Warp sizing

Hi all!

I was wondering if anyone could give me any advice about adding size to my warp?  What do you use?  How do you apply it?  I've tried one recipe from The Alden Amos Big Book of Spinning useing flour and then immersed my warp into the mixture.  It worked O.K. after I pulled apart all the strands of yarn, but that was a really dusty process.  I've also heard about using hair spray but I'd rather not use it since I have feline supervision in my studio.

Thanks much!

Comments

Posted on Sun, 06/14/2009 - 23:40

Sizing a warp:

1. Take one well choke tied warp chain

2. Prepare some somewhat diluted laundry starch (Staley's liquid half and half works well)

3. Dip chain in starch solution, let soak for a few minutes

4. Hang up to dry

5. Warp with sized chain as you normally would. By the time you get the loom threaded, any threads sticking together have long since separated.

Starch has long been used by weavers - professionals as well - it is inexpensive, washes out easily and protects your warp. This works for ANY tender warp, or fuzzy ones as well - linen, handspun, silk, mohair, wool, cotton.

Yes, there are more  exotic recipes out there, but they all do the same thing as the laundry starch - if you don't find liquid at your grocery store, look in any older cookbook or textile care book and you'll find a recipe to use rice, corn or potato starch to cook up  your own.

Posted on Mon, 06/15/2009 - 00:20

The other commonly used warp sizing is gelatin which has the added advantage of not creating so much dust.  Recipes can be found in various resources - The Magic of Linen, Magic in the Water; wet finishing handwovens - both have recipes - for both flax dressing and gelatin dressing (I used Linda's flax seed dressing with her permission.)

cheers,

Laura

Posted on Mon, 06/15/2009 - 02:30

I've used the gelatin sizing recipe in the Big Book of Spinning  with good results.  Actually, I wound my yarn into skeins and sized it and then wound the warp after the yarn had dried so that I could clear any of the places that the yarn was stuck together.  I've used it on handspun singles wool and another time on a rather weak wool with excellent results.

Posted on Tue, 06/16/2009 - 22:19

 I used cheap hairspray when I had problems with the warp on the Warp Weighted Loom I borrowed.  The warp was already on the loom and it needed something we could add without removing it.  I considered brushing on a linseed  "tea" but couldn't find linseed on short notice.  The hairspray might not be the best option, but it worked.

Sharon

Posted on Wed, 06/17/2009 - 23:19

I find my linseed (flax seed) at Whole Foods.  You might also look at any local health food store if you don't have a WF.  I use the "tea" when I'm spinning flax wet to make a smother yarn.  As for hair spray, I'd heard about using it but the fabric I'm wanting to make is a reproduction of an 13th century fabric to that I'm going to sew into two liripipe hoods.  While my techniques aren't all "period"  I can justify making of the changes I have.  Thank you for the suggestion but hairspray is right out.  Also since my cats sleep under my loom I'd rather not expose them to the fumes. 

Posted on Sun, 06/14/2009 - 23:40

Sizing a warp:

1. Take one well choke tied warp chain

2. Prepare some somewhat diluted laundry starch (Staley's liquid half and half works well)

3. Dip chain in starch solution, let soak for a few minutes

4. Hang up to dry

5. Warp with sized chain as you normally would. By the time you get the loom threaded, any threads sticking together have long since separated.

Starch has long been used by weavers - professionals as well - it is inexpensive, washes out easily and protects your warp. This works for ANY tender warp, or fuzzy ones as well - linen, handspun, silk, mohair, wool, cotton.

Yes, there are more  exotic recipes out there, but they all do the same thing as the laundry starch - if you don't find liquid at your grocery store, look in any older cookbook or textile care book and you'll find a recipe to use rice, corn or potato starch to cook up  your own.

Posted on Mon, 06/15/2009 - 00:20

The other commonly used warp sizing is gelatin which has the added advantage of not creating so much dust.  Recipes can be found in various resources - The Magic of Linen, Magic in the Water; wet finishing handwovens - both have recipes - for both flax dressing and gelatin dressing (I used Linda's flax seed dressing with her permission.)

cheers,

Laura

Posted on Mon, 06/15/2009 - 02:30

I've used the gelatin sizing recipe in the Big Book of Spinning  with good results.  Actually, I wound my yarn into skeins and sized it and then wound the warp after the yarn had dried so that I could clear any of the places that the yarn was stuck together.  I've used it on handspun singles wool and another time on a rather weak wool with excellent results.

