Ask Madelyn: Minimizing Warp Waste

I am about to warp my loom to weave several separate pieces on the same warp. When I finish weaving the first piece, I need to cut it off so that other work can be done to it off the loom. Then I need to retie the remaining warp to the front beam to finish weaving the other pieces. How much extra warp should I allow in order to retie the remaining warp? I’m using silk yarn and I don’t want much warp waste. Thanks so much.


Hi Margie!

I would use the “weaving in a stick method.” I’ve written about it in Handwoven November/December 2004 and it is also in the video Weaving Well. You waste the least yarn with this method.

After you finish weaving your first piece, you weave about 2 inches of very firm plain weave using a very non-slippery yarn. Then you open a shed and insert a stick that is about the size of your apron rod. Then you weave another inch of very firm plain weave in the non-slippery yarn.

Now, cut off the first piece right before the first two 2 inches of sticky yarn, leaving the 2 inches with the stick and the other inch dangling from the reed. Then you tie the stick to the original apron rod and begin weaving the second piece. This way you waste only three inches of yarn plus the amount the stick takes up.


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Posted February 15, 2012. Updated June 17, 2019.

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