How Wide Can I Weave?

'Spook of the Loom' is a Halloweave group open to weavers who wish to confront any weaving demon. You can join 'Group Spook', dare your demon...and lay your weaving ghosts to rest!

My Dare is to weave wider! (I'm a bit of a wimp when it comes to throwing a shuttle through the weaving shed, I keep thinking I'll break the warp threads.) So far the widest fabric I have woven on my floor loom is a measley 45cm wide.

I'm going to warp my loom with an 80cm wide wool warp, and weave black and grey (colour & weave) samples in double Huck weave structures. I've already completed a similar study in single Huck.

My loom is currently standing idle, so I've started winding the warp already...I'll post some photos tomorrow. If you need to finish weaving an old project off your loom before you join in Halloweave, there's still plenty of time to prepare!



Posted on Mon, 09/12/2011 - 05:43

Progress for this project is coming along...

Photos of the warp being wound onto the warp beam. I have a sectional beam on the Megado, and use my Louet spool rack as an aid to warping. The weight you can see attached to the warp is an old knitting machine ribber weight!

A closer view, so you can see what's going on.

And finally, a photo of the warp ready to be threaded through the heddles.



Posted on Mon, 09/12/2011 - 08:35

So you put out some of these steel divisions and wind a single warp for each section? Does this speeds warping up or down? And do you put special dividers between the warp-threads of each section? And do you have an equal tension in each section?

Sorry, I know these are many questions, but I try to decide if getting a sectional warp beam is something that makes sense for me or not. :-)


Posted on Mon, 09/12/2011 - 09:45

Hi Anja

Yes, I remove the steel divisions so that each section is 8cm wide. Each section is then wound on separately, with no dividers (I just make sure the warp is laying nicely before I start winding). For each section I use the same weight, so tension issues do not arise.

I can't really say whether using this method saves time, however it is definitely easier. I sit on a low stool by the back beam and keep an eye out for snags etc as I's also very quick and easy to move the weight down the warp. No more endless walking around the loom! (My loom is a Megado with an integral raddle at the top of the castle. I used to wind on using this raddle, with the weighted warp skeins hanging over the front beam)

I haven't quite got the lease cross for the draw in the right place yet, as I wind the warp using my Ashford warping mill. The measurements need adjusting. My husband made me some extra bars for the mill with cross pegs, so that I could place a cross in the middle of a warp (...nothing worse than moving a cross along a sticky wool warp to where it's needed!)

I hope this explanation helps...let me know if you have any more questions!


Posted on Mon, 09/12/2011 - 11:43

Yes Beth, it helps very much, thank you. I am only confused about the crosses:

When wounded up one section-warp, you have to stick the threads of this section to the beam, if you want to be able to turn it, don't you? But how do you preserve the cross by then? And when you finished all the sections, how do you move all the crosses over to this big cross-sticks in your pic? And why do you still need two crosses at this stage?

Posted on Tue, 09/13/2011 - 05:57

Hi Anja

I wind the warp until I get near the draw cross. Then I have to re-tie the warp at the lease stick cross and remove the warp from the sticks in order to wind the next section. When all sections are complete I have to re-insert the lease sticks through the whole warp. I leave these sticks in place when I weave.

The draw cross for the larger lease sticks is only temporary. I use it to keep the threads in order behind the shafts, when I'm threading the heddles. I only need two crosses because the first (working) cross is so far away from the shafts on my loom.



Posted on Tue, 09/13/2011 - 08:54

I have already done that: weaving two tablecloths at a width of approx 54 inches :-) It feels like a work-out! But it is a satisfying project all the same. Good luck with yours!

Posted on Tue, 09/13/2011 - 12:06

Hi Ellen

Thanks for your encouragement!

I'm so impressed...54" is 137cm. That is wide! Did you throw the shuttle or use a fly shuttle device?


Posted on Tue, 09/13/2011 - 15:23

You're welcome, Beth.

I bent to the side and threw it and then bent very quickly to the other side to catch it! That's what made it feel so much like an hour of exercise :-)

I always say, weaving is good for your health, but didn't really mean it that physically!

Posted on Tue, 09/13/2011 - 16:48

I have a Glimarkra 60inch and have recently finnished weaving a length of fabric for curtains full width. Only hassle for me is if the shuttle starts to bounce then bounce out of the shed. Also not having enough force to throw the shuttle so it doesn't get fully from selvedged to selvedge. It usually means trying different shuttles to get the right weight to throw balance.

Having said all that I love weaving wide.

I am 6ft 2inches tall so have the arm length.

Posted on Tue, 09/13/2011 - 17:31

Hi Ellen and Andrew

Wow, 60" is 152cm...I thought I was being ambitious attempting to weave 80cm wide!

I just measured my 'wing span'; I'm only 134cm from wrist to wrist.

One day I will try to weave cloth the full width of my loom (110cm) with a hand shuttle!


Posted on Tue, 09/13/2011 - 17:41

Yes, I had to choose a heavier shuttle than I normally like to work with to get it the right momentum, - and some practise "shots" whenever I came back to the weaving after a (much-needed) break to get the right force of the throw. One of the challenges of weaving wide :-)

Posted on Fri, 09/16/2011 - 10:27

My least favourite job of warping a loom is sleying the reed, but the wider warp is now ready and waiting.... Below are some more photos.



Posted on Mon, 09/19/2011 - 15:28

I wonder why you find sleying so unpleasant, and think, maybe you do not slay with the reed lying flat the way I do. That makes sleying one of the very pleasurable processes of setting up a project for me. You can have a look at the series of photos I made on flickr once about how I warp my loom : 

Posted on Tue, 09/20/2011 - 08:35

Thank you so much for posting this informative picture, Ellen. The next time I warp this floor loom, I shall definitely rig the reed flat, and see how I get on.


Posted on Tue, 09/20/2011 - 13:58

I am half way through sleying but I believe I will take the reed out of the frame and finish up like your picture. I believe it will go a lot faster!

Thanks for the picture!

Vicki Allen

Posted on Wed, 09/21/2011 - 13:34


Thanks again! I took the reed out and turned it flat and finished sleying in no time at all. And I didn't have to worry about accidentally pulling out the ends I had already sleyed.

Also, when I took the reed out, I discovered a lot of lint in the channel under it. I cleaned that out and realized it had been a while since I have really cleaned the loom!

Tonight I will begin to weave: summer and winter placemats.

Vicki Allen

Posted on Wed, 09/21/2011 - 15:54

I am so glad that I could lead your attention to this little practical method. It's not that I am particularly smart, it's the way I learnt it :-)

Yes, I often find lots of lint in that channel, depending what sort of yarn was last used for warp. 

Summer and winter sounds very interesting, be sure to post pictures as soon as you have a piece to show !!!


Posted on Wed, 09/21/2011 - 15:56

Hi Beth, sorry for having busted in. How are you coming along with your wide project??


Posted on Thu, 09/22/2011 - 06:03

Ellen, I just had a look at your 'Warping B to F' Flickr photos. They're excellent! Thanks so much for the link. (Especially helpful-the photo of how to hold the threads when sleying the reed).

As soon as I have more news re this Halloweave project, I'll be sure to post some photos of my progress.


PS...Please feel free to chime in whenever you like...your comments are always appreciated!

Posted on Thu, 09/22/2011 - 13:45

Hi Kerstin

Thanks for posting the link to your website. I've just had a look, and found your weaving tips very interesting...I like the one that shows a quick way to secure lease sticks independently of each other. I'm sure other weavers will find your info helpful too.