Does anyone have a decent video or pictures of an effecient way to warp a threaded in design?  There must be a better way than I've tried.  The tangles and difficulty getting all the warps to an even tension, discourage me from this type of weaving.  Since I've never seen this process and only read about it and tried it, I typically get reponses that assume that I have seen their technique before and I'm still left in the dark.  I'm experienced in other forms of weaving and I know that I can do this effeciently if I have a good system to start with.  Thank you in advance.


Posted on Sun, 10/20/2013 - 21:28

Let me start by saying I am so new at tablet weaving, I have done more video watching than actual projects (on 1st one now).  But here's one of the videos I found to be somewhat helpful.  It cuts off before the whole process is finished (she'd like you to purchase her DVD, and that makes sense to me) but hopefully this starts you in the right direction!



Posted on Sun, 10/20/2013 - 22:05

Actually, I have watched this video, and this is a nice way to warp.  I have had success with this continuous warping method.  It's good when all the cards are warped with the same threads in the same holes, like for brocade and double faced weave.  It's the threaded in designs that I have a big problem with, for example when each card has a different threading and with different colors.  Then you have to cut four threads for each card, and ends of yarn everywhere, and it just becomes a jumbled tangled mess, at least for me.  I did a ram's horn pattern, and what a mess.  Once I got the mess straightened out, all was good, but hours to work on that mess before I started weaving just drove me nuts.

Posted on Sun, 10/20/2013 - 22:41

I will be warping soon, and will try to document my method, but I am sure it is far from perfect.

In words, I lay the deck (in order if you number your cards) on my right, with all the cards face up (or face down, your preference.)

I cut the warps I need to the length I need. As I am using the John Mullarkey tablet loom, I put a piece of 2-sided tape along the length of the first peg, and then at the bottom of the loom or on the table surface.

I leave the warp packages on the floor, thread each card's hole with the color needed, locking down the warp at the beginning peg with the tape, and cutting it off at the bottom of the loom, once it is affixed to that piece of tape. (about 2 yards.) When I have all 4 holes threaded, I recheck the direction the card is to be threaded, and that the right colors are in the right holes. If all is okay, I knot that warp group together at the bottom of the loom and stick the group back to the tape at the bottom. Then I move that card over to the left side of the loom, facing the opposite direction it was when to the right of the loom. I stack each completed card onto the previously completed card on the left.

When I have all the cards threaded, I put a rubber band around them. I tie the smaller, knotted groups together in one big knot. While applying tension, I usually pull the deck forward just a bit to align the warps behind the cards.  If some of the cards will not be turning in a balanced way, I leave those card's warps loose from the big knot, and lock them down with a clamp later, independent of the rest of the warp.

I tie a big knot in the front of the warp, then lash the two knots together on the loom. Before I do that, I must remember to ease off the adjustable tension. That is the fiddly part. I keep tighting the lashing between the two knots, and when I think I have it as perfect as I am going to get it, I increase the tension with the paddle or adjustable knob.

Last, you can pull the warp deck forward slightly to bring any uneveness in front of the deck, and when you throw the first few passes, the looser warps seem to come to the front and disappear in the "header" if you have one.

I'd love to learn a more fool-proof and less fiddly way of doing it, so if anyone has any advice, please chime in!

Posted on Sun, 10/20/2013 - 23:37

Are you using a loom or something like a backstrap setup where the warp is not under tension?  I've done both ways, and the loom is by far less headache.  Are you using clamps or pegs to measure your warps?  If so, tie choke ties around the warp until you've started to weave.  This will keep it under control.  I've warped with clamps and loose, clamps are better for control.

If your cards are loose while warping, Peter Collingwood designed a small holder to help keep control of cards- it's in Figure 19 of the Techniques of Tablet Weaving.  Linda Hendrickson sells one on her web site based on that design that her husband makes.  You can get an idea of how to keep the cards in order.  However, you could do something similar with a cardboard box that fits your cards reasonably well.  Slit notches in the box so you can hook your threads into the notches.  Make sure you knot each card at both ends as you go.  If you can slightly weight the long end of the warp, this will keep it under tension- as Laura Fry says, a warp under tension is a warp under control. Otherwise you could put a dowel through the warp with a lease tie to keep it from slipping off, or chain the warp threads to keep them in order.  Tie a couple of choke ties until you are ready to start weaving.

For looms, I have used my Ashford Inklette and I now have a Mullarkey tablet weaving loom that I'm really enjoying.  I warp each card and tie it on the loom (yes, this is slow, but I dont care).  I work from left to right across the draft, and as I warp each card, I use a knit stitch holder to hold the cards.  Rubber bands work ok too.

I've tried all these methods, and the loose cards are the most troublesome. I've had some royal messes!

You can use the continuous method with threaded in designs as well.  I've been meaning to try this.  Otfried Staudigel describes it in his books. It works best if you dont care how your cards are lettered or numbered (actually it's best to use cards with just 1 or 2 marks, as near as I can tell). You figure out how many cards are threaded exactly the same color order, and continuously warp up that many cards.  Tie off and change whatever colors you need to switch, and repeat until you have all the cards threaded.  If you are using clamps or pegs you can do the same thing.  Then you move the cards into the correct position, flipping them to get the correct S or Z orientation.  It doesn’t matter that all the threads are crossing over each other at the beginning.  If you are on a loom, weave a few picks with some thicker yarn to spread the warp, and go from there.  If you are using a backstrap, I would tie off the beginning edge with a choke tie and then start weaving with thicker thread to spread the warp. 

Posted on Tue, 10/29/2013 - 20:07

Thanks, I do use a loom, I have used clamps and rollers.  I made the device that Peter Collingwood showcases in his book.  That helps once you wrap your head around how your card lie in relation to the device.  I'm not sure I would try the continuous method with a threaded in design when some cards are threaded with different colors, I think that would be too confusing for me.  What I may do is use a warping board and wrap the four threads for each card starting with the left most and ending with right most, then use a lease stick to keep them seperated, and thread me tablets directly from the board, and maybe keep them tangle free (in a perfect world) and get them on my loom.  I have used a warp chain once I get them untangled.  Thanks so much for everyones help.

Posted on Fri, 11/01/2013 - 14:41

I just posted a photo-essay of my warping method for a threaded-in design. With this particular pattern, I had 4 cards in the center than did not have a balanced turning repeat, so I tensioned those separately with a clamp so I could work out the twist. 


Based on Mystic Handworks comments, I decided to precut all the warps beforehand (using a guide string) vs. pulling right from the packages on the floor through the tablets.

Not sure which method I like best yet. This method did seem to go more tangle-free and was faster when threading. I think that has more to do with the fact I typically pull from one color/cone, I don't prepare smaller packages.

For a tablet that has 4 different colors, pulling from the package/cone works great with 4 different cones. But for a tablet with 4 blues, I typically don't have 4 cones, and I don't estimate and then prewind smaller packages of the blue in advance. If I measured and prepared the smaller packages I need, that would probably equal the time to pre-cut exactly what I need by card/color order.

Also keeping in mind Mystic Handworks comments about tangling, this method seems to get the warp on with minimum tangles. I considered the warp board and lease stick route as suggested. I just couldn't see picking from the cross of lease sticks when the tablets keep everything aligned for you. I saw more tangles in my future rather than less. I think that method may be overkill, at least for a short warp. I guess I would have to see it in action to know for sure — I just couldn't imagine it.

As Laura Fry and others say, "a warp under tension is a warp under control". I am able to pull on the warp in front of the tablet when pulling the warp through the loom pegs with my other hand. That helps keep the warps from binding up before entering the card. (Traditional front-to-back warpers or RH weavers know what that looks like at the reed sometimes.) Then the tape at the bottom of the loom holds the threaded warps down.

Not perfect by any means, but workable. I think it took an hour or two to thread the loom @ 22 cards/2 yards.

Posted on Fri, 11/01/2013 - 15:25

Sally, first and fore-most, thank you for capturing your technique in pictures and going through the effort of providing us with them.  I use a loom, but its less of a loom than you use.  I may want to start using my Inkle loom to do threaded-in designs.  I love your loom.  This looks like a great technique and I will give it a go on my next threaded-in warp.  

Second, I love your pattern drafting!!!  While I have charted for brocade, I haven't attempted drafting a threaded-in design yet.  I find Gunthurs program a bit confussing.  He has a disclaimer where you download the program that he has accidentaly rearranged the lettering of the cards and goes on to explain it, by the end of that paragraph my eyes have glossed over and I don't trust myself with this program enough to use it and cut threads.  Your display makes it look so straight forward.

Thanks again

Posted on Fri, 11/01/2013 - 18:15

If you are on a PC, you definitely have more drafting software options than a MAC. (Yes, I am on a MAC).

John Mullarkey has free pattern-drafting software on his site, also. I have been impressed with what my guildmates have done with his program.

One of the programs that is MAC friendly hasn't been updated in awhile, so I found it quite quirky. I decided the retro method of colored pencils & graph paper was far quicker for me to work through ideas for now.

Rosearbor also stuck it out with the quirky software on my previous pattern to render the colors and turning sequence for me. So it was easy to use a light table and color new designs from the former rendering.

In the past, another way I might execute new pattern/color ideas would be to make a B&W copy of a woven band, blown up 200%. Then use that as my template/tracing diagram to color up ideas.

Posted on Sat, 11/02/2013 - 00:54

That's all great info, I will check out his site and the softwear.

Posted on Sun, 11/24/2013 - 15:10

Page not found.  Darn it.  Something's gone arye.

Posted on Sun, 11/24/2013 - 18:37

Thanks so much for posting a wonderful set of pictures and sharing them with us.  It does make a difference when you see the way someone else does it.  The tension looks so even and the band is beautiful.  I love the twist you put on this pattern.

Posted on Mon, 06/02/2014 - 20:15

If you are on a PC, you definitely have more drafting software options than a MAC. (Yes, I am on a MAC).

Yes, I know your comment is 6 months old, but I couldn't resist.

I just discovered tablet/card weaving a few days ago. A bit of net research, a trip to the hardware store, and a shuffle thru my craft closet for threads, and I'm off and running.

I, too, found several programs for Win for planning (drafting? Is that the right word?) your weaving. (BTW, what is the Mac friendly program you found?) I also found a Mac program called WineBottler that lets you turn Win programs into Mac programs. I can't make it work for John Mullarkey's program, but I've now got self-running apps for GTT, LoomyBin, and Turnstyler. (I like Turnstyler best; the auto updated band as you manipulate the cards is cool. I just wish you could color in the band and have the cards populate. Wouldn't that be neat.)

Hope this info helps someone other than me. ::grin::

ETA: letters. Because words don't make sense without them.