Winding Multicolor Warps
I love warps with lots of colors and I am wondering what the best way is to wind a warp with lots of color changes.
Thank you for all your expertise,
How to wind warps of multiple colors depends on whether you are warping front to back or back to front. If you warp back to front, you pretty much have to wind all of the colors on the warping board in the order in which they will be threaded. You’ll then spread the warp in the raddle and beam it through lease sticks that maintain the cross. You can vary the threading order a bit from the winding order if that helps make the winding order of the colors any easier. But for the most part, the warp must go on the beam so that the threads are in the position in which they’ll be threaded.
Winding the colors, however, can be done without cutting and tying at all color changes. I do as many as six colors without cutting and tying (I’ve done even more but it can get awkward), leaving the cones on the floor at the side of the warping board when I’m not using them. That is, I will start a color and wind the number of ends required and then wrap the yarn around the start or end peg and wind the next color. I’ll repeat that process with a third color (wind the second around a start or end peg and start the third), and keep winding, with the cones sitting beside each other. (With more than six cones, the dangling threads from the board to each cone can interfere with each other.)
When it’s time to use a color again, I just pick it up and use it as if the rest weren’t there. When I’m finished with it, I wind it around a start or end peg again, and continue with whatever color is next. At the very end, when I cut the warp off of the warping board, the extra wraps around the start and end pegs fall to the floor. If you warp back to front using the usual method, however, you have to make sure that you only start and end the colors at the end peg, since all of the loops around the start peg (closest to the cross) must be actual loops so that the apron rod can be inserted in them for beaming. For front-to-back warping, you can start and end colors at both pegs (handy if your color stripe has an odd number of ends in it).
If you warp front to back, however, you can wind each color in a separate chain instead of winding the whole warp as one chain. You can then remove each chain from the warping board and sley that color individually in the reed where it will go. If you have stripes that fill four dents followed by three more stripes that fill four dents each, for example, you sley the first four dents and then leave 12 dents empty and sley the next four, etc. This works really well if your denting order coincides with the number of threads in each stripe. If the sleying order is 3/dent and the color stripes are 4 threads each, figuring out where the colors go can be daunting. If it is really hard to figure out, I wind as described above.
Hope this helps!
PS: If you wind the warp using a paddle and the color order coincides with the number of threads in the paddle, you can wind all the colors together in their proper order. You do need a cone rack to hold the cones of each color. If you have to change the colors every often, though, the paddle is not such a time-saver.