Using a Warp Color Order Chart

Handwoven MagazineAsk Madelyn

Hi Madelyn,


A couple of years ago I purchased the eBook Best of Handwoven: Top Ten Towels on Four Shafts. I made several Keep It Simple Towels and would like to move on to the Rosepath Plaid Towels. I have woven several items in my weaving journey but never anything with a Warp Color Order chart. 


I believe the chart is instructing me to begin the warp with the color white. My first question is about that! Each wrap around the warping board (from the starting peg to the end peg and back to the starting peg) creates 2 warp threads. The chart says that I need 37 white ends and that there are 431 total ends. All warp stripes are odd numbers of threads. 


How should I wind the warp threads?




Hi Cathy!


You are right to interpret the chart as telling you to start with 37 white threads. You can read a Warp Color Order starting from either side (left or right). If there is some particular way the colors need to be threaded on the shafts, you just have to make sure you start threading with the side of the warp chain that matches the color order in the threading draft you are following.


Warp Color Order for Rosepath Plaid Towels  

Warp Color Order for Rosepath Plaid Towels


The Warp Color Order you are working with is symmetrical, however, so you can read it and thread it from either direction and it will be the same. It does start with 37 ends of white, which will mean that you make 18 full trips (start peg to end peg back to start peg) for 36 threads (each full trip makes 2 threads, just as you say). Then, you take a last "half" trip with white from the first peg to the end peg for 1 thread, cut the white thread, and tie a red thread to it. Then you make two full trips (up to the start peg and back) to make 4 threads, then a half trip back up to the start peg for a 5th thread. The 5 red threads are followed by 27 white, which will mean 13 full trips and one half trip. You'll continue in this way, cutting and tying, sometimes at the start peg and sometimes at the end peg.



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