Warping and Loom Prep

Hi all -

After a few hours of what probably should have only taken me about 1 hour and a really sore back, I have figured out I'm probably not warping the loom in the most efficient manner possible.  Not surprising since I've never seen anyone do it and am self-taught out of a book!  I was looking around for videos or something and saw a link to Sally Guy's Warping and Loom Prep video, but there was no further description and no one seems to have seen it.  Anyone have any comments about that video or some other I might use for reference?  I have a Baby Wolf 8-harness loom. 



-heather f.


Posted on Tue, 12/15/2009 - 18:15

I've never seen Sally Guy's video.  I really like Peggy Osterkamps dvd Warping the Loom Back to Front.  Deborah Chandler has a video on warping front to back.  I haven't seen that one either but I've heard others say it helped them. 

Posted on Tue, 12/15/2009 - 18:18

Are you talking about beaming or threading? For threading: I know people will take their baby wolf, fold it and secure the fold at the side with the knobs, enabling the heedles to be at a more comfortable threading level. Maybe this will help?

Posted on Wed, 12/16/2009 - 04:12

Both, actually.  I tend to lean over the beams quite a bit to get them knotted properly, and for the heddles I do fold the loom so it's higher, but I suspect it still needs leg extenders to be even taller.  I'm 5'9", so the loom is just a little bit on the short side for me.

Thanks for the advice, tho'!

Posted on Wed, 12/16/2009 - 05:31

Have you considered removing the beams rather than leaning over them?  I always did that when I was weaving on my Baby Wolf (fondly remembered - that was my first loom!), and it made life a LOT easier.

And are you warping back to front or front to back?  I recommend B2F, because then you can use a trapeze to make your life easier when beaming on.  Laura Fry has info on warping with a trapeze (she calls it a "warping valet") on her website, http://www.laurafry.com .  It makes life a LOT easier - if I weren't beaming sectionally these days I'd use a trapeze for every warp.  Definitely worth looking into!

Posted on Wed, 12/16/2009 - 13:17

Sally Guy is a knowledgeable weaver (with a fun sense of humor).  She taught for years and may still be teaching.  Haven't seen her video, but it could be worth seeing if you learn well that way.  Look for Peggy Ostercamp's book on warping.  Lots of good pictures.  Or, get an experienced weaver to help you in person next time you put on a warp.

I like back to front also because it does not have to go through the heddles as you beam on (extra wear) or have to have the ends cut (tough to get them perfectly aligned when you tie on, and all those difference have to be worked through the entire length of the warp.  There are ways to minimize that problem with a choke tie and careful tieing, but it is just more work.  You also have a bit more loom waste.  That said, if you were careful, there is no reason you couldn't try rigging a trapeze somewhere in front of the reed if you wanted.  It would probably take more fiddling, but it would work.  I'd envision the warp going under the breast beam then over the trapeze for f2b.

Another good book with tons of tips and tricks is "Thrums" by Faith Nunnely.  It's like having a calm, experienced weaver with a sense of humor sitting beside you, feeding you good ideas for easier ways of doing things.  She has a picture of a simple trapeze in her book (first place I saw one).

Laurie Autio

Posted on Wed, 12/16/2009 - 16:45

This isn't very helpful, but it's funny.

I had been putting a very dense warp on my Macomber and was in the habit if sort of draping myself over the breast beam (which will be seen to be rather ironic in a minute).  I reach with my left hand for the ends and pull through with my right.  It was right comfy!

A day or so later, I was getting dressed and caught myself in the bathroom mirror and one of my "assets" was purple nearly all over.  PANIC ...call the dr, tell them I need to see him TODAY and I get myself over there, wondering if my will is in order, can I cope with a mastectomy etc.  While sitting in his waiting room I had time to think. It was on the left side..hmmmm.  By the time I got in there I told him "I either have a terminal disease or a truly amazing bruise."  Yep...every time I "reached" I was mashing away and, that tissue being quite sensitive I had given myself a massive hematoma.

NOW THAT IT IS OVER..it's pretty hilarious, but, when first seen, it was pretty terrifying.

Now I remove beams and make sure I am at right heights, etc.

