Warping Sticks

Handwoven Magazine Ask Madelyn


Dear Madelyn,

I was given warping sticks for my birthday. Now I need to know how often to insert them in the warp.

Thanks as always for your help,
Ginny Stockton

Hi Ginny!

There are probably several ways to use warping sticks (I remember someone telling me that you had to put four sticks per turn and carefully place them on top of each other layer by layer—very laborious!). I usually put sticks around the entire warp beam at the very beginning of the process in order to completely cover any knots and cords on the beam and present a smooth surface for the first layer of warp. After that, two sticks per turn are my usual practice, placed randomly. The most important thing is to be sure the warp is tightly tensioned and that it does not spread out at the edges from its width in the reed. If it does, it will be less dense on the edges, and even the sticks will begin to bend toward the beam, causing tension differences between edge threads and center threads. 

I love sticks, since as you weave off the warp, you can neatly put the sticks away, with no unsightly paper hanging off the beam.


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