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Fixing broken warp threads
After fixing a few broken warp threads, I remembered that Jane showed a group of us a really cool way to repair them from the back of the loom. Trouble is I don’t remember how. Can you enlighten the masses yet again JP?
When a warp thread breaks I take a length of the same yarn about 2 yds. long and feed it through the heddle and reed (from the back of the loom to the front) and I needle weave it right into the fabric while the cloth is under tension. I then secure it to the cloth with the regular pin idea, wrapping it around and around. By needle weaving it in right away the first overlap is complete and I don’t have to think about it once it is off loom. It is also easier to needle weave while everything is under tension.
With the remainder of the replacement thread which is hanging out the back of the loom and the original broken thread (which I have completely pulled to the back of the loom) I tie a bow as far down by the warp beam as I can go. Then I weave away watching for the bow to come up over the back beam as I advance my warp.
Once the bow shows itself I undo it. (Don’t let the bow come too close to the harnesses because it can get entwined in the sheds creating an even bigger problem) I tie the end of the replacement bit to the end of the original warp thread and pull the whole thing through to the front of the loom through the heddle and the reed. Now the original end should be long enough to re-enter the cloth. I drop the replacement end down below (trim it) and then needle weave in the original thread down into the cloth about 2 ” and my mend is complete. I stabilize it with a pin until there is enough weaving on top of everything to make sure it doesn’t pull out.
I prefer this method to having all kinds of stuff hanging off the back of the loom. If an end breaks it gets fixed and finished as fast as I can make it happen and I only have to deal with it twice rather than constantly going to the back of the loom and undoing film canisters and that other stuff people hang off their loom. You can thank Granny Janny for teaching me that 33 years ago. Thanks Granny Janny :^)
Just read over your instructions for dealing with a snapped warp thread. I understood it all, but was wondering about where you have brought the original thread back through to the front and are needle weaving that into the cloth. You leave the replacement thread dangling and just cut it off. How does that replacement thread stay in place? Don’t you need to anchor it in some way as well?
I needle weave the original back into the cloth for about 2”. It is overlapping the repair end. Once it is needle woven in that far it is pretty stable but if you are nervous wrap it around a pin. I don’t trim anything right flush to the cloth until it is washed, but I do trim stringey bits a bit before I move on.