Saturday, March 10, 2012

Removing Samples or Projects From a Long Warp

When I weave a new project design using yarn I might not be familiar with, or want to check the sett or shrinkage, I wind extra warp and weave a sample.  This is a pictorial guide to removing the sample in a way that minimizes warp waste, and doesn't require the warp to be tied back onto the front rod.  This is not my idea, just my photos. 

Weave 1/2" to 1" past the sample.  It depends on the yarn thickness--thinner yarn needs less.  Coat that area with Tacky Glue or equivalent and allow it to dry for about 30 minutes.  While it dries, go do stretches, check your e-mail, run a load of laundry, eat lunch, call Mom and Dad, or any number of things being neglected. ;^)

Cut the sample off, leaving the glued strip on the loom.  It's a good idea to remove any individual thread weights from the back of the loom before cutting.

Pull the rods forward, over the breast beam.

Carefully cut the sample from the tie-on rod.
I have already cut one towel off before this one, so my tie-on knots aren't in this photo.  If this was the first sample, this is where the knots would be.

Slide the rod closest to the reed out of the remaining strip and tie-on cords.  I use Texsolv cord to attach my two rods.  Some weavers lace on.  This warp is only about 16" wide, so I only used three tie-on cords, one at each edge of the warp, and one in the center.  The end cords should be as close to the warp edges as possible.  The rod will bow if they aren't close, and that will throw off the warp tension.

While holding tension on the warp, insert a wide stick into a tabby shed.  This is an extra step, but will make it easier to insert the rod, especially if you are doing it without help. 

Find the center of the warp.

 Mark the center with a pencil, on the glued strip.  If lacing is used, or more tie-on cords, mark the spacing on the glued strip.

Insert the rod into the first tie-on cord and then into the shed formed by the stick.  A bit of tension on the warp, and an extra hand helps.  Bob helped me out so I could shoot a picture.

Bring the rod through the warp at the center mark (or at your first mark if you are lacing or using more cords).  Attach the second cord, and then feed the rod through the rest of the shed.


Attach the final cord close to the end of the warp.  Make sure the rod goes through the proper hole in the cord, unlike me, in two pictures above, where I put it in the second hole, instead of the first.  I caught it before I got too much tension on the warp.

  Remove the wide stick, center the rod, and tighten the warp tension.  If you weight your selvedges separately, do so now.

 Weave three picks without beating.  Don't worry about getting them tight against the selvedge threads.  Close the shed and beat multiple times.  The three picks will come together, evenly spreading the warp, and pulling any uneven tension toward you. 

Repeat again, bringing the weft closer to the selvedges.  If it draws in more than the width in the reed, unweave, and do it again.  In most cases, the loom should be ready to weave your project.  I usually weave a few more rows, so I can add my paper clip temples.

I have a lot of baggy warp threads on this piece, because I had been weaving lace with a pick-up design in the middle, so the warp take-up was different across the piece.

The advantages to this technique are:  very little loom waste, no lumpy knots to cover, and the sample can be wet finished before starting on the project.  It can also be used to remove projects before running out of warp.

I hope the photos are helpful.  

Here is a photo of the project I removed from the loom.  It's in taking a bath right now, so the finished project photo will have to come later.  It is Atwater-Bronson lace done with pick-up on a four shaft loom.  The design will show much better after the bath.


  1. Wonderful! Thanks for posting this.

  2. A friend had explained it to me but the pictures make more sense, though I'm ready to dive in there just yet.

  3. Wow! Terrific tip, thanks!