slack in warp as one winds on to beam from warping wheel

 Ok, I've posted this before but have now started a new subject for it.  Folks at AVL and in this forum were very nice and gave me some hints on how to eliminate slack in my warp as I wind it on.  I've added two new items:

1.  I am now using a c-clamp to hold down pressure on my warp clip

2.  I have moved my cross maker closer to the winding bobbin in its position on the wheel spoke

I still have slack in my warp.  It occurs about half way thru my winding on and is the first 4 - 6 threads of the warp bout that one starts with.  I am feel like I am missing something very obvious. My work around is to wind on VERY SLOWLY and manually take up the slack.  Can anyone offer any other solution?  Here are some photos:

This is the full view....note the c-clamp in use and the position of the crossmaker to the bobbin

Here is the slack I end up with, it is consistently the first 4 - 6 threads.  I surmise it has something to do with the pulling as you wind onto the warp beam.

Thank you in advance for any help. 


Posted on Tue, 11/24/2009 - 05:15

Hi Deb,

Tension loosening: I just wrap the beginning and end threads two or three times around the clip at the start and end of each bout.  That holds them tight enough for me. 

I had some trouble with the beginning thread going slack on me, but eventually figured out that it was because I needed to push back each winding's worth of thread to the back edge of the warping wheel "bobbins" before going down to the clip and back again.  I had been winding, going to the clip and then back out to the crossmaker, and THEN pushing the freshly wound thread to the  back - this resulted in loose threads because I was pushing the freshly wound section back about an inch or so, and of course that loosened up the thread that was crossing the section on its way down to the clip.

The last thing I've discovered is that the first and last threads frequently go slack on me simply because they are winding onto the beam unevenly.  I had been winding only 1" wide in the "comb", which turned out to be a mistake because the bout narrows a little between the comb and the beam.  I now wind about 2-3" wide in the comb and turn the angle until I have something almost exactly 1" wide, winding onto the beam.  But even so I find it quite fussy to get the edges exactly right.  Especially on my Workshop Dobby Loom, with its small beam, I sometimes have to stop and wind a few yards back onto the warping wheel, adjust the angle/location of the wheel, and restart the winding.

Another thought: how are you pushing on the threads as you wind?  I always push each freshly-wound length of yarn back  as far as it will easily go before winding the next bout.  This keeps the threads more or less lined up.  If your first threads are getting buried under subsequent windings, they will be under more tension as they reel off and so will wind up being slack at the end.

That's all I can think of for now...


Posted on Tue, 11/24/2009 - 17:48

 Tien, thank you for the thoughtful answer.  I am working on an AVL wdl so am also following your other modifications with great interest!

1. I will go back and check myself on the clip and push process.  I'm thinking I am pushing the warp back AFTER I put it in the clip...duh.  

2. I'll also try winding wider in the comb.  I've been trying to put 2 threads per dent in the comb to make it easier to count my threads if I doubt my auto clicker counter.  We'll see if that makes a difference.  

3. I'm not burying the threads as I learned that error a long time ago!

I only have about 4 more rounds of 1" sectional beam to go so I'll have a couple of rounds to experiment with these.  I'll recap everything and repost it just to keep it somewhere for other WW slackees.  



Posted on Tue, 11/24/2009 - 18:02

One thing you might consider on the WDL is enlarging the warp beam.  The small diameter makes it really hard to wind on evenly, especially at first, and that teeny-tiny little groove doesn't accommodate knots very well.  I wrote a blog post on how I enlarged my warp beam here: .  It's made a huge difference in my warping.

When threads start going slack on you, look at the section that's been wound on to see if it is "falling off" at the edges.  If it is you'll have to wind a few yards back onto the wheel, nudge the wheel so it's a tiny bit closer to the problematic edge, and start winding again.  In a fit of desperation I've been known to take the entire bout and wind it around the problematic edge for a turn or so to "build it back up", but that's really a desperation move; if you catch the slackness early on, you should be able to fix it just by nudging the wheel.

One last thing I do is hold my finger so the warp just barely touches it as it's winding on.  This lets me feel quickly whether the tension is going slack on one end - you don't want the warp running firmly over the finger as that will disrupt the tension, but if it's just barely touching it shouldn't disturb anything.  But on my last few bouts I tried just keeping an eagle eye on the bout as it wound on, and caught some early tension problems without having to "feel" them.

The WDL is definitely tricky to use - I had serious difficulty with mine at first and wouldn't recommend it for a beginner - but most of the issues have to do with its size.  Small looms give you much less "wiggle room" for minor errors, so you really do have to be meticulous about technique to get it to work.

That said, I love mine - where else are you going to get 24 shafts in such a small package???

Posted on Sat, 12/05/2009 - 20:49

 I think I found my problem, after getting advice from folks I was staring at all parts of the wheel and then I looked in front of me.  The older WW that I had learned on from a friend has a different device than the plastic spool.  Look at how the first few warps come OVER the end of the spool.  DUHHHHHH, I made an effort to make sure that all the threads came down behind the spool RATHER than in front of the spool.  I only had four more sections to wind to test my theory but that seems like that might have been my user error or equipment failure depending on how one defines solutions.  

so the items that I think that made a difference are:

1.  using a clamp on the warp clip

2.  moving the cross maker very close to the spool on the same arm

3.  NOT winding over the spool

will report back after the next warp to see if that is the real solution!  Thank you for the sympathy and the ideas.  Deb