Supplementary Warp—Something Different

Supplementary warp is a structure where there is a warp across the whole width plus another warp that goes part way across. In the areas where the extra warp(s) is/are there are actually two warps threaded together in the heddles and the reed. (I like complicated things that are actually simple ideas.)

African Thoughts
I wove this in a class at Pacific Basin School of Textiles where I really learned to weave. The subject was supplementary warp. It turns out to be one of my favorite weave structures. I liked it right away because “the weft couldn’t muck up my warp!” In other words, I only had the warps to think about and that was a relief. I copied the triangles from a book of African textiles. Then I played with all the other designs that I could get with the threading for the triangles. To me it was a sampler that was becoming pretty nice. So, I ended it the same way I began to make it look like I planned it that way. The embroidery floss was in my stash.

Lidded Box
Actually this was my project for the “sampler” I wove in the class. The assignment was to make something 3 dimensional using the supplementary warp structure. That was the beginning of my infatuation with boxes. It’s double weave with the supplementary warp in between the layers.

I think I wove this on my own sometime later. I got the idea of reflections using some twills.

Twinkle, Twinkle
I was to weave something to do with music so got the silly idea of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”. I have a loom built for supplementary warp with 40 shafts for the extra warps. There are 4 other shafts for the ground weave. The 40 shafts work with a mechanical dobby. The 4 shafts have treadles and their own shafts and heddles. It’s available if anyone would like to have it. It has around 18” weaving width. Jim Ahrens built it. I bought it from Kay Sekimachi, so it has a good provenance. It’s in my studio in the San Francisco Bay Area. I thought I would weave Jin weaves and collected some information but time has run out for me now. However, I see people are weaving Jin now, so maybe someone will want it. Best Offer.

Color Blanket with Triangle Illusion
This I wove in the double weave class. I was hot to have a color blanket so one side has the supplementary warp grey triangle. The back side has vertical bands of the colors with black or grey wefts crossing. I was disappointed the triangle didn’t appear to lift off the surface as much as I’d like.

Red Squares
This time I wanted to see if I could gradually make an image disappear. I used 6 shafts for the supplementary warps and 4 for the twill ground since I have 10 shafts on my original Ahrens loom. It needed the shafts to be held down so I could get clean sheds when all but one of the shafts was lifted.

9 thoughts on “Supplementary Warp—Something Different”

  1. Such inspiring work! Many thanks for sharing! I also learned to weave around 1981 at Pacific Basin in Berkeley. I drive past that corner and have fond thoughts of my first attempt at weaving!

    Thank You!

  2. Wow, Peggy. I am so impressed by this work. I love your adventurousness is explorations of weaves. I love how you take ideas that are hard to nail down (e.g. “disappearing images”) and – nail them down in creative ways! Thank you for this blog and for sharing not only the triumphs but the processes and failures also. It helps the rest of us trust our own creative processes.

  3. Just when I start thinking that the time and money already spent on workshops needs to be put to use, another new and exciting option lands in in my email box. Thank you! I’m trying to figure out if my equipment has the capability to do supplemental warp. Off to do some research. Thankbyou!

    • You have the equipment! 2 shafts for the ground warp and the rest are yours. Our teacher sdid to use an 8 dent reed or something close with wide spaces for threads to pass. And weights you can find around. I have a 4-page chaper on supplemeentary warp in my book Warping Your Loom & Tying On New Warps. Happy researching.


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