of weaving I do
and the yarns I like to use.
After deciding on the pattern and how many threads in the warp, the warp is then
wound and threaded onto the loom through the dents and then through the
heddles and wound onto the back beam.
Threading the reed is the initial process of putting the warp on
the loom. At the front of the loom in the beater is the reed.
The spaces in the reed are called dents and they are set at so
many per inch. The threads go through one at a time, two at a
time, or in some other sequence to denote threads per inch.
After the reed is threaded, the threads go through
heddles on harnesses or shafts in the correct sequence
of the pattern to be woven. Shown here, I am
threading a Summer & Winter pattern on 10 harnesses.
On this loom, the heddles are made of medal and are the
type used by commercial production looms.
It is very easy to make a mistake, so I count out the heddles I
use in a section and then check them after that section is
threaded. Each section is tied in a hard knot after threading.
Instead of tying directly onto the back beam, I have
yarn loops that I slot my warp sections through. I find
this process much quicker that tying knots.
The warp is next pulled through the reed, through the heddles
and wound onto the back bean. It is important to have equal
tension on the threads. To help maintain equal tension, I insert
corrugated cardboard between the rows of yarn as they build
up on the back beam.
Slowly the warp is taken out of the crochet chain as
the warp is wound onto the back beam.
When the warp is wound onto the loom, the warp is
tied onto the front beam or cloth beam and the
tension is adjusted. Then one tests for and corrects
mistakes in threading.
After many hours of preparation the warp is on
the loom and weaving can begin.