Plain Weave Header

Handwoven MagazineAsk Madelyn

Dear Madelyn,

In a weaving design book that I'm reading, the author talks about the functions of the plain-weave header. She mentions the usual: spreading the warp threads evenly and showing up threading errors. She also recommends retensioning the warp bundles after the header is woven. I've never heard of this, and I'm thinking it could pull the woven header so that the fell is no longer flat. Would you recommend this practice?


––Regina Phalanges


Hi Regina!

Hmmmm. I know I’m weird, but I rarely weave a plain-weave header unless what I’m weaving uses plain weave as part of the fabric. I usually tie on to the front apron rod in very small  (1/2 inch or less) bouts and start weaving the piece (nothing to “spread”). You can find your threading errors doing that (there shouldn’t be any), and if all is well, you just go on weaving happily from there. I can’t think of any reason to do retensioning after you’ve started unless something was wrong with the tension in the first place. Perfect is perfect. Best to get it perfect at the start.  But your author might have something else in mind.


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