Warp and Weft: Another Spelling Situation

What do warps, wefts, and woof Mean?
Warps are the threads that are measured out and put on the loom first. Wefts are the threads that cross over and under the warp threads during weaving. I heard one person say, “Warp is the one that has the letter A in it.” When I checked for the definition of woof I first noticed: “a low gruff sound typically produced by a dog.” Further on, “the threads that cross the warp in a woven fabric”. I didn’t follow further, e.g., for woofer!

We can talk about a warp as a whole or a single warp thread or yarn. Warps are the ones weavers put on the warping board. It’s a strong piece of equipment used to measure out the threads or yarns to go on the loom. A group of threads for a project is called the warp and could inches, or feet, or yards long. Also, a single thread can be called a warp. However, every warp thread needs to be the same length.

The weft weaves over and under the warps that are on the loom already to make cloth.

Wefts come in any number of packages: Skeins often look like this.

Skeins must be completely unwound for the yarn to be useable. A skein as in the photo is used for dyeing but not for any other use that I can think of. To unwind a skein, you could put on the back of a chair and wind the yarn into a ball.  Then it can be used for warps or wefts or many uses.

Balls come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Weavers can use yarns in any package other than a wound skein.

Cones are another type of package for yarn. They are well known to weavers. The thread comes off easily and fast for making warps or winding shuttles for wefts.

Weft yarns or threads need to go onto shuttles so they can pass easily over and under the warp threads. There are many sizes but this type of shuttle is usually this shape. Usually they are made of wood. The word shuttle means to go  back and forth between two places. Like a space shuttle.

This is a boat shuttle and is much more efficient than the stick shuttle seen before because the yarn wound on its bobbin comes off faster and more smoothly. You can see that it is going over and under the warp threads. In this photo fatter wefts were woven already.