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warping stripes

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katski's picture
Joined: 05/16/2010

I often use stripes in weaving and wonder if I must warp the stripes in their order as I do the warp on the warping board, or is there a way to just warp each color together, then just design the stripes as I thread the reed (front to back) or the raddle and heddles (back to front)? Any ideas on this?

Claudia Segal's picture
Joined: 05/13/2009
I wind several bouts of the

I wind several bouts of the various colors in the warp, rough sley the reed with the stripes in the order I want, transfer the lease cross to the other side of the reed and wind onto the back beam with the lease sticks in place.  Then, I thread the heddles and sley the reed, etc.  Works quite well.  Joanne Hall has a good description of this method of rough sleying the reed and moving the lease cross in her new book, Learning to Warp Your Loom which is HERE.


katski's picture
Joined: 05/16/2010
Thanks- I did not expect a

Thanks- I did not expect a response so soon. I guess there are other nightowls ou there besides me.

lkautio's picture
Joined: 06/11/2009

You can wind a separate warp for each yarn if you like and design in the reed warping front to back.  It is also possible to do this going back to front as you thread the heddles, but not as easy to see. [I find this kind of designing the only time I would consider going front to back.]  Keep a cross in each warp and pick the next thread in order from the color you need.  It's a bit cumbersome, but going f2b you can set the reed on the table in a stand of some sort or clamped horizontally to the edge to get more working room and visibility.

It does not hurt to cross threads a little in the back. A few threads are fine, long distances will be a problem.  I've had reasonable luck for a random stripe with 8 colors by setting the cones under a spare reed, then threading them through the reed, winding them as a group, then picking randomly within the group.  Also, if you have a regular color sequence with more colors than you can hold in your hand, check out using a warping paddle (basically a small section of rigid heddle with a handle).  Leslie Voiers and Peggy Ostercamp have good instructions for handling one in their books.

Laurie Autio

jordanj's picture
Joined: 06/25/2009
quick question


How do you "transfer the lease cross to the other side"? Do you do this one thread at a time as you are sleying the reed or is the an easy way to do it once the reed is all sleyed?

Joined: 06/08/2009
Here is how I transfer the

Here is how I transfer the cross (towards the bottom of the post).

When I have two warps for stripes, I would do it the same way (ie use two pairs of lease sticks) until both crosses are transferred. After that it is easy to put both crosses on one pair of lease sticks. WORD of WARNING: use *extra sticks* until both crosses are done! Don't take out the lease sticks until cross is in place! (Ask me how I know...)


naturalfibres's picture
Joined: 06/08/2009
striped warp

If I'm winding a striped warp where I want the stripes to be uniform across the warp, I wind it twice as long but only half the width (remembering to put a cross at both ends).  I like doing it this way if I have small amounts of yarn then the stripes are even.

Joanne Hall's picture
Joined: 06/11/2009
warp stripes

I wind weaving kits and they all have stripes in the warp.  Since the stripes are planned I cut and tie as I wind as a matter of efficiency.  The kits are for four towels and I can wind the warps, which have nearly 500 ends, in 15 to 20 minutes.  One reason it is so fast is that the stripes are planned in advance and I do what naturalfibres described, I wind one bout 8 yards long with a cross in each end and then cut the bout in half to become two bouts.

As nturalfibres mentioned, this is a great way to use up small amounts of yarn. And the other advantage of winding the stripes into the warp, by cutting and tying is that the warping after you wind, is so much more simple.

So, if there is any way that you can plan the stripe, or just design at the warping mill or frame, you will save yourself a lot of time and trouble.


AmandaC's picture
Joined: 02/14/2014
New weaver

I'd like to make a scarf with the warp stripes showing, creating lengthwise stripes. How do I get the warp to show thru? My earlier attempts only showed the weft. I've seen these at craft shows, woven on table and floor looms, but I've only got a rigid heddle loom. I've got 2 heddles and I'm fairly good with pick up sticks. Is there a way to do this?


Joined: 10/21/2011
Weft Faced Fabric

If you are getting weft faced fabric there are several things to look at:

your warp is too widely spaced for the size of thread.  Since you can't resley a rigid heddle for a closer set, you may need to use heavier warp.

you may be beating too hard.

To get weft faced weave on purpose, you use widely spaced, highly tensioned warp; heavier, softer weft and beat heavily.  So to get a balanced weave, you do just about the opposite.