New to weaving

Hi, I've just started weaving a couple of months ago. I joined my local Viking re-enactment group which sent me back on the path of textiles. I had always thought that you needed an actual loom to weave. I was quickly proven wrong. I've done some tablet woven bands and am working on an inkle- style band. I'm hoping to progress to experimenting with all sorts of styles and techniques. I live in Australia and have gone back to school this year. Next year I will be doing a Bachelor of Visual Arts at Southern Cross University. Even though they don't have a dedicated textiles department, I'm hoping to sneak a lot of textiles work into my degree. I do have one question. I need to find a suitable way to warp my loom. I don't drive and the hardware store is nowhere near me. I'd rather not buy a warping board, and I am currently trying to persuade one of the men in my Viking group to make me one. I need to improvise until I can get that organised. Any suggestions would be most appreciated. Blessings Johoanna


Posted on Wed, 09/18/2013 - 15:25

I've found by experience that I move backs of chairs around too much for me to use them for warping.  They somehow get closer and closer to each other ;-) Before acquiring all of the warping paraphenalia I now posess, I used fence posts most satifactorily.  To pound in stakes you need to own the ground.  To use fence posts, you merely need to get permission from the fence owner or find a picket or appropriate fence in a park.  Use sheets of paper or plastic bags to protect the yarn where it goes around the post.  Do not use fences enclosing dangerous or extremely curious animals.  Electric fences present problems if you do not have access to the switch, although rubber boots and gloves (the latter at removal time) enable one to work without shocks.  (All kidding aside, I have used the posts on an electric fence -- it was one of my favorites, but I could turn off the power.  The problem was that with the power off the horses tried to eat the yarn.  Electric livestock fences are very good for long warps, especially if you want to spray them with sizing while laid out, before chaining.)

If all else fails and you do use chair backs, make sure adult friends sit in them while you are winding.  Carefully select the adults, as neither my children, my husband, nor many of my friend can sit long enough to help.  You could also tie the chairs to door knobs or find some other means of stabilizing them.  If your bed has a headboard and footboard that go straight up, you could also try that -- just don't forget that you have to lift the yarn off once you have it wound.

Posted on Fri, 09/20/2013 - 00:10

Some improvised warping boards used by members of the various backstrap weaving groups...

This next one used by me once or twice:

Simplicity: my weaving teacher in Bolivia uses a finger and toe as do I for narrow bands when traveling...

Other ideas involve "L" brackets clamped to tables or using the screw part of the clamps themselves: