Friday, 27 July 2012

Even warp tension

I'm going to have lunch in 15 mins, it occurred to me I can use that 15 mins for one of my quick blog posts.  I took these photos a couple of weeks ago when setting up my little Greg Meyer Oonagh loom to take along to a Cheshire Guild meeting for people to try multi-shaft weaving.

How to wind a good warp and get it on the loom without tension problems is something every new weaver needs to learn.

I use weights, as they are always around whereas I don't always have a friend handy to hold the warp for me. In some respects weights can work better, as a person has two hands and can hold up to two bundles of warp separately, but you can tie weights on every few inches of warp threads.

Here are my weights, attached to the chained warp.  They are tied to hang slightly above floor level at the start.

I have tied them on with a medium weight linen warp yarn tied in a simple slip knot (or half hitch, depending how you look at it).

When I have wound on enough warp to raise the weights to table height, I stop and re-tie them.

Something I forgot to photograph is the warp winding on the beam with sheets of strong paper, wider than the weaving width, going under the warp threads as they wind on. On my larger looms I have wooden slats for the same purpose. These (paper, sticks, or some people use card) are very important to make sure the warp winds on evenly.

The path of the warp as I wind it on to this loom is over the top of the beater and though the shafts (not at this stage through the reed and heddles, I thread heddles and sley the reed last). On the left hand side you can see a green tie around the warp that I put on when it was on the warping board to keep the threads together, I'm just about to remove this tie.

At the back of the loom the threads are separated alternately over and under the lease sticks (they were prepared for this by making a "cross" on the warping board" and then they are spread out to the width of cloth I am going to weave by the raddle, which on this loom is a permanent feature of the back beam.

That's all for today, 15 mins are up and I will go over time now as I post this to the blog. I hope some new weavers will find this helpful.

EDIT 1st August 2012 add a link to Charlotte's blog Atellier Stellaria so you can see the ingenious 'Weaver's Friend' (besten Freund) invented by Andreas Moeller (see Charlotte's comment on this post).


ladyoftheloom said...

I like the water jug idea! I rarely have a weaving assistant either. Thank you for the post.

charlotte said...

Thanks for your comment on my blog! This was an interresting post - I have never seen this before method before, only heard and read about it. Have you used this method with difficult warps like thin linen? If yes, does it work well? Currently I use a tool called Best Friend for dressing the loom, but I have not dared to used it with thin linen warps.

Dorothy said...

Hi Charlotte, thank you for mentioning the Weaver's Friend, I am very interested to see your photo and the link to the website of Andreas Moeller. I have used weights like this for putting a linen warp on the same loom. It is easy to give linen extra strength by spraying it with water, or maybe you could apply a flax seed size to the warp to protect it before you put the warp through your tension device?

charlotte said...

Thanks for linking to my blog, and thanks for the helpful advice, I will try this :-)