Tying a New Warp Onto an Old One

Handwoven Magazine Ask Madelyn


Madelyn is filming a new and exciting video workshop for us this week (more to come on that!), so this week's Ask Madelyn is a classic from our archives. 


Dear Madelyn,


I have woven two panels for a tablecloth (about 32" wide) and am ready to cut them from the loom. I have loved weaving them so much that I want to tie on a new warp to the one I used for the panels and weave another cloth. My sett is 48 epi (4/dent in a 12-dent reed). I'm worried that if I just tie one thread to each one of the four threads hanging from each dent without taking them in their exact order, they will be twisted when I start trying to wind the warp on the warp beam. Should I make a cross in the threads hanging from the reed and put lease sticks in? I hope you get what I mean!




Hi Janet!


I certainly do get what you mean since I have just finished tying onto twelve warps (how could they all end at the same time!) at my school in preparation for my next classes. I do have a favorite way to do this. After the final cloth has been woven on the warp that is ending, I weave about an inch in plain weave or whatever interlacement I can make that is closest to plain weave so that the threads are placed in their exact order in the cloth. Then, I cut off the final cloth, leaving the inch of fabric I just wove dangling from the reed.


I hold the cross of the new warp in my hand and take each thread from it in turn as I also pull each tread in turn from the dangling strip of fabric and tie them together in an overhand knot. This way, I know the threads are all in their exact order. If you aren't comfortable holding the cross in your hand, you can put lease sticks in it; I just find it goes faster if I am holding the cross.


When the threads pass through the heddles in their exact order on the way to the beam, the beaming process is very, very smooth and I am very, very happy. (I do have to jiggle the knots through the reed and then through the heddles before the smooth and lovely part starts.)



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