do I have to loosen the tension on my rigid heddle if I dont weave for a couple of days?
If your loom has a neutral position for your heddle, leave the RH in that so the tension on the warp threads is even. The neutral position is the same position as when you warp up your loom; the threads lie next to each other and there is no shed. This makes sure there is no extra stretch on either of the warp sheds.this should be OK for a couple of days.
My loom folds so all I have to do is make sure its in the neutral position then fold it without loosening anything, and even so I have problems when I open it again because the tension has changed ever so slightly, so I only fold it at the end of a project. Once I have a project on the go, I do not loosen the tension because it can be tricky to get it back again as it was. I would only loosen the tension if I knew I was not going to touch it for an extended period of time.
Thank you Caroline, this is very helpful .
I have one more question , if you don't mind. I am working on my 2nd project now. Coming towards the end of the profect towards the back beam, some of the warps are not so tight anymore. How do I solve this problem, its quite annoying, because the weaving gets really wavy.
Thanks for your time
hi Marie, this is where bits of cardboard, paper, or anything can take up the slack. If its really bad, S-hooks placed on the warp and pushed behind the back beam can be weighted to hold them under tension. I have lots of short bits of dowel and even paddlepop sticks, crochet hooks, and cable needles (for knitting) that come in handy here; not exactly pretty but it works, and hopefully you only have a couple more inches to do.
Did you use a separator when you wound the warp? I use plastic venetian blind slats on my loom, there isn't room for anything thicker on the back beam, and put a couple in every turn of the beam to keep the warp even. This cuts out most of the unevenness, and makes it much easier to insert an extra bit of tension. Others I have heard of use a roll of wallpaper, or brown craft paper as well as dowels or wooden slats (if there is enough room). Whatever you use, it needs to be slightly wider than the warp and stiff enough to hold each layer on top of the previous one without sliding off.
Its not exactly easy to insert if you are on your own, but I weight the front of the warp with a couple of cans in a bag to maintain tension, and wind on to the back actually standing at the back with a pile of these cut down slats to make sure the warp is beamed straight. I do this before worrying about threading through the rigid heddle eyes. It makes such a difference when you wind the warp on!
You will soon develop your own little tricks and work-arounds to the various problems that crop up. Each loom has its own little quirks, but there is usually someone around here who has been there and done that already who can help.
Cheers, Caroline in a very hot and sunny Australia where its far too hot for fibre crafts!
Hi Caroline, thank you again for such excellent tips. Yes I had used craft paper to wind up the warp , but I did it on my own, nobody around off course if you need somebody ,and maybe the tension was not so good this time. Hopefully I can adjust the tension, otherwise the sacrf will be a bit shorter.
I appreciate your advise and time and I send regards from freezing Britain, best time for fibre crafts.
Best wishes Marie
just to let you know I have taken off my scarf yesterday and it looks fantastic. I solved the problem with the tension by using some of my lace bobbins and winding the loosen threads round it. It worked .
Do I need to wash it now or what do you suggest? It does feel a bit tickly still.
Great news! Now you need to hand wash it gently as it will have got a bit of dirt on it from the weaving process, and also it helps the threads relax after being under tension. If its a bit scratchy, I use hair conditioner and rinse it out, it can make a great difference! You may need to iron it afterwards. If you have a fringe, gaffer tape the fringe when you wash it; it will hold just long enough so you don't get it tangled.
That was a neat idea about the lace bobbins! And much prettier than the usual collection of nuts and bolts many of us use.
Can you post a photo so we can see how it looks?
Give yourself a congratulatory hug from me. Well done!
Thanks so much, I have attached photo in Galleries.