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Warping the Inkle Loom





The Loom










The next step is warping the loom. This is the process of wrapping the warp threads around the pegs of the loom. The exact path that the warp threads take is dependent on your particular loom and the length of band you wish to weave. The following description should be fairly universal though. Your first step is to make sure that your tensioning device is fully extended. If this is not done, you may not be able to adjust the tension as the band shortens. When I warp my loom, I am using thread from very large cones. So, to begin, I need to determine how many consecutive threads of the same color will pass through heddles. For an example here, I will use the design notation above. First, I would slide four (4) heddles onto the end of the white string. Then, using a slip knot, create a loop in the string and slide that loop over the front bar (on my loom, this front bar is also the tension adjustment device). Now, slide one of the heddles separate from the others and hook it to the heddle bar. Take the warp and wrap it up and over the top front peg, over the top peg at the back, down to the second peg at the front, back to the second peg at the back, and continue down in a zig-zag motion until all the pegs have been warped and finally bringing the warp back under the front bar (the one onto which you tied the thread to begin).

Continue to wrap. This time, do not slide a heddle down, and pass the thread under the top front peg. The rest of the warping for this wrap continues in the same manner as the previous wrap.

For the third wrap, the color still remains the same but this time I need to use a heddle again and wrap over the top front peg again. This warping continues in like manner until you need to switch colors.

To switch colors, get your second color ready, sliding heddles onto the thread if necessary. While holding the first color, cut the warp at a position that is between the front bar and the heddles (but close to or at that front bar). Keep a hold on that warp so that the tension is maintained. Tie on the new warp color. I just hold the two threads and tie a simple overhand knot. For the type of threads I usually use, this is sufficient. When working with silk, I tie using a square knot because the threads are more slippery and may pull out of a simple overhand knot. With the new warp tied on, continue with the warping. You may notice that this is creating one long strand of warp. This is known as a continuous warp. When you have come to the end of the warping process, take the warp thread and secure it in some way to maintain the tension. I usually just wind it a few times around one of the pegs. With your hands now free, you need to untie the slip knot that you used to secure the warp initially. Make sure that this beginning end of the warp thread passes over the front bar. While holding the starting end of the warp with one hand, free the ending part of the warp with the other hand. Bring the ending warp under the front bar and cross it over to the side of the loom where your starting warp is located. Now, tie these two ends together. This completes the "continuous warp". You are almost ready to weave!

© 2000-2005Tracy DeGarmo