Saturday, March 13, 2010

There Are Many Ways to Get Warped

And this is only one way. No, we're not having a warped sense of humor or playing a warped record, building with a warped board and no, there is no warped mind involved--well, maybe, just a little warped! The Loom is warped!! Hurrah! It's been a long time since warping has taken place in this household.

What is warped, you say to yourself or the person sitting across the room? According to the handy dandy "Rigmaroles & Ragamuffins" book by Elinor Kapp: 'The warp is the word for a series of threads that stretched in one direction, usually the length of the intended fabric, to make a base. The word warp came originally from an Indo-European base wer, from which descended the Latin vertere, to turn and the Germanic werb. From these we get warped, meaning bent or twisted..' You've got to love that book!! In other words, the loom has been threaded and it's ready to be woven.

First step, figure out the math(and this is one reason why math studies should have been strengthen in school). Say, you want to make a towel @ 10" wide, 20 threads per inch--you multiply to get the total number of ends per inch (epi) and wind that warp. But, wait--how long will each of those threads need to be? let's count on 5 yards in length--well, that's a lot of thread! check that cone of yarn to make sure you have plenty on hand before winding 200 threads, five yards in length = say, how much? Oh, gee, got to get the calculator-well, that's 1000 yards
Alright, the threads have been wound around the warping board (seen in previous blog) and you chain off all that yardage. Aren't these lovely lease sticks? Made by Michael Harris from Mississippi--he does wonderful inlay work. Lease sticks keep the threads orderly.
And now you must pull each of those threads through the reed, which is 10 dent per inch--2 threads per dent = 20 epi. We aren't aiming for tight weave with this setup.
Through the eyes of each heddle. This is a four harness (or shaft) loom. and in order to get an interesting weave structure, a pattern of pulling through each heddle must be followed. Pull one thread through heddle on harness #1, then thread through harness #2, etc. Weavers have elaborate threading books with intricate threadings to follow--it's like reading a Chinese puzzle sometimes.
Tie the loose threads onto the back beam and roll on. Here is the front look. This is warping from the front to the back. Remember, this is just one way you can get warped. Tie all those loose threads, which now have been contained and placed in their perfect order, to the front beam and begin to throw the shuttle.
It's those first few throws that gives you pause to worry--did all the threads go where they were suppose to? did one get crossed over another? Throw the shuttle, even out the ties and hold your mouth right and YES, we are warped!!


  1. Yes, you are warped, in more than one way but all of them good. :) What in the world are you going to weave? A beach blanket, perhaps?

  2. Looks like cotton. Is the blue hand dyed?