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blog post -- warping a small tapestry frame loom

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Joined: 06/11/2009

 I just posted a few photos to one of my blogs about setting up a warp on a small frame loom for tapestry weaving.  The link is Tapestry Share.

Tommye Scanlin

Joined: 06/20/2009
In rsponse to your request

In rsponse to your request for feedback on your site, Tommye...I think it is all wonderfully clear!! I am just curious about why you choose to wind the warp simply around and around rather than in a figure-of-eight. I thought maybe it is because putting the cross in after pulls the warps in tighter on the frame???. 

Joined: 06/11/2009
 Hi Lavene, I've found it

 Hi Lavene,

I've found it easier to warp around rather than figure 8 where the warp source has to be in the hand.  This way the ball of warp (or a spool) can be on the floor and the warp can feed off of that.

Figure 8 method works, too.

Tommye

 

Claudia Segal's picture
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Joined: 05/13/2009
Hi Tommye, What an excellent,

Hi Tommye,

What an excellent, clear post.  Perfect for anyone wanting to try a small tapestry.  I am taking an online Navajo weaving class with Mary Walker and it's interesting to note the similarities in tapestry and Navajo style weaving.  I must admit, warping the small frame looks much easier than the figure 8 warp, twining and binding to the warp beams done in Navajo style weaving.

Thanks, too, for the Weavolution shout out!!  Absolutely made my day.

Claudia

Joined: 08/27/2009
hi! I looked at your

hi! I looked at your directions for warping the loom. Very good., very, clear.  Only a couple of things I can suggest....

Use some bright-awful yarn along with the white warp to show how the warp goes... use the bright awful stuff just for clarification, not for the actual warping. In a few cases, the white warp is a little hard to see. (mostly in the picture where the assistant is holding the frame over the basket.) Other than that, you picked a uncluttered background, and have lighting from multiple sources, so your pictures close to as good as they are get with the camera available to you.

Thank you for showing the bottom picks to 'start' the tapestry and to get the spacing correct. That is a step that I have not seen in many of the books on tapestry that I have studied.

 

Sharon

Joined: 06/11/2009
 Hi Sharon, Thanks for the

 Hi Sharon,

Thanks for the feedback!

Tommye

P.S.  You might want to see Kathe Todd-Hooker's new book, So Warped, when it's published soon.  She's covering the warping of many kinds of tapestry looms in it.

francorios's picture
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Joined: 06/08/2009
This week I've been reading

This week I've been reading "Tapestry Weaving" by Kirsten Glasbrook

On a small frame loom, she says to warp around, rather than figure 8. So there is a set of warps on the front and the back of the frame loom. Then she weaves on the front set of warp, when finished, she cuts it off and trims the back set of warp off.

This makes me cringe to think of all that warp becoming waste!

Even though there is more work with a navajo weaving, there is no warp to trim and the edges are all finished when you are done with the weaving.

Have a good day!

Joined: 06/11/2009
 With the method of warping I

 With the method of warping I show, the warp goes around the loom at 1/2 the sett desired.  Both the back and the front are pulled into one, making the sett twice that of either face or back of the warp.  The only wasted warp is whatever can't be woven at the top and the small amount at the bottom.  There's another method of warping around the loom and taking the warp in a continuous path around a rod at the back... that makes the warp moveable and will extend the length of the piece to almost twice the frame height.  The Mirrix loom has a clamp that's used to hold the bar for warping around.  On other frames, a bar can be temporarily attached while warping.  I think Claudia has a diagram of that on her Mirrix web site.  The old book, New Key to Weaving, also shows that warping method and Kathe Todd-Hooker's new book about warping will show it, too (see below).

I don't use a figure-8 method since the warp source needs to be able to be carried through and around the frame... I prefer to have it coming off either the ball or the spool from which I'm winding it.  Both methods are perfectly acceptable--neither better or worse than the other, in my opinion.

Yes, with Navajo method there is a finished edge when complete.  There are those who use four selvedge technique for tapestry -- Archie Brennan and Susan Maffei teach the method in workshops occasionally and I've done a couple of small sampling pieces in that method.  However, when I teach workshops about basic tapestry techniques I use as straight-forward warping method as I can to get the warp on the loom fairly quickly and have the students begin learning about basic "meet and separate" within a few hours.

