Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Warping a rigid heddle loom with Clare Minty

Last Sunday we dusted off our rigid heddle looms for an excellent weaving workshop given by Clare Minty.  Clare brought her years of experience as a professional weaver to solve many of the niggly problems of warping up a loom on your own, and showed clearly and concisely how to achieve a balanced, properly tensioned warp "without tears".   She dealt with all aspects of the process, from assessing the sett of the yarns to making a balanced tabby weave.
Along the way, we picked up a host of useful tips - do the warping with loom and warping peg on a long table; always thread through the holes of the reed when winding the warp (if you thread through the slots the warp sags on its' way back to the warping post); use clips as temporary fastenings for groups of thread at the back of the loom while you change colour; use simple but firm ties on the peg end to separate slot and hole threads.   Best tips of all:  don't remove the warp from the peg when you wind on, but simply slide the loom along the table towards the peg as you turn the back beam round.  And don't beat the weft into place - "place" it into position!
At the end of the day, the participants had warped up their looms successfully and were eager to get on with their new weaving projects.  Our many thanks go to Clare for sharing her expertise.

All secure with weights and G-cramp  (to hold the loom) and small clamps (to hold the warp).
Unwinding tidily from the middle of the ball of yarn.

All the ends through the holes (only) at this stage.

The loom trundling along under firm control as Clare winds the warp onto the back beam.

Sleying the reed:  every other thread now passes through a slot.

Threads now tied on, and a couple of pieces of card in position to spread the warp threads parallel to each other.

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