I have a question on the Back to Front method presented on the Louet DVD – specifically, the part about putting the metal rod at the end of your warp and then securing it to the back apron bar. What advantage does this provide then, say, putting in the lease sticks immediately, spreading the warp in the raddle, and then taking out the actual back apron bar and putting it through the warp, taking care to slip on the apron cords at the appropriate intervals? Is using the extra bar there simply to avoid the trouble of spacing out the cords or does it serve some other purpose?
I use the rod solely to save myself some grief trying to get the apron cord off the apron rod and splitting up the warp into the proper amounts and then getting the cords back on the apron rod again. I just like things to be as simple as possible. In Holland they spread through the raddle straight from the lease sticks and then do as you suggest. Both ways work and are not right or wrong…..to each person they might be easier or harder and we get to pick which way works best for us! Louet no longer supply the rods but they can be made with metal or wooden dowels 1/2 ” in diameter with the width determined by the width of your loom.
Thanks for the thorough reply! I wanted to make sure I didn’t miss something…now that I just tried tying directly on the back warp, I can see how the extra time to tie on the second rod and lash it might compensate for the trickiness of getting the apron rod off and back on again with the cords in the right place. Maybe its good for small warps where you just need to put in the centre cord, but yes, it’s a bit finicky to do so without the second rod. Using your DVD, I did my first BTF warping on my new Louet David and it was enjoyable. I was worried about putting too much cloth on my front beam for my last project but I did so anyway and it all fit. I’d like to try warp rep / or something with linen but its not a deep loom and it can’t possibly have a strong beat to it compared to heftier looms. Have you tried weaving this type of warp with the David?
Your loom is called David because it is small but mighty, like in the story of David and Goliath. You can weave pretty much anything on that little loom and I have put 20 yd warps on mine without 1 teensy weensy hitch. Repp weave requires a good tensioned warp, as does linen and you won’t have any problems with that. I always tell my students that a second good squish after the shed has been changed is just as good as a whacking beat. Beats bounce, squishes stay. In Sweden where the most exceptional repp is done they use a weaving sword to get that super duper tight squish after every pick. A weaving sword is a long stick with one bevelled edge. We often use a ruler for our workshop samples but you could use one of your lease sticks for a wider piece.
I find it faster to throw a regular shuttle and then use a long ruler than to wind a stick shuttle. Here is another time when you try both methods and choose the one that works best for you.
Back to your warping. There is one other reason that I do not cut the back and tie on to the back rod. When you cut the warp and all your warp ends get re-tied you will never ever get them all tied back on exactly the same length and that means you have to move all that difference through the entire length of the warp as you wind it on the back beam. In the demonstration I did on the DVD there was a point where after all the ends are spread out through the raddle you move to the front of the loom, find a spot in the warp chain where nothing has been disturbed and give the warp a sharp tug. When you do this you are realigning all the warp ends so that they are back to same length. This means that when you start to wind onto the back beam you don’t have any mess to move through the warp. That is the most important part of my method. I can beam a 20 yard warp in about 10 minutes and when I get to the other end all my warp ends are the same length…….that makes for a happy camper.