Alternating warp colours

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on 28 Jan 2013 12:44 PM

Hi all, I'm new to the forum. I'm starting my second weaving project on my 22 inch table loom after taking a weaving class. Now I'm stumped on attempting a pattern which has alternating colour changes 1x1.

I used the warping board to measure the colours but now that I have begun threading the loom I see that the colours are automatically falling into perfect 2x2 ordering.

How can I change this and what would happen if I crossed them over into 1x1 order between the lease sticks(?) and the heddles? Would this work?

Thank you for your time!


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CarolineA wrote
on 28 Jan 2013 5:42 PM

hi Dominique, when you use a warping board you go up around and back, giving you two warps, so yes, it will come out as 2 x 2 when you alternate the colours. Direct warping doesn't work with this colour change.

Its a rigid heddle loom so yes, its possible, if a bit tiresome, depending on how far you have got with the threading. You don't way how long the individual warp threads are. Carefully remove them from where you have already threaded them. You do not want to twist and tangle the threads. Keeping them in the order they came off the board and without removing the lease sticks, start rethreading 1 x 1. You will have to cut them for this, and once rethreaded, tie them onto the beam roughly every inch.

Once everything is threaded and tied, run the warp slowly through the rigid heddle, watching for tangled threads; this will occur at the lease sticks. Gently work through the tangles. If the warp is not too long, you can dispense with the lease sticks, untie the tangled bit of warp from the other beam, and use your fingers to comb the tangles until they fall into order. Then its a matter of retying, and if rewinding the warp onto the back beam again, assuming you originally started with a back to front direct warp. You will need to adjust the tension again, and use a warp sticks/paper on the back beam, if necessary to keep the warp even.

Its not as hard as it sounds. I have to warp up alone and it just takes a bit longer than if I had help. I have often just simply cut the warps off the warping board and threaded each colour in its order through the rigid heddle, front to back, as required, leaving the ends dangling. Once the back is tied off, I then weight the other (front) end, usually with a school bag and tin cans, and wind on without having tension problems.

Hope this helps,


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on 29 Jan 2013 1:44 PM

Thank you for your quick reply, Caroline.

I don't think I'm using a rigid heddle loom. I just googled it to see what it is, and I'm working on a Nilus Leclerc table loom, the beater is 22 inches. I have four harnesses which I can raise and lower.

I'm not sure if this makes a difference to your instructions on how to re-thread it, but I thought I'd mention it.

So far I only have the yarn attached to the back warp beam and crisscrossing through the lease sticks.

Would you be so kind as to recommend my next step?

Thanks so much! :)

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Posts 99
CarolineA wrote
on 29 Jan 2013 3:46 PM

Been there, done that, ;-)!

Wind the warp onto the back beam, until you have sufficient to thread the heddles in the right order, put the warp through the reed and tie on to the front beam. Follow the colour pattern and the threading draft to get that correct, without removing the lease sticks. There will be instructions on the Nilus Leclerc website if you have none with your loom.

Then carefully wind the warp onto the front beam. Any knots and tangles will occur at the lease sticks. IIs tempting to take them out but try not to until you have the warp nearly all on the front beam, leaving enough length to retie the warp onto the back beam in the right order. Remove the lease sticks and work through the tangles to retie in the right order. Once the warp is retied, wind the warp carefully back through to the back beam under tension.  I'd personally put a dowel or something through each shed to provide the tension as you rewind the warp back onto the back beam. Its also a good way of checking whether you have the threading right. Adjust the tension at the front beam, because thats going to need retying, and hopefully you are good to go. On a narrow warp  or one with few warp threads, you don't need the lease sticks in place, but a lot of weavers leave them there in case of accidents.

Good luck! This sort of thing can be a real pain to sort out, but you learn such a lot doing it, lol! Once done, never forgotten. And it gives you a chance to work out whether its easier to warp back to front, or front to back on your loom. The Debbie Chandler book is really helpful here: Learning to Weave. Her warping instructions are excellent.

Cheers, Caroline

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Posts 3
on 29 Jan 2013 5:54 PM

Caroline, you're a genius!
I'm going to get on that right away haha Big Smile

Thanks so much!

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