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Obviously I have a problem...

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Weaverchick007's picture
Joined: 07/24/2010


consistently with my warps:

That's 4 hemostats and a box of parafin wax hanging off the back of my loom. :-)

I've posted here with warping problems before, so I've come to the conclusion that I'm doing something consistently wrong when warping or dressing my loom.  Some common problems are with tension, most common is the tension on my floating selvages are usually loose, (easily corrected with a couple of hemostats), and inconsistent tension throughout the warp in general.  I don't think its the loom I think its the weaver.

I just bought Madelyn Vanderhoogt's (sp) new warping video, and hope it will be able to help me identify what I am doing wrong...but thought I would post here, and see if anyone else has had similar problems, or give me some direction as to what I may be doing wrong.

What do you have hanging off the back of your loom??  LoL






Guiding Myth's picture
Joined: 06/13/2009
The warping video should help

The warping video should help you.  A few loose threads on a 10 yard warp do not signal a warping problem, but if you have inconsistent tension throughout the warp there is a problem.

As for floating selvages, I always weight them separately (when I use them which is rare) - I don't beam them because if you are weaving a twill or a structure with fewer interlacements than plain weave (and you wouldn't use a floating selvage for plain weave) the floating selvage will tighten as you weave.  So I don't know why your's are loose.


Weaverchick007's picture
Joined: 07/24/2010
Yeah, this was a 3 yard warp

Yeah, this was a 3 yard warp in tencel, woven in overshot!  LOL  I suspect I may be lashing on incorrectly, but I'm going to examine my warping process from beginning to end, and see if I can fix it....I just thought 4 hemostats and a box of parafin wax was pretty funny....

I'll repost here and let you know what I've learned...

Is this not a common problem for weavers?


Joined: 05/29/2009
I have NOTHING hanging on the

I have NOTHING hanging on the back of the loom.

In the case of threads loosening, I pull up the slack as soon as it is noticeable with a pin at the fell line. This brings it in line with its neighbors and fixes it to the end of the warp. That slack can usually be eased back into the fabric when wet finishing.

If you put more weight on loose threads, they just stretch and remain problems til you finish the project.

I believe it was the late Allen Fannin who once said "A loom is not a Cchristmas tree to hang ornaments off the back of."

Aunt Janet's picture
Joined: 06/09/2009
I am glad to hear you say

I am glad to hear you say that, Sara.  I suspected that might be the case, but have always heard of people hanging weights to correct loose threads.  I am going to try your method in the future.  Thanks.

Aunt Janet

DebD's picture
Joined: 06/09/2010
Sara, when you say you pin it

Sara, when you say you pin it up what do you mean, exactly.  I'm having the same problems as weaverchik and I tried pining up the slack the way I *think*  you mean, but now I'm worried I might have done it wrong.  Do you have a photo anywhere of this?

planttapestry's picture
Joined: 10/25/2010
what about with chenille?

I would be afraid to do that with chenille. Wouldn't it definitely worm if you left slack at the fell line?

and what about when a warp thread breaks?


I even changed my mind about warp colors after weaving one scarf but still had warped on 2 scarf lengths, so I removed the 6 variegated threads I didn't like and replaced with solid ones and weighted them to make the next scarf.

It made for a very nasty looking back of the loom, I must say. I have a picture, but don't know how to post.

Joined: 05/29/2009
When a warp thread breaks,

When a warp thread breaks, you place a straight pin at the frell line and wrap the end of the replacement thread securely to generate the same tension as the neighbors. I usually warp with 4-6 extra threads to use as replacements if one breaks - I put them through the lease sticks at the appropriate point and thread them through the heddle and dent where the warp broke.

You do the same with a loose thread.

If you weave carefully, you can ease the start of a thread loosening by weaving slowly and deliberatly for a few inches until the entire web is working together again. When I begin a new warp, I test the pattern with some junk thread to "even out the tension" at the same time - after an inch or so, the warp is behaving perfectly.

If the thread is "really" loose, you can break it and then treat it as the beginning of a replacement warp.

