Friday, September 2, 2011

Warping a Loom Back to Front - Part 1

Warping a loom from back to front is the favored method of many handloom weavers. It preserves the tension so carefully maintained in the measuring process. In addition, the warp only travels through the heddles and reed once so that there is less abrasion of the warp.

This is the beginnings of warping a pre-wound painted warp from back to front. There are a lot of different ways to warp a loom and I don't profess to know them all. Nor, do I know about every loom. This is a 4-shaft Schacht Baby Wolf which is a jack-style loom and the steps shown here are what work best for me with this loom. Occasionally, I will use different methods of tying on depending on the type yarn I'm using. The yarn in this warp is a cotton/rayon that I dyed when I owned Heritage Yarns.

Assuming your warp is wound as is this pre-wound, painted warp, beaming the warp is the next step in the process. Occasionally, I will add to these pages and hope that if you have any questions about the process I use, you will contact me at

When weaving doesn't seem to be going your way, read the notes from Bill Koepp below and know that we all occasionally experience fabric that doesn't live up to our expectations. Generally, I have learned a lot more from these times than when everything goes as planned.

Happy weaving,

A Weaver's Whimsey

1. Whatever the tie-up is, there's probably a better one.
2. If anything can mess up the warp, it probably will.
3. Whatever the draft is, there'll be someone who will misinterpret it.
4. Even if it's very hard to come up with the wrong threading, a way will be found.
5. If the fell smiles, the weaver doesn't.
6. There are never too many bobbins, quills or shuttles.
7. Only your best or newest shuttle will hit the floor.
8. Errors will stay hidden until nine picks are thrown.
9. Most errors will pop up in the center of the fabric.
10. In your weaving notes the parts that are absolutely beyond any need of checking, have the mistakes.
11. Whatever color is chosen, it'll be out of fashion as soon as the project is finished.

Bill Koepp, CA

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