Look after your assets (-'

On a more helpful note.  I thread f2b now, having used the other method for years.  I find it far more efficient. I have NO tension issues (to my great surprise)  and far fewer abrasion problems (I know that sounds odd, but I don't).  Granted, with sectional beaming, I'm back to the b2f method, but I really like doing f2b.   I do like to use a "roomy" reed when I can, as in, using a 6 reed sleyed 2/dent for 12 epi etc.   If you worry about abrasion, this is a great trick.

Nancy C/

Posted on Wed, 12/16/2009 - 17:47

I have an 8-shaft Baby Wolf, too. I warp f2b, and for threading I use a low stool that puts me nearly eye-level with the heddles when the loom is unfolded (i.e. in weaving position). That way I can get right up against the back beam, with the heddles in easy reach even with my back almost straight.  Threading and knotting onto the rod goes quickly and no sore back!

Good luck finding a method that works for you. There's often a period of trial and error, but you'll soon discover the best way to go about it, I'm sure.

Happy weaving,

Posted on Thu, 12/17/2009 - 02:11

OK, that's awful and absolutely hilarious (to have happened to someone else!)  :-)

Thank you for sharing the story; I shall hold it to my chest carefully.  Very, very carefully. 


-heather f.

Posted on Thu, 12/17/2009 - 02:12

I think that's what it's going to boil down to - a shorter chair/stool, and practice!  My spinning stool is still too high, and the weaving bench is WAY too high for dressing the loom.


-heather f.

Posted on Thu, 12/17/2009 - 02:14

Hrm.  Didn't actually know I could do that.  I'll have to look that up!  I do F2B.  I can't logically wrap my brain around B2F.  It sounds like putting on pants before underwear to me.  :-)



Posted on Thu, 01/14/2010 - 23:26

Is there a book specific to the baby wolf? Purchased an 8 shaft in hope it would be kinder on my aging body and I would be able to weave outside in the summer. Seem to have many questions. My other loom is an old Canadian counterbalance and it seems to be more forgiving. Just wondering. Thanks , Belinda

Posted on Fri, 01/15/2010 - 02:01

The best method, teacher and video I have found is the one by Tom Knisely of The Mannings. His video covers it all from beginning to end, very efficiently and the warping method he teaches and has used for years is a variation of f2b. I don't use it every time I warp my baby wolf but it is the method I use when I want it done quickly and easily. I can't find it on the web but you can call or email The Mannings.

I wrote the Mannings and learned they still have the video available for $44.95. Just call their toll free number or write to them as I did and you can order it. I believe it's worthwhile. Tom does a lovely job on all the basics, especially warping and threading the loom.


Posted on Fri, 01/15/2010 - 16:27

Thank you so much Claudia. Appreciate you taking the time. Have been checking out ways to be more comfortable and make life easier. Will call today. Belinda

Posted on Fri, 01/15/2010 - 17:05


Is Tom Knisely's video specific to the baby wolf?  Or would it be beneficial for other looms as well?  Thanks.


Posted on Fri, 01/15/2010 - 17:10

I apologize if I my statement made it seem that Tom is warping for a specific loom. His video instructions are applicable to any loom. I have a baby wolf, a Tools of the Trade and a couple other smaller looms. I use his methods on both looms. I was lucky to have a weekend to work with Tom at the Mannings and encourage everyone who can to do so. He is an amazing teacher who made weaving fun for me. I credit him to getting me going on a good path to learning and working with speed and accuracy.


Posted on Wed, 02/10/2010 - 19:44

Wanted to say thanks for recommending the Tom Knisely video, as it has helped me tremendously. Things are getting much easier. Would recommend it to other weavers. Belinda

Posted on Mon, 02/15/2010 - 14:52

I have been away from weaving for a while, and decided to put a warp on my 24 shaft AVL technical dobby.  I used a warping wheel without a cross (not a problem for me), and sectional beam.

Perhaps I need practice.  My memories of warping using a warping reel (floor standing) or warping board seemed to go lots faster than using the warping wheel.

Are there other warping wheel users out there, and do you have thoughts about the most efficient way to work with this tool?

Posted on Wed, 06/11/2014 - 00:47

Today I viewed this video and found it answered MANY questions I have had over the years about b2f and warping.   I will be changing my methods and using many of her ideas.  Very precise, paced well, and informative.