Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Winding a Warp

I have no doubt posted about warp winding before but not everyone new to my blog will want to dig through all (nearly!) 1000 posts to find the information so I thought I'd approach the topic again, perhaps adding more information than I've included before.

While my board is rated to 13 meters, I really don't like using every single peg so I pretty much keep my maximum to 11 meters.  The pegs are removable so I only put as many pegs into the board as I actually need to wind my warp.

I don't use a guide string - the first pass of the yarns becomes my guide string, so to speak.  Notice the yarns are pushed well to the back of the pegs, near the board itself.

Some people wind their warps with a great deal of tension and let the yarns creep out along the length of the peg.  The high tension isn't necessary - you only need as much tension as required to keep the threads from sagging.  As always, if you can't be perfect, be consistent.  :)  Ultimately the further out along the length of the peg, the more stress on the peg causing it to bend inwards.  The end result is warp ends that become shorter and shorter the wider a warp you wind.  Taken to the extreme, the peg can actually break off.

I don't overlap the ends as I wind but simply keep pushing the threads to the back of the peg.  This keeps the ends as close to the same length as possible.

The counting string is that bright pink yarn down on the last section of the warp at the bottom left.  I always use a yarn thicker than the warp yarns.  If the junk yarn I'm using is thin, I fold it several times to make it thicker.  The combination of contrasting colour and thicker yarn makes finding and removing the ties much easier.

As usual I tie off the four arms of the X, not around the waist.  I find that tying the waist of the X the yarns become compressed and it is harder to find the next pair (in this instance - I'm winding two ends at a time) in the sequence and the cross tends to get kind of messy.

And here is the warp all ready to be removed from the board.  The cross is tied, the counting string (lower left) is tied, the choke tie is secure and the length of the warp has been tied in two places.

This yarn is fairly co-operative so I don't see the need to tie any more often than this.  I only tie more often if the yarn has twist energy left in it making it unruly.

The more ties you use along the length, the more time is required to remove them and the more chances you have to disrupt the yarns making beaming more difficult.

Notice how close to the base of the peg the yarns are.  This warp is 10" wide (16 epi x 10" = 160 ends).  As mentioned earlier, I don't overlap the ends but simply push succeeding ends as close to the base of the peg as possible.  

Since the pegs are removable it is a simple matter to pull the last peg out of the board to remove the warp.  I don't chain it but simply drop it into a box or plastic tub ready for rough sleying into the reed.  Since this particular warp will be 20" in the reed, I wound just half of it and will wind a second warp the same width.  

Each warp will get weighted separately for beaming using the warping valet.


Anonymous said...

Laura, all of your posts are intriguing and full of good information, but there are two eye-openers in this particular post for which I am very grateful!

One is not tying the "waist" of the cross. Not only did you tell us why you don't do it, you tell us why. Very helpful!

The other is not chaining the warp when you remove it from the warping board. For some reason, I've always hated the oblique movement of the warp threads that's inevitable with chaining, and simply saying that you don't do it, and how you handle the warp (it goes into a tub), is actually liberating.


Laura Fry said...

You're welcome. I didn't like the way the yarns got shifted during chaining either - took a leap of faith and stopped doing it and it was fine. :)

Laura said...

I have struggled with chaining warp my entire weaving life. I can Navajo Ply yarn, but I can't chain a warp. Now I have permission not to! Thanks!

ladyadnama said...

Hi Laura, I am new to weaving and find there is a lot of jargon I am having to learn. In relation to the warp - I have done a lot of reading but the one thing I haven't found is why wind a warp? Can you explain to me the purpose of winding a warp? Thank you. Amanda

Laura Fry said...

Hi, To weave you require two sets of yarn, the warp which is held by the loom and the weft which is in the shuttle, passed back and forth to interlace the two sets of threads together.

Depending on the type of loom you have, winding a warp can be done in several different ways. The way I have shown in the blog post is for people weaving on a table or floor loom. You wind your warp to get the length and width of cloth that you desire for your intended purpose.

For example, my next warp will be 24" wide in the reed, and 7 meters long. I will wind the warp chain in two sections, which will fit more easily on my warping board.

Once the two chains are wound, I will beam the warp onto the warp beam of the loom, thread the heddles, sley the reed, tie on and begin weaving.


ladyadnama said...

Thank you for your explanation. I am making a length of material to lay across the end of my daughter's bed. Luckily I don't have to do anything as difficult as calculate how much weft I need as she wants an "organic" product. That might come for me later as I am becoming quite interested in what can be done with weaving. Another thank you for taking the time to share your knowledge with beginners such as myself.

Rhonda from Baddeck said...

This was perfect timing! I was corresponding with someone last night who was having problems with her warp. I sent her the link to this post and hope it clears up some of her problems/questions.