I have blogged previously about fixing tension issues in a warp already wound onto the back beam – that experience was scarring, and since I’ve just come across and tested a much simpler method, at least for the Table loom, I thought I’d report it here.
The problem: I wound a gradient warp involving three colours, so the order of the thread is very important. While the threading looked fine at the cross, somehow the threads had got twisted between the back beam and the cross. I knew it had to be something that would untwist itself, but I did worry that it might create tension problems as I weaved. This is what the back of my look looked like:
What to do?
As it happens, the warp was for a sampler in the wonderful course Understand Double Weave on 8 shafts run by the fantastic Cally Booker. It is impossible for me to convey how mind blowing I am finding this course, but it is pretty amazing, and the clue is in the first word of the title, “understand”: it is not a “recipe” course, but one where every lesson ends with at least one design challenge, where students are asked to put into practice the teaching of the lessons. The emphasis is on block design in double weave, and the possibilities are endless… but I digress.
The short of it is that I asked Cally, and she suggested to finish dressing the loom (so thread the heddles, sley the reed, tie at the front), then bring the whole warp forward onto the cloth beam (packing it with paper to avoid messing up the tension at the front) so as to clear the back beam.
Then sort any problems there, checking that everything is aligned, then rewind back onto the warp beam.
And this is precisely what I did: in an hour it was all done, and my warp looks so very even and pretty!
I will just note here all the steps, just in case I need to to this again:
- dress your loom as usual;
- once the loom is threaded, if they are still there, remove the lease sticks (the heddles will already do the job of keeping the warp threads under tension)
- release the tension on the back beam, and start rolling the warp onto the cloth beam, using a warp separator (heavy lining paper in my case). If there are crossed threads at the back, inevitably they will pull at the heddles as you advance the warp – just give it a shake. It did help to open a few sheds every so often to keep the threads separate and prevent tangles and bunching at the heddles. This pulling is not a bad thing though, as it means that the warp at the front is under tension.
- once the warp has been rolled onto the front beam, if the threads on the back apron rod do not look even, just cut the loops and tie on (as you would for front-to-back warping), checking for even tension.
- Open the two plain weave sheds and insert lease sticks to create a cross – this will keep the winding thension even.
- start beaming the warp on the back beam again, obviously adding warp separators.
- once finished, correct the tension at the front knots
- enjoy how pretty and even your warp is looking!
and you are ready to go!
Just for the sake of completeness, here is the warp viewed from the front, ready to weave, with the gradient layer up: