How does the selection of yarn for warp vs weft give different results?

Hello new friends! Starting my 5th project another scarf and I'm using the same type of yarn; a merino wool-Malabrigo Rios. One skein is tone on tone chocolate browns and the other skein is the same yarn in a selection of burgundy/pinks and browns. Does it give a different finished look depending on which yarn I use for the warp and the weft? Many thanks!


Posted on Mon, 11/02/2015 - 11:45

give different results. I would do a small sample. You can do that off the loom by winding the yarn around a square of cardboard and then needle weaving the weft through. Does that make sense? It would alos work if you have something like a Zoom loom or even a potholder loom.


Posted on Mon, 11/02/2015 - 11:56

Hi Weavinupnorth,

endorph is right in doing a sample, it's always a good idea :) when there is a strongly variegated yarn I like to put in the warp, so the changes of the colors can be seen to their advantage,  if put in the weft in a short width piece the lovely changes get chopped apart,  It can still look nice but it does look different than the skein, it is not as flowy. The tone on tone in my estimation would probably be better as a weft because it's subtle and could take the abrupt interruption . But as endorph suggested a sample tells you a lot!


Posted on Mon, 11/02/2015 - 14:34

Thank you Endorph and Cathie. I wondered what those little looms where used for! Too funny. I will do a sample; never would have thought of that. Is there a general rule of thumb regarding this? I mean let's say I wanted this scarf mostly brown with bits of pink showing through would the brown generally be the warp or the weft thread OR does one do a sample with each project to preview? Many thanks...I'll be weaving today!

Posted on Mon, 11/02/2015 - 15:34

will depend on whether you are weaving a weft-faced or a warp-faced project. Hopefully someone with better language skills than me will hop in here to explain those two terms. Generally you are weaving a balance weave - ends per inch and picks per inch match. So if you are using your 10 dent heddle you would make sure you have 10 picks per inch in your weft. The warp and the weft would be about equally visible. If you want more weft to show you would put in more picks per inch to cover up the warp. This would be weft faced. Do you have Jane Patrick's Weaver's Idea book or Betty Davenport's Hands on Rigid Heddle Weaving. They both talk about weft and warp-faced fabrics. When in doubt - sample!


Posted on Mon, 11/30/2015 - 19:21

The suggestion to make a sample on a card board loom was excellent for me. Every time that I read to make a sample, I would think, "But I do not want to warp my loom for the trial and error."

Posted on Wed, 01/20/2016 - 18:52

Also, if you use a variegated yarn with a specific pattern, be sure to wind it off first onto something else and then onto your shuttle.  Otherwise, when you wind onto the shuttle, it will be may not always matter but it's a good idea to keep it uniform. 


Posted on Thu, 01/21/2016 - 00:27

Because the warp is "longer" than the weft direction of a scarf, variations in color appear best in the warp and show off subtle changes better than in the short weft direction. Use the quieter yarn as weft.

Posted on Sun, 02/07/2016 - 21:35

I am brand new to weaving and I too wondered how to make a sample without setting up the loom. 


Posted on Thu, 04/28/2016 - 18:53

My loom was delivered today. It came fully ready to start weaving...and with lots of pictures showing how to use it...I have been so looking forward to get a loom...I have so many ideas running around in my mind i don't know which one to tackle...I suppose just setting a rhythm to this...getting the feel of weaving and build on that...?   ☺

Posted on Thu, 04/28/2016 - 21:56

Have fun weaving on that new loom. My first project when I unpacked my rigid heddle was a striped kitchen towel. It certainly had some mistakes, but I was so proud.

Posted on Sat, 05/07/2016 - 16:13

I have done just a bit of weaving so far...I am actually awaiting a mini loom for samples and just fun. I am still reading everything I can about beginning weaving. I just thought that maybe I should stop worrying and just finally jump in and to heck with worrying about making mistakes. After all no one is perfect....and as long as I learn from my weaving errors...that is ok.

Posted on Sun, 05/08/2016 - 02:54

I totally agree; jump in and get weaving! I started with a few scarves on the rigid heddle loom I had for 2 wks after taking a class. Borrowed a 4 harness table loom from our Guild and did 1 scarf. After getting my own 8 harness Louet table loom I did 2 tea towels and now have the loom dressed and am starting another 3 tea towels. I learned so much from the first set of towels as nearly everything that could go wrong did but in the end they turned out quite lovely! Have fun!