Warp Color Changes

Handwoven Magazine Ask Madelyn


Hi Madelyn,

I am planning to weave the colorful towels in the March/April 2011 issue (“Happy Towels by Tracy Kaestner, pp. 52-53). There are many color changes in the warp. What is the most efficient, least time-consuming way of making so many color changes on the warping board? Thank you.

––Therese May

Hi Therese!

Usually, when there are many colors, I wind each color as a separate warp chain and sley each chain where it goes in the reed before beaming and threading (front-to-back warping). But this color order is too complicated to try to figure out where to sley each chain.

In a case like this, I wind the colors following the Warp Color Order, but I don't cut them as I change colors. I wind them around the peg where they end, three or four times, and then pick up the next color. When I finish it, I wind it around its end peg three or four times. I pick each color back up when I need it, leaving all previous winds on the pegs. The cones rest on the floor below the peg where they last ended. There are a lot of cones in this draft (nine), so to keep the threads from tangling with each other can be a little tricky, but still a lot easier than cutting and tying.

When you take the warp off the warping board, you cut through all the threads on the start and end pegs, and the extra windings just drop off (I show this in the video Warping Your Loom).

Hope this helps! Just take your time, don’t expect it to be fast, and try to enjoy watching the colors as you go!


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