Problems with Warp Twisting

Handwoven Magazine Ask Madelyn
  Twisted warp
  Warp twisting

Hi Madelyn!
I have a problem with warp twisting that’s been bugging me for ages. No matter what I do (single, double, triple threads on the warping board; with or without warping paddle; cotton, linen, silk, etc.), the warp bundles in the 1” slots of the raddle become twisted. But the twist is only on the edges, about a third of the warp bundles twist on each edge, not the bundles in the center. For some warps, this twist (between the back beam and the heddles) causes problems during weaving. Can you help?

  raddle moved
  Raddle moved

(I warp back to front with lease sticks in the cross using the 1” raddle. I beam the warp by pulling the lease sticks through it toward the front of the loom, and then, holding the warp with one hand, turn the beam with the other hand until the lease sticks reach the raddle.)

  no twisting
  No twisting

Hi Joan!
The interesting thing about your photo is that the twists are in the opposite direction on each edge of the warp. If I hadn’t seen the photo, I would have assumed that the bundles were twisting in the direction of the ply, as plied yarns will sometimes do if there is any extra twist and tension is released. But this could only happen in the direction of the ply.
So (I love how weaving is so full of this kind of problem solving): the only difference I can see between what might happening to the threads in all of those raddle slots is in the way each warp bundle is affected by your tensioning it as you are winding. If you are holding the warp with one hand to tension it, as the warp passes through the raddle, pressure is exerted on some of the bundles by the raddle pegs, but only on one side of each bundle (the opposite side on opposite edges of the warp), the side toward which the bundle is twisting. And in the center of the warp, the threads are not moving against the pegs at all. If you did not hold the warp in one hand but beamed a bit and then tightened it in sections, you might eliminate the problem.

P.S.–Joan had an even better idea and positioned the raddle below the back beam. The pressure on the warp as it was beamed was then against the back beam, not against the pegs of the raddle. Twisting eliminated!




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