Winding Warps for Stripes

Hi Madelyn,
I am winding a warp from one of your projects (“Silk Scarves in Deflected Doubleweave,” January/February 2007, pp. 68-71). The warp alternates 4 black ends with 4 white ends throughout. I am a back-to-front warper, and I’m not sure what is the most efficient way to wind this warp. I have seen in your video (Warping Your Loom) how to wind 2 ends at a time and maintain a single cross. Is there any way to do 4 ends? I would rather not wind 4 black and then cut and tie the white to the black end and wind 4 white, etc. What is the most efficient way to wind this warp?
Mary Jo
Hi Mary Jo!
I have had quite a few questions about winding warp stripes recently. There are several ways to do this, and the choice partly depends on whether you warp from front to back or back to front.
If you are a back-to-fronter, you will need to wind the whole warp the way it must be beamed, in this case 4 black/4 white. (I say this, even though in this case with a smooth warp yarn, you COULD wind 1 black/1 white, maintaining a single cross—or not, beam the warp, and then, as you thread, take each 4 black/4 white up and thread them as needed even though they are in a 1/1 order at the lease sticks. The threads would not be twisted or crossed in any way that the warp under tension couldn’t allow.) But to keep the stripes in their exact order on the beam, you can either wind 1 black for the 4 black threads alternating with 1 white for the 4 white threads or wind 2 black together for 4 blacks or 2 white together for 4 whites. In either case. I wouldn’t cut and tie the ends at each color change. I’d start winding at the peg opposite the peg that gets the loop you’ll use to attach the warp to the back apron rod. Then when I’m finished with a color (back at the starting peg) I’d wind those end(s) around the peg and then wind the other color. When I finish winding the second color, I’d wind its ends around the starting peg, then pick up the ends of the first color and wind. Each time I’d end a color only by winding around the starting peg a few times to secure. To remove the warp from the board, I’d cut the ends at the start peg (all the extra windings will drop off) and use the looped threads at the end peg to attach the warp to the back apron rod (the cross must be nearest the end peg and the lease sticks placed in it). Another option would be to wind this warp with a paddle, threading 4 blacks and 4 whites in the paddle. You’ll be winding 8 ends at a time, so you’ll need 8 cones and a cone stand to do this.
For front to back warping, you can do any of the above, but you also have another option. You can wind all the black ends in one warp chain and all the white ends in a separate warp chain. The sleying directions for this warp are 2/dent in a 15-dent reed or 3/dent in a 10 dent reed. For the 15-dent reed, you’d sley the black warp 2/dent for 2 dents, skip 2 dents, sley 2/dent for 2 dents, skip 2 dents, etc., for the width of the warp. Then you’d sley the white warp 2/dent in the empty dents. Some people would be capable of figuring out how to sley a 10-dent reed so that the right number of dents are skipped when you sley the black threads, but I would not be one of those people. If I only had a 10-dent reed, I’d wind the warp as above.

If you have a weaving question please email Madelyn! Featured Image: Summer Lace Placemats and Mug Rugs by Suzie Liles Handwoven May/June 2017. View related & recent “Ask Madelyn” posts! Updated 8/10/17.

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