What’s in a Loom’s Scrap Heap? – (Maybe, just maybe an example of tying on new warps??)

I’ve noticed over the years in my travels that most hand looms have a little scrap heap near them. I noticed one in Japan and thought it would be a great teaching aid. I’d been teaching one of the husbands on the trip and I could see if he could find the warps, wefts, and selvedges. I expected them to give them to me, but I did pay a small price. That was OK because it is a great teaching aid.


When I ironed some of the fabric scraps, I noticed this scrap seemed to have a “purple fringe”. I said, Wow! Maybe these are new warps tied to old ones.


I began to look closer and seemed like there might actually be knots. Maybe I was in luck.


.I needed to use a tapestry needle to part the tiny threads.


Yes! Knots! Every warp thread was tied in a knot to a purple thread!


There was another scrap I didn’t need to bother to untangle because it was clear this also was a new warp knotted to the old, thread-by-thread.


I describe the process of tying on new warps thoroughly in my book Warping Your Loom & Tying On New Warps which is now back in print. It is also still available as a pdf for less money.


Notice that I tie on behind the heddles, just like these fine threads would have been tied. My mentor, Jim Ahrens said, “If you can talk them out of tying on in front, you will be doing them a big favor.”


Part 4 – Tying On New Warps

Another Item from My Book Back in Print


“If you can talk them out of tying on in front, you will be doing them a big favor.”

Jim Ahrens to Peggy in 1995

Here are the advantages and an excerpt from the chapter.

• You tie only one set of knots. The warps are automatically on tension, and you don’t need to waste time or yarn by tying onto an apron rod.

• Because the warps are always under tension they can’t tangle or break or invite mistakes. (When you pull loose, untensioned threads through the heddles, loops and snags are inevitable.)

• Keeping the threads under tension at all times is the key to pulling the knots through the heddles easily.

• You get a perfectly wound warp on the warp beam without any knots on the apron rod.

• You can accurately spread the warp on the warp beam. When working from the front, you wind the warp onto be beam after the knots are tied, using the reed as a guide to keep the warp spread to the right width. The reed is a long, long way from the warp beam, and as the knots pass through the heddles, the heddles can actually scatter the warps.

• With many looms, you can be much more comfortable tying at the back.


For the first few times at least, you’ll find tying the square knots much easier with a firm support to tie against. A board placed beneath the knot-tying area gives your thumb something to press the ends against while your fingers tie knots. It’s like having someone put their finger on the knot while you tie a bow! Later on, you may be able to tie the knots “in the air” without the support, but I still like to use one.

Position the board beneath the knot-tying area, midway between the back beam and the shafts. If your old warp is short, position the board closer to the shafts and adjust the warps so your knot-tying area is above the board.

Support the board on the side framework of your loom, or on lary sticks, or suspend it from long loops of string tied to the loom’s overhead structure. …

The top of the board should be on the same plane as the warps. It should be sturdy and in no danger of falling, so experiment with C-clamps and string, if you need to, to get a firm work surface.


EXTRA!! Read All About It! – Warping Your Loom & Tying On New Warps is in Print Again!

Almost a year ago I sent my books to a shop in Australia, called the Weaving Room. That’s when Sharon Harris, the owner of the shop, 13,000 km away contacted me because she thought my 2nd book needed to be back in print.

Then a most beautiful thing happened when we two women who don’t know each other, worked together across the world to produce an “amazing book “(her words) that has been out of print for years. The First Edition came out 26 years ago and has been in demand consistently ever since. This is the Fourth Edition.

The books were printed in Australia, and they arrived in the US and are available on my website here: https://peggyosterkamp.com/weaving-books-dvd/

It has been available only as a pdf for several years until now.

The cost may surprise you, but 26 years after the first books were printed costs have increased as you can imagine. The price will be $55. For those people who bought the original pdf, I offer a 15% discount off the new printed edition. To take advantage, send a message in the comments section with your name, address, and email address. (I have a record of all who ordered the PDF). I’ll email you how to send your payment by PayPal.

The cost of the PDF will remain the same as before: $27.50. I’m thrilled to see it in print again. When I look at the chapters, I see that much of the information is valuable and not in any of the other books at all. Of course, thorough explanations of warping the loom are included. In addition, there are chapters on:
Sectional beaming, Tying On New Warps, Adjusting Looms, Two or More Warps, Designing Random Stripes, Knots and more.
In a future post I’ll show example pages. I think you’ll see that “having her books at your loom is like having a patient, knowledgeable teacher at your side” as the back cover says.