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Posts from the ‘Warping’ Category

What’s the hurry?

This is a bigger job on the loom at the moment. I’m revisiting a mini disaster of an exquisite double weave fabric, determined this time for it to really work for me. It is a double weave with two different warps creating the one cloth.

Although all of my samples worked last time, I encountered a problem with the dramatically different takeup of the two warps when I placed the full warp on the loom.  This means I should have beamed the two warps separately, on their own warp beams. This is why I have two warp beams on my Toika loom. I really think two warp beams or the ability to have two warps tensioned differently is useful in some types of experimentation in double weave. I’ve made sure that the thicker tencel warp is longer than the other bamboo one for greater take up too.

The warp is 72 ends to the inch and 1500 ends in total. It takes a while to thread it up into the 24 shafts, especially as the threading isn’t particularly straightforward. I have to count out heddles in segments then check as I complete each unit for errors. It’s a lot more arduous than my Saori loom set ups on 2 shafts and to the point that I thought I may never have the time, energy or inclination to work with these types of fabrics again.

Two warp beams for weavingBut then my husband said “what’s the hurry?” Indeed. Fortunately I’m under no pressure to a deadline for this fabric, even if I never finish it in my lifetime. The weave is purely experimental. But if I do finish it – how rewarding. Now that I’ve got the warps set up on their appropriate warp beams surely nothing can go wrong.  Anyway, what’s the hurry.

Time and how it relates to knowing, experience and achievement is an interesting thing. Over the past year I have fallen in love with the violin. The learning of this instrument demands time and only time can give you its sweet sound. I just have to keep with it and the time has to pass to achieve anything. No shortcuts or ways of hurrying it. The action of hurrying isn’t possible. Anything really worthwhile takes time.  My only complaint is when you loose something you have invested time in – it hurts more.  It’s almost as if the heart counts time for us.

Just warping

The cloth palette

The cloth palette

The warping process is a beautiful one!  I know some don’t agree with this but it can be very meditative and affirming in a slightly bizarre way. The way the yarns follow each other in a precise path around the warping board pegs, ordered by a cross and creating a design of the imagination but in the process of becoming a physical cloth. The Saori way of purposely using a random selection of yarns keeps our mind attentive to colour and texture too.  The absolute order and rhythm of warping creates, I think, a right mind for the weaving ahead. A mind of order and peace.  The warping isn’t a free form thing as far as getting those yarns onto the loom in an ordered and even tension for weaving. The Saori set up is more forgiving than others on the loom but you have to have the yarns ordered and thread and sley the loom correctly. There are a few ways to warp up the Saori looms. Read more

The tale of a warp



Learning to create your own warps has always been an integral part of the weaving process. And although the Saori looms have the unique pre-wound warps, there may come a day when you just need your own mix of colours, styles of yarn or different texture. Some people find the whole process meditative and Saori has some equipment that offers some more comfortable ways of building the warp and preparing for weaving. I’ve written an overview of the four different approaches and the equipment needed for each of them here. Read more