I tend to weave large items, such as rugs. I find that half way or three-quarters way through the project, the 3 or 4 yarns on either side of the warp are very loose, while the middle is tight. My instructor says its because the yarns on the edges get so much wear-and-tear from throwing. I hate to have them that way, and I have been known to reverse the warp right to the warp beam and untie and re-tie the yarns to the beam!! It just makes my project look sloppy, not to mention that its hard to throw when the yarns are drooping. Can you tell me what is actually going on and how I can prevent or fix it?
What you have described is not what should be happening and it doesn’t happen with good technique. There are 2 reasons that this could happen.
#1. When you wound on your warp you did not tension it properly and the selvedge ends didn’t wind on at the same tension that the rest of the warp wound on. (Somehow I don’t think that is the problem, because usually it is the centre threads that are different and looser than the outside ends)
#2. So lets focus on #2 being the problem. You may be drawing in too much which is stretching the warp. To control your draw-in you should beat on an open shed and you should make sure that the angle of your weft yarn is as high as possible to allow your shed to take the weft that it requires. If you throw, change you shed and then beat, your shed sometimes doesn’t get enough weft and therefore your warp has no choice but to draw-in and it eventually causes grief with your selvedge threads. It is a real bummer when this starts to happen in the middle of your piece. You could hang weights on those back selvedges to increase the tension. If you choose that method, hang an S hook on the looser warp ends and then place weights on the S hook. You can add washers as weights. The S hook will slide along on the warps threads at the back of the loom as you advance your warp. This is a much easier way to weight a warp thread than to use film canisters or other things that have to be moved along each time you advance your warp.
I found the video that comes after part 4 on YouTube, it’s the threading video where you show the texsolv heddles and how to look at the cross for the next yarn. Regarding my loose yarns, I have a feeling that, from what you said above, and from watching you tighten your warp right before winding on the beam, and your explanation about what the raddle is for, my side yarns are loose because the warp is not wound to the same width of project, its either wider or narrower (on the beam), because I did not know that the raddle was for that purpose. When I beat, the outside yarns get stretched each time, over and over as they go through the reed. It never looked right to me but, no one told me differently (even when I asked). I have only been weaving for less than a year. I was taught that it did not really matter, and though it seemed to me that it WOULD matter, I figured that the instructor knew best. That is why the middle is always tight because it is always parallel with the reed, while the outsides are not. From now on I will use the raddle as you showed it. (Makes PERFECT sense now that I see it) and I will let you know how it goes for my next project.
You are very observant. I hadn’t even thought about you not winding your warp on at the same width as your weaving width simply because you had taken lessons. That is a basic basic weaving premise. Every warp thread is like a line on a piece of graph paper, as straight as possible from the beginning to the end. That indeed was probably the root of your problem. If you don’t have one, you can make a home made raddle with a smooth piece of wood and finishing nails every half inch. I clamp my raddles to the top of my castles on all our looms that are not Louets. Winding on over the top of the loom is so easy on your back.