Tips for warping multiple chains

Forums Weaving Discussion Online Guild Discussion Season 1 – Foundation Tips for warping multiple chains

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    • #51480
      rachel
      Participant

        I warp my loom by myself (the cats refuse to help), and I use BTF with Jane’s amazing method of weighting down the chain/warp as you wind on.  When my warp has only one chain I can easily get nice even tension across the warp.  But if there are multiple chains, not so much.  I’m having issues both keeping the tension even between the chains and across the individual chains.

        Anyone have any advice or tips?   Thanks!

      • #51481
        Nina Kennedy
        Participant

          Hi Rachel

          I have noticed this same problem myself and wish I could answer it! I am glad you decided to post this question and hope that Jane and/or Forum friends might have suggestions.

        • #51957
          rachel
          Participant

            Looks like we may be the only ones with the issue, Nina!

            I’ve figured out something of a solution – or at least something that helps, but it is sort of tedious and I’m not sure I’d want to do it with a super long warp.  I wound on my warp with two chains and wasn’t happy with the evenness.  So I unwound the warp (eep!), keeping the lease sticks in and attached to the back apron. I chained the warp into a single chain and then rewound it on.  The tension was much, much better and very even.  I ended up losing a few inches off the warp because I had to even out the ends after winding on because I had already cut them from the first time.  But I’m thinking if I hadn’t done that, it might have been pretty even to begin with?

             

             

          • #52067
            Ginette
            Keymaster

              What I’ve done when I’ve had more than one warp to wind on and I know the tension is not exactly the same is to crossed the 2 or 3 chains over each other then lay the books on top of the crossed chains. I also add an extra book for weight. That seems to work for me.

            • #52068
              Ed Chapman
              Participant

                I also wind on warps by myself. And I have two cats. Both love wool. I time this when I am home alone because it minimizes the impact my weaving stuff has as it consumes a former library in our house- now called the weaving room. Stretching hundreds of threads across a room is just not a good thing for spouse to see. I just finished waeving a 15 yard 32 inch wide cotton blanket. I used almost every tooth in the built-in the raddle to warp that monster.

                I extend as much warp yarn as I can (about 12 feet) from the chains to the raddle and smack the yarn with my hands to get all the threads aligned in each chain and straight in front of the raddle. As I do this I weight the snapped warp down with a very heavy textbook and move to the next one. When I get all four chains looking acceptable dangling there like the Golden gate bridge, I place all four ends side by side close together under that textbook and wrap the chained part over the top and weight with two more books. This keeps the warp from pulling out from under the books and forces the whole thing to slide, en masse, as I wind. I want enough friction to almost pull the loom forward. I gave up on paper. I bought 3 dozen thin wooden warping sticks. As I wind on I add sticks in groups of four to keep the threads separated.  You can wind a turn or two between groups of four sticks. Watch the edges when the warp width is close to the stick length. I have had one rotation slip off the end and I missed it, causing those threads to wind tighter than the rest. I had to separately weight them eventually to achieve a good shed.

                After pulling the books up to the loom, I repeat the process. It took me a good hour to wind that long warp. Avoid combing until the very end. Wet your entire hands if you are handling a big mass of yarn during the snapping part. Watch for looser threads hanging lower than the rest. By using the sticks, I can wind and watch the point where the threads enter the raddle- that is where one will catch its neighbor and pull it through the wrong groove. If these are not fixed the thread will break. Watch the raddle and stop and snap each chain as soon as you see threads trying to go sideways.

                I was inspired to go into weaving 4 years ago by Jane’s Youtube videos using the Louet looms. She was so calm and the videos showed every step. I am completely self-taught and successful thanks by and large to Jane’s guidance.  There will be mistakes, and occasionally disasters, but relax and think each through, or just walk away for a while. I was so excited to find this website and join up.

                IMG_0967

                 

                 

              • #52138
                Nina Kennedy
                Participant

                  Thank you Ginette and Ed for your advice – and thanks to Rachel for posing the question. Think I am going to try this trick of laying the warp chains on top of each other on a book and then weighting with more books! Previously I had either weighted each chain individually with bottles of water or placed them under books separately – neither of which was too successful.

                   

                • #52247
                  Elaine
                  Participant

                    This is so on point for me right now too!  Glad to hear I am not the only one struggling.  One thing I have found very helpful:  a great big floor pillow.  Yup.  Lay out the chains, weight them as per Jane’s method, then settle a big weighty pillow on top.  In fact, I use the couch seat cushions.  I find the fabric of the cushions holds the warp in place, weighs it down just enough to be pretty much excellent.  At least, that’s what I found on my last warp, 4 yards, 3 chains, 120 ends each chain.  That one was pretty much perfect, now working on 12 yards, 6 chains, about 80 ends in each chain.  I have only just begun (name of a song, isn’t that?) but so far, I am optimistic.

                  • #52285
                    Ed Chapman
                    Participant

                      Elaine… Brilliant. I like the sofa cushion idea- fabric against threads with more friction than s shiny slick book!

                    • #52432
                      rachel
                      Participant

                        Great ideas!  I had previously put all the chains under one stack of weights, and they were definitely slipping at different rates.  It sounds like wrapping them *around* the stack and weighing it down a second time will prevent slippage.  You guys are awesome!

                      • #57177
                        gabi-tomas
                        Participant

                          Thank you all! I have used (weaving!) books to weigh down my chains bit next time I shall try the  ushion method.

                          • #57510
                            Ginette
                            Keymaster

                              Glad it worked out for you! Weaving books are the best 😉

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