Posted on Tue, 06/16/2009 - 22:19

 I used cheap hairspray when I had problems with the warp on the Warp Weighted Loom I borrowed.  The warp was already on the loom and it needed something we could add without removing it.  I considered brushing on a linseed  "tea" but couldn't find linseed on short notice.  The hairspray might not be the best option, but it worked.

Sharon

Posted on Wed, 06/17/2009 - 23:19

I find my linseed (flax seed) at Whole Foods.  You might also look at any local health food store if you don't have a WF.  I use the "tea" when I'm spinning flax wet to make a smother yarn.  As for hair spray, I'd heard about using it but the fabric I'm wanting to make is a reproduction of an 13th century fabric to that I'm going to sew into two liripipe hoods.  While my techniques aren't all "period"  I can justify making of the changes I have.  Thank you for the suggestion but hairspray is right out.  Also since my cats sleep under my loom I'd rather not expose them to the fumes. 

Posted on Tue, 12/09/2014 - 02:05

I will be demonstrating a warp weighted loom outside later this month.  Last year the weather was very damp and made things very frusterating.  Would hairspray be a good solution for me to use on my cotton warp?

 

Posted on Mon, 05/11/2015 - 13:06

i use spray starch in a pinch and keep a can of the stuff in the workshop in case anyone goes and warps a particularly dense worsted warp without informing me first. I've not tried warp sizing properly, which is no doubt superior, but it's handy to have a can of the stuff about in case you don't realise the warp's fragile till it's already on the loom. I spray it on then use a broad brush to sort of get it spread evenly

Posted on Mon, 05/11/2015 - 14:22

In preparing to use a real Laotian pattern harness on a fine silk warp, I contacted John Marshall about making a rice paste sizing(found references to this in books) - he does a lot of resist dye techniques that also include such a substance.

He recommended using glutinous rice flour (sticky rice flour) and water - cooked up like gravy (dilute the flour in cold water and add to the heating water) to a consistency that would work as a warp sizing, not a resist paste. Glutinous rice flour is available in the Thai section at large groceries (Woodmans) and very inexpensive. I paid 99 cents for what will last me a lifetime.

A little bit will do - and the silk warp that I dipped in this mixture is protected, and feels just like you would want to have a fine silk warp feel.

I normally just use liquid laundry starch, but this procedure seems to go well with delicate silk.

 

Posted on Mon, 05/11/2015 - 15:16

Sara, what kind of consistency would be best? I know it's difficult to describe. Would watery-soup consistency do? Or are we heading into gravy territory?

Could the soup-gravy scale be related to the porridge scale I learned to mix concrete to?

Posted on Mon, 05/11/2015 - 21:05

Good question - I recall it being a gravy consistency - you wnt to to cling to the yarn and protect it. If you accidentally get it a bit stiff, the warping process, or at the latest, the first treadled shed will separate all threads. I'm pleased with this rice paste as it leaves the yarn pliable and doesn't flake off.

Posted on Fri, 09/16/2016 - 01:59

I found my old recipe for gelatin size. It does work!  Mix 2 packets unflavored gelatin in 1/4 cup cold water.  Add 1 cup boiling water and stir till dissolved. Add 3/4 cup cold water.

Immerse the skeins in the solution.  Squeeze out extra size gently, and hang to dry.  It is necessary to rotate the skeins as they dry to prevent the size from pooling up at one end of the skein.

When the skeins are dry, put them on an umbrella sift and wind them into center-pull balls. Sometimes I put an empty toilet paper cardboard tube on the ball winder as a sort of "cone." 

It is better to size the skeins before winding the warp.

Posted on Fri, 07/05/2019 - 18:43

Thank you all for the reassurance. I didn't know that the alpaca/silk/linen blend warp on my rhl would frazzle so much. Desperate, I grabbed a nearby spray of sizing (Laundress Stiffen Up) that someone who thought I ironed gave me (lol). I've just been lightly spraying it on my fingers then kind of rolling the pilly parts between them. I was afraid I was doing something awful to my scarf, and came here to ask that. But it sounds like I'm okay, and am thinking of just going ahead and lightly spraying the whole active part of the warp (there must be a name for the stretch between beams).

by the way, I'm loving being able to carry my loom out by the porch where the breeze, lawnmower, and singing birds remind me how blessed we are.

rhl newbie