We often instruct people to “balance the warping bar” when weaving a piece that is thin compared to the width of the loom they are using.
What does this mean? Why does the warping bar need to be balanced?
First, what IS a warping bar?
The warping bar is an aluminum bar that is used in the warping process. You tie your warp thread to this bar when beginning to warp, loop around it while warping and tie to it when tying off your warp thread. It is used to give you a place to begin and end you warp thread, but also to “advance your weaving” so you can weave longer pieces on your loom. Click here for a video on what that is and how to do it.
Why does the warping bar need to be balanced?
The warping bar reaches the full weaving width of each loom. Once your loom is warping, this bar is held up by the warp that is wrapped around it. However, if you are weaving a piece that is much thinner than the width of your loom, the warp wrapped around your warping bar won’t be enough to securely hold the bar and it will not be balanced.
How do you fix this?
It is natural to want to warp a piece in the middle of the loom. When you know you will need to balance your warping bar, you will want to warp on one side of the loom. Then you will balance the warping bar on the other side with a piece of warp thread, cord or ribbon.
To do this, after you have warped and moved your warping bar to the bottom of the loom, tighten your tension slightly but not completely. Then, simply loop your thread, ribbon, cord, etc. over the top of the loom, wind it once around the warping bar, bring it back under the loom and tie it to itself. Make sure the warping bar is stable and the material you used to balance it is at the same tension as your warp thread. Then tighten your tension to the desired amount.