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A New Way To Warp? (For bead weaving.)

On Sunday we visited Caravan Beads and while Claudia taught, Barry (the lovely owner of Caravan) and I sat down and tried to figure out an easier way to warp. (All his idea.) We expanded a bit on a fairly new method that was developed at our last workshop and although this has not been sufficiently tested I thought I’d share our ideas with you blog-readers out there and perhaps I could get some input.

This new warping method has two parts. Those of you who are already pros at putting heddles on might not need the second part (the comb). It was developed with beginners in mind and just helps to separate the warp threads and allows you to see what you’re doing much more clearly. (Note: This blog post is meant to be understood by those who have warped the loom before. Once tested more thoroughly, we will post more detailed instructions.

Here we go:

The first step is to make a small, cardboard comb from anything you have lying around. Cut slits in it (as shown) on both sides. You should have as many slits on one side as warp threads you plan to have. On the other side, cut the same amount plus one extra. We will assume that you will be working on the left side of your loom, and putting your heddles on right to left. In this case, the extra notch should be on the front right. (see picture.) If you were warping in the other direction, the extra notch would be on the front left.

Tie onto the warping bar like you would when you are warping the loom normally. 
Loop the warp over the loom and through one dent in the coil. Then put the warp in the first RIGHT BACK slit of the cardboard comb. 
Bring your thread around the bottom of the loom and back to the warping bar. Instead of doing a U-turn at this point, simply WRAP YOUR WARP THREAD AROUND THE BAR and CONTINUE BACK TO THE TOP. (This is the new, easier way to warp and can be done without the comb.)
When you bring your warp thread back to the top, put it through the same dent in the spring as your last warp. (Note: This is only done when bead weaving with the shedding device.)
Bring this warp thread down and into the front notch of the comb. Make sure you put it in the notch that is on the exact opposite side of the one your last warp thread was put in. Leave the extra notch empty. 
Bring your warp thread under the loom, around the warping bar and back up to the spring as you did before. This time, bring your warp thread to the next dent over. 
Continue to do this. (This is the sequence: Up over the loom, into one dent of the spring, into a back notch of the comb, under the loom, around the warping bar, over the top, back into the same dent as the last warp thread, into a front notch of the comb (make sure this is done sequentially), under the loom, around the warping bar, into another dent of the spring… etc. etc. etc…..) This should create a scenario where you have two warp threads per dent in the top spring of your loom and each of those is separated in the comb, front and back. 
Two warps in each dent: 
Tie off on the warping bar when finished. Remove clips. 
Move warping bar down, and then move comb down to just above where shedding device will be. 
Place shedding device on loom. Unscrew bar. Take one heddle at a time and loop it around the FRONT warp threads, one at a time, right to left. Because of the comb, they will be well separated and easier to see. 
Next, flip the warping bar around so the bottom small bar is on the top. 
Move the front right warp over from the current notch it is in to the “extra notch”This will leave room for you to grab the warp thread behind and make it easier to see. It will also insure that you bring the back warp thread to the RIGHT of the one in front (If you were doing this in the opposite direction, to the LEFT.) At this point you may want to loosen your tension slightly to make it easier to grab the back warp threads. 
Loop your heddle around the first back warp thread and onto the bar. Easy to see, isn’t it?
Now, move the front warp thread that is second to the right over one notch to the right. This opens up a space for you to see the next thread you will be looping your heddle around. 
Continue to do this in sequential order, remembering to move each front warp thread over to the right before you grab the next back warp thread. It isn’t hard to remember to do this since the comb sets everything up very clearly. 
Remove the comb.
And you’re done! Ta da!
*We recommend any of the C-Lon threads of cords for warping your loom depending on the size of bead you use. 

2 Responses to A New Way To Warp? (For bead weaving.)

  1. Denise - Reply

    April 13, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    mhplinteresting. How does the new warping method (wraping around the bar instead of u-turing)effect the finishing of a piece? Do you also use it on tapestry?

  2. Elena Zuyok - Reply

    April 13, 2010 at 11:52 pm

    The only way it might effect your final piece is if you use the “pull and prey” method of finishing. (Which means you pull the warps through the piece at the end. If you want to use that method, you should use the second warping bar anyway.) This warping method does work for tapestry as well as beading. Hope that helps. Elena

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