A few years ago, I was reading a blog by a lovely weaver. Sadly, I don’t think the site works anymore or I’d post the link…Anyway, she posted about a workshop that she attended and one of the “jewels” she got from it was a technique for beaming a warp easily with one person.
As a weaver, you are constantly trying to figure out how the heck to do everything by yourself. You’re a one-man (woman…whatevs. I’m not super politically correct about these things) studio. You work pretty much solo. Warping a loom can sometimes be daunting.
So the instructor of this workshop did something very simple to make the tension more even while beaming a warp. A brilliant and simple thing that I can’t believe I never thought of before. When you have finished sleying, threading and tying to the back apron (I’m a confirmed front-to-back warp-er…), you remove your lease sticks (GASP!!) and toss the warp tails over the back of your loom. Then, you stand at the back of your loom and hold the warp tails on tension with one and crank the beam with the other hand. Here’s a few pictures to help explain.
On a Macomber loom, if you’re facing the back of the loom, the brake is on the left side. So my right hand is holding the warp tails, my left is cranking the back beam and my left foot is controlling the brake pedal. I have found that the warp winds MUCH more smoothly than how I learned to wind in school.
I should note that I have not been able to duplicate this technique on a LeClerc loom. The brake pedal can’t really be depressed from the back of a LeClerc loom. I have not tried it on my mom’s Schacht Mighty Wolf, but it works great on my two Macombers and on my mom’s small Dorset loom. Try it the next time you warp. It might make your life a lot easier!
I tried it because I kept breaking ends if I left the lease sticks in and also because it was taking me 20-60 minutes to simply BEAM the warp! This way takes me about 5-10 minutes. For a 10 yard warp. (I never really do anything shorter than 10 yards) I have been doing this for several years now and it makes warping the loom SO much less intimidating! It’s also a big time saver which is great when you’re a production weaver. Efficiency is absolutely the key to production weaving!