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Adding width to an existing warp - is this possible?

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Peg.Cherre's picture
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Joined: 07/22/2009

Here's the situation.  I've got a warp of 10" width.  I weave several items on it.  I then decide that for the last item, I want to weave something that's 15" wide - 5" wider than my warp.  Can I add substantially to the warp width?  If so, how?

 I've tried this in the past and failed.  I'd like to do it again, so I'm hoping that the amazing weaving brains here at Weavolution can tell/show me how.  

Some info that may be helpful -- I have a single warp beam.  I've successfully added a few warp threads (like selvedges) and repaired broken warp threads without a problem.  

So, assuming it can be done, a picture of your loom with this achieved would be ideal.  Failing that, please describe how you add more than a few warp threads and keep them straight and at an even tension that is sufficiently taut to match the existing warp.

THANKS!

Joined: 06/11/2009
 I would handle this as you

 I would handle this as you would a supplemental warp without a second warp beam. Wind two chains 2 1/2 inches wide times the desired length. If you left in the lease sticks in your existing warp, just slip one chain on each side and thread as normal back to front. If not, use lease sticks long enough to span the existing warp and put the warp chains on either side of the existing warp. For tension while threading and sleying, wrap the chains around the back beam a couple of times.

After you've tied onto the front apron rod, unwrap the chains from the back beam and hang them over the back of it. For tension while weaving, make two loops of string 8 to 10 inches long. Fill two soda bottles with water and close the caps (ask me why:^} ). Tie a snitch knot around each warp chain and another one around the necks of the soda bottles under the lip below the caps. Adjust the amount of water in the soda bottles until the tension matches the existing warp. To move the bottles and advance the warp, loosen the knot on the warp chain and slide it down the chain. 

I'm probably calling the knot by the wrong name but here's how to make it. Scroll down to where it says "easier way to get the loop." 

Hope this helps.

Carie

Peg.Cherre's picture
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Joined: 07/22/2009
 This looks and sounds

 This looks and sounds completely do-able.  THANKS SO MUCH!! 

I KNEW I could count on Weavolution weavers!

Joanne Hall's picture
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Joined: 06/11/2009
Hi Peg If you have less than

Hi Peg

If you have less than 10 yards left on your warp, I would unwind it and properly put the new warp ends on the tie-on bar with the rest of the warp.  Re-beaming 10 yards even with these new warps would take less than an hour and then you will not have to re-tension your warp each time you advance the warp.

Joanne

Sally Orgren's picture
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Joined: 06/08/2009
Joanne Hall beat me to my

Joanne Hall beat me to my answer!

I would definitely considering pulling the existing warp through to the front, then sliding the exta warp bouts/chains onto each side of the rod lashed to the back beam. (I don't tie them to this rod, I just slip the loop right off the warping peg onto my finger and carry it over to the rod. I align the end of my finger to the end of the rod, and slide it over.)

Sometimes I make a set of "mini lease sticks" a few inches long and 3/4 to 1" wide for each add-on section. I use bits of stiff cardboard (scraps of illustration board) and tape if all I am doing is preserving the threading cross until I can join it with the rest of the warp. Once in place, I can slide those bouts from their temporary lease sticks onto the "regular" sticks and remove the temporary ones.

It is then simple to thread the new warps through heddles and reed, and rebeam the whole thing under consistent tension back into a single enchilada!

If you are a weaver who removes the lease sticks once you begin weaving, no worries. Just be sure to "treadle them back in" at the back of the loom before you begin this process. (That piece of advice = thanks to my brilliant guildmates!)

My favorite phrase is "what if" warp? I hate being locked into yards and yards of something, especially if I am not so crazy about the project anymore for whatever reason. Learning modifications on the fly like this has been some of the best weaving advice my guild mates have ever given me! 

I hope you post your results under Projects, so we can check back later and see how it all came out!

Peg.Cherre's picture
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Joined: 07/22/2009
This made so much sense when

This made so much sense when I read it, but not so much when I tried to do it.  I guess I didn't really understand, despite the great pictures on the link you sent.  

In any case, regardless of how many times I made adjustments to the weights, the hanging method, and more, this was yet another failed attempt at adding width to an existing warp for me.  I guess I just need to wait until I'm someplace where someone can show me.  There's nothing like learning from someone who's been there!

Peg.Cherre's picture
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Joined: 07/22/2009
 Gee, I should have read

 Gee, I should have read Joanne & Sally's posts before moving forward.  With my slow dialup, I don't check back as often as I should.  I tried to follow crownshutter's directions, but failed.

But I do have a question for Joanne & Sally - if I put the new/added warp onto the back beam, as you suggest, won't the earlier threads have stretched out some already, so that the new/added threads will be a somewhat different length once I've rewarped & re-tied?  That is, won't they, too, need to stretch before everything's the same?  I'm sure the answer to that depends somewhat on the stretchiness of the fiber one's using, but isn't it true of most fibers?  (As you might guess, I tried this once before, unsuccessfully, too.)

Thanks for your kindness and patience!

Joanne Hall's picture
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Joined: 06/11/2009
Warps are always beamed on

Warps are always beamed on with some tension and you would wind the new warp along with the old one.  Even with a very stretchy yarn, they will all go on together with the same tension. 

Perhaps you did not understand that you would be unwinding the warp that is already on the loom, then adding the new warp to each side, slipping the loops onto your tie-on bar, beaming the warp, then threading and sleying the new warp threads.

Joanne

Sally Orgren's picture
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Joined: 06/08/2009
...okay, just add my "ditto"

...okay, just add my "ditto" to the above.

I have to ask — what is your warp material, and how much is left?

Sally

Peg.Cherre's picture
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Joined: 07/22/2009
Well, the answer's complex.

Well, the answer's complex.

FIrst of all, the current warp was a bamboo-cotton blend (2/3 bamboo, 1/3 cotton).  I only had enough warp length left for one scarf, but I didn't try the whole unwind it and put the new ends on the tie-on bar.  Instead I tried crosstownshuttler's suggestion, which I couldn't make work for me.  And I wasn't adding half-again of the width, but rather trying to double the width of the piece.  Clearly I should have done the whole unwind thing.  Maybe I'll try this again some time in the future, but not immediately.

In the past, I'd tried the unwind the existing warp thing with rayon chenille.  Unsuccessfully.  But rayon chenille presents its own issues & challenges, so that may have been the problem.   

Thanks for your suggestions, Joanne & Sally!

Claudia Segal's picture
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Joined: 05/13/2009
Hey Peg, There is a Rayon

Hey Peg,

There is a Rayon Chenille group here on Weavolution if you are interested in exploring that fiber a bit further.  The leader, Su Butler, wrote the book and has a wonderful website here.

Thanks for sharing your explorations in warp width.  I've learned quite a bit.

Claudia

Peg.Cherre's picture
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Joined: 07/22/2009
 Claudia - I have Su Butler's

 Claudia -

I have Su Butler's book, and have exchanged several emails with her in the past few years waiting for it to come out.  She's been very helpful.