To minimize the effect of loose warp threads, advance often in very small increments - sure it doesn't seem to make sense, but if you inch the warp forward,; minor tension differences will "weave out" before the next advance. Weaving isn't a speed constest.

Remember, even in a textile mill at 300 or more picks per inch, there is a human who is watching that loom to stop it at the beginning of any abnormal behavior - on your handloom, you need to watch the weaving progress as well. My dobby loom remembers the treadling sequence, but I still have to watch the pattern develop and catch errors or skips immediately.

Joanne Hall's picture
Joined: 06/11/2009
Warping for good tension

Some of you may know that I have recently published a warping book, Learning to Warp your Loom, $20.  I put together my teaching handouts and my many years of experience teaching weavers with all levels of experience. 

I suspect that it is in the winding and beaming of your warp.  The most common problem is winding the warp too tightly and having too many threads in each bout.  Beaming is also important.  If you concentrate on that part of warping, you will do better.


Karren K. Brito's picture
Joined: 11/13/2009
Good warping takes practice

There are many times in the making of the warp, transfer to the loom, beaming, threading, sleying and tie-ing-on process for things to go awry.  It is a bit like learning to swim, kick my feet, move my arms and keep my face underwater---when do I breathe?!!! 

Just keep going,  do what ever it takes to weave your warp.  Your next one will be better.

Maybe you could make a checklist for your warping process.  Checklists have improve outcomes in hospitals, maybe they can help with a warp.

empfanatic's picture
Joined: 12/06/2009
loose threads

Two other reasons for loose or uneven threads that I have uncovered are: trying to smoosh the entire warp on the warping board (the pegs do bend from the too much tension and so the later threads are actually shorter the first ends warped) and making sure when I beam that the ends stay on top of each other as it's wound. If the ends aren't wrapped with paper or a stick, then they start sliding around and even the ones at the salvage get loose because they don't have their buddies from the first layer supporting them.

Elva's picture
Joined: 02/19/2013
Madelyn van der hoogt

Am trying to find the 2 sheet print out from Madelyn's Weaving Well DVD. I can't find it on the DVD, but it says I could get it here. HELP PLEASE. Elva

Sally Orgren's picture
Joined: 06/08/2009


I am not sure you are in the right "elecronic" place. I would assume the documents would be at Weaving Today, Interweave/Handwoven being the producers of the video. 

I watched the Tom Knisely DVD (Loom Owner's Companion) and it was excellent. But I too, was confused. There was a file I thought was referenced during the video, and when I checked the appropriate folder on the DVD, there was just a one page pdf of how to make a heddle. I kept reloading the two DVD's, thinking I missed something, but I couldn't find it either.


Alison's picture
Joined: 05/13/2009
Elva, Welcome to Weavolution!


Welcome to Weavolution!  I see you just joined.

Sally is right.  You aren't in the right place.  Call Interweave Customer Service Phone: (800) 272-2193.  While you can email them, that doesn't always work and takes more time.  They'll be able to take care of you.

Alison's picture
Joined: 05/13/2009
The warping DVD I rely on for

The warping DVD I rely on for my plain beam is Peggy Ostercamp's.  She does a great job of demonstrating how to control a warp.  I love Madelyn too (though I haven't seen the warping DVD), so don't take that as a criticism of her DVD.

Alison's picture
Joined: 05/13/2009
And Sara - thanks for the

And Sara - thanks for the great tips! (I promise this is the last post here.)

warpology's picture
Joined: 06/08/2009
Things hanging off the back of the loom

I usually, if using them, have my floating selvedge weighted back there. When a thread breaks it is weighted back there for awhile. If I missed something in threading or warping process that will be weighted back there. I really don't think it's a sin.   If looseness is across the warp then yes you have a warping problem. Are you using a Baby wolf? If the sides aren't down properly it can cause this looseness. Had that happen once it was a real pain, I wound it off on the front and re wound the back beam and it corrected the problem.

Erica's picture
Joined: 07/21/2011
My specific advice would depend on which method you used

There are some fabulous tricks that I've learned from both Madelene, Daryl Lancaster and Peggy for getting even tension Front to Back and Back to Front. These tricks have allowed me to achieve fantastic tension consistently.