Two Crosses?? Speed up your warping process – For those who warp the loom back-to-front

Many of my weaving friends never learned to make 2 crosses on the warping board. Instead, I think that they stopped to make ties and tied off each and every group of threads for the raddle. I taught my beginners to make a cross with groups of threads for the raddle as well as the familiar thread-by-thread cross I think every weaver makes to keep the warp threads in order. It’s easy to do without stopping while winding the warp on the pegs. At one end of the warp you make the thread-by thread cross and at the other end you make a second cross with groups of threads on each side of the pegs. Then loading the raddle is quick and easy and accurate as well. The illustrations are from my book, Weaving for Beginners. And there is more text, of course in the book, as well as many more illustrations of the warping process. Note that there is a comprehensive chapter on warping front-to-back in the book as well. But this post is for the “back-to-fronters” because a raddle is used.

Here is what the cross for the raddle will look like on the pegs on the warping board (or warping reel). The number of threads in each group depends upon the sett (epi) and the size of the spaces in the raddle. For example if the sett is 20 epi and the spaces in the raddle are ½” , then there should be 10 threads in each group.

Here is how it might look like on a warping board. Notice that there are 4 pegs allotted to each cross: the regular thread-by-thread cross and the raddle cross. Then, the true cross is on it’s own 2 pegs and not involved with the ends of the warp or a peg where the warp configuration changes direction.

It’s interesting that a false cross develops beside the raddle cross. It is NOT a cross and disappears later so you cannot use it at all. I told my students happens naturally when groups of threads are put into a cross. In the illustration you can see the false cross between pegs 5 and 6 and that it looks similar to the real cross, except the X is encircled with threads.

I always taught my students to color code the ties for the crosses. This is shown in the illustration for the thread-by-thread cross. Notice that the end peg is tied on each side of the peg just like on the pegs holding the cross. When I checked their work, I always counted the ties at each cross: “1,2,3,4,5,6.” Color coding makes it easy to avoid twists in the warp when putting the lease sticks in. Tying on each side of the pegs makes it very easy to open the warp where the lease sticks go in.  It’s very important to make ties at the end pegs, especially at the raddle cross end.

Here is what the warp would look like when all the ties for the 2 crosses are made. (The extra ties in the illustration represent choke ties.)

Lease sticks are placed in the raddle cross when it is taken off the warping board.

Here’s the set up for loading the raddle easily and efficiently. There is a folded piece of paper on the nails so they don’t snag the warp. Notice the big book on the warp. That is so you can pull against it slightly to make tension on the threads so it is easy to see the groups of threads in the cross. Then you can load the raddle without mistakes.

Notice in the previous photo that the cross on the lease sticks is very close to the stick in the end of the warp. To move the lease sticks you need to move the cross. Here’s how to move the cross: Separate the threads behind the lease stick that is further away from you—since you’ll be moving the cross toward you, away from the raddle. Open a space between the threads as if you were opening the long handles of a pair of hedge clippers: the threads will pivot at the point where they cross. If you gently widen the gap, as if opening the clipper handles wider, you see that the cross moves. Move the cross gently, don’t force it to move. Move it to the position shown in the previous photo.

12 thoughts on “Two Crosses?? Speed up your warping process – For those who warp the loom back-to-front”

  1. I have used this method and found it makes warping so much easier. All of your books and information are wonderful.

  2. What a great tip! I’m a new weaver, and I got your book, the Deborah Chandler book, and joined Jane Stafford’s online guild. I’ve been spending a lot of time reading and watching. LOL There is SO much to learn! I’ve found that for me, it’s really helpful to know the why’s of doing things. And then to try different ways to see what works. Thank you for talking about what it is, why I’d use it and when. Some of the facebook pages are just not helpful. One person will say, “Oh I never warp B2F” and the next person will say the opposite. Discussion around why is so helpful to me.

    I’ve knitted, spun, sewn clothes and quilted for years, but this is new territory. So enjoying your posts. 🙂

  3. Peggy,
    As you know, I just did this technique for the first time..very calm & satisfying way to deal with keeping the warp in a logical order..
    Thank you. I will never go back to not using a raddle cross!

  4. Hi Mrs. Peggy!
    As I am sure you knew, my instructor at Haywood in North Carolina, Mrs. A. Putansu uses your book to teach her Intro/Beginner Weaving class,
    which I took last year. I began year two last week which is Production Methods. Your tips and tricks has proved to be so efficient! As I begin to evaluate my movements and track my work time I just have yet to find a way that that is any faster! Thank you for allowing us to learn from you.

    • Thank you so much! When I make a post or tip, I often wonder if anyone sees it. Thank you for allowing me to know your praise! And I didn’t know about Mrs. Putansu.

  5. Hi. As a new weaver I just found this double cross method which is unique to you I think. It makes sense but my problem is that my warping board doesn’t allow for it. I can drill more holes and pegs eventually but am ready to wind a warp and just realized this. Any suggestions? Thank you!

    • Can’t you make the other cross with pegs you have? they don’t need to be close together. All pegs can be used any way you want. That’s all I can suggest. I have lots of configurations in my book Weaving for Beginners. I made it just for you and I hope you’ll get it ASAP. There’s all kinds of stuff in there you need to know and understand and lots for the future. Huge number of illustrations. available as a pdf for much cheaper.

  6. Dear Peggy,
    I am visiting my daughter in Scotland and we put together a Baby Wolf Loom and followed instructions that came with the loom just using one cross and beaming from back to front. The first project turned out great for my daughter, however when I learned to weave years ago,back to front,I used two crosses and the raddle was in the front. Could this method be used easily on the Baby woof loom? We are doing a lot of laughing and reading trying to figure out different methods and looms! I am used to the cloth apron from my old jack loom and for some reason I don’t think the strings are are as secure on the new ones.
    We would sincerely appreciate any advice! Just received your book for Beginners today.
    Thank you .
    Ann Cameron


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