Options for ways to approach warping for weft-faced and discontinuous weft weaving are so varied!  It can be almost as complex to consider and learn about as the more traditionally thought of "complex weaves" of more than four shafts.  Then one begins to get into the many ways simple plain weave can be treated with slits, interlocks of assorted kinds, dovetailing, eccentric wefts... goes on and on and it's ONLY PLAIN WEAVE!!  I've often said, "How can plain weave be so hard?!"  After weaving tapestry for over twenty years now I continue to be amaze with it.  And I weave a lot--weave every day.

About books for tapestry, by the way... for excellent and in-depth technical information, the three (and soon-to-be) four books by Kathe Todd-Hooker have the best available, in my opinion.  Very few color photos but excellent diagrams and very thorough discussion for variety of techniques and methods for tapestry.  Her books are Shaped Tapestry, Line in Tapestry, Tapestry 101, and (coming in May) So Warped--Warping a Loom for Tapestry Weaving.  Her books are sold through her website, Fine Fiber Press.

Happy weaving to you!

Tommye

Joined: 06/11/2009
 Episode two--setting up a

 Episode two--setting up a small frame loom for tapestry.

I just posted a few photos to my blog about the next stage for setting up a small frame loom at this link, if anyone's interested:

http://tapestryshare.blogspot.com/2010/03/next-step-after-warping-half-h...

As I mention in the blog, this is the way I use in classes to introduce students to setting up a small frame loom for tapestry and beginning to learn basic techniques.  PLEASE don't think this is the one and only way to do this because it certainly is not!  However, it the way I use at this time.

Tommye

 

francorios's picture
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Joined: 06/08/2009
Thanks for explaining that

Thanks for explaining that you pull the back warp up to the front warp.

I definitely have to warp some frames around here. I've been such a slouch lately.

Too much time in front of the television with empty hands.

 

Have a good day!

Caroline's picture
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Joined: 06/09/2009
Tommye, thank you for sharing

Tommye, thank you for sharing your techniques with us. Your explanations are lovely and clear, and its the next best thing to physically being in a class!

Joined: 06/11/2009
 Thanks, Caroline. I'll be

 Thanks, Caroline.

I'll be posting more of the process photos bit by bit and I hope they'll be helpful.  Please remember... what I show isn't the only way!

Tommye

Claudia Segal's picture
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Joined: 05/13/2009
Hi Tommye, Perhaps I missed

Hi Tommye,

Perhaps I missed it in your blog, what loom are you using in the photos.  Is this an Archie Brennan?  I am considering a small tapestry loom.  I have a large Navajo loom and would like a tapestry loom that fit on the table more easily.  As my weaving gets towards the middle of the Navajo loom, I have to move to the floor.  It's ok, but I would like something smaller, too.

Thanks,
Claudia

Joined: 06/11/2009
 Yes, Claudia... it's a loom

 Yes, Claudia... it's a loom I built based on Archie Brennan's design as provided on his website.  I've adapted to a 1/2" size pipe rather than the 3/4" as he shows on his diagram, although I have one of his specs, as well.  I made about 14 of the small looms to take with me for teaching and wanted to get the weight to a manageable level for me to carry in a couple of plastic bins.  I don't sell the looms, rather allow the students to use them in class--they cut off their finished tapestries and help me stack the looms back into my carry bins at the end of the workshop.  

They're easy to do, to modify to one's on size desired.  I have one that I call my "laptop" that's about the size of a large notebook!

My blog post is down right now for editing... at least the second one about half-hitch beginning.  I'll put it back up later today.

Thanks for the inquiry!

Tommye

 

Marsha A. Knox's picture
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Joined: 04/10/2010
warping

I warp my tapestry frame loom round and then reverse it around a warp bar.  (Like the Mirrix loom does)  That way when I weave all I can on the front, I release tension, rotate the bar and then I have more fresh warp to weave on.  It doubles the length of the warp.  Almost anyway, of course it gets too tight to go any further up the warp when you get to the end.  But I have very little waste and I can weave more than just the front warp.