Broken Threads Disaster–My Solution

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I’m weaving 125 fine threads per inch so I can weave another ruffle (see my gallery) which I will shibori dye with indigo. Then the ruffle will disappear and appear in the dyed and un-dyed areas.   [click any photo to enlarge]
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I’m trying to weave with finer-than-ever silk threads. I should have starched them first but didn’t because I didn’t realize it would be necessary. That would have made the threads stronger.  There are 125 threads per inch and I made more threading errors than I’ve ever made in my life. I have spent hours correcting these almost invisible threads and have lost a few and a few have broken –there are 16 threads to date that are hanging off the back of my loom and I expect I’ll have more as I weave along. Here is a close up of the weaving and one broken thread pinned in. (I’ve been mending the threads with sewing thread so I can see them.)
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I used this stand which I’d used when I was weaving velvet to rig up a way to keep all the threads from tangling. Knowing that the only thread that can’t tangle is one under  tension this is what I did.
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I took the threads as they came from the warp beam and made a cross to keep them in order. 
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 Here is a close-up of the cross I made to keep the threads in order.
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To further keep them in order they went through this grid.

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Here is how I tensioned the threads. These are fish net shuttles I used when weaving velvet.

My First Guest Post! Calm Obsession by Regina Potts

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I started guest posting with Regina Potts. It all began when she emailed me with a better way to stretch out the cloth on the loom. I suggested using croc clips in my book, Weaving for Beginners. We’ll be collaborating in future posts. I like her idea, her stories, and the way she thinks.
Here it is in PDF format. Just click the post title below
Weighted Claw Temple by Regina Potts

Fine-Threads Saga Part Two: Threading the Heddles!

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Well, this job will take a good while, but I think it will work out. In my books I show a trick for threading that isn’t really a trick; it’s a technique I always use. Jim Ahrens taught it to us in our Production Weaving classes. What you do is put tension on the threads so they are taut when they are in the lease sticks making it easier to see which is the next thread. I usually use a 3 ½-ounce wrench for a weight (it lives in my apron pocket). WrenchI separate out a bundle of cut warp threads about the thickness of a medium-sized carrot to tension. When you select a strand to thread next you pull it out of the weighted bundle using the threading hook. This is described on page 71 in Weaving for Beginners and on page 51 in Book #2, Warping Your Loom & Tying On New Warps available now in PDF format.  [click any photo to enlarge]
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For these tiny threads I used very small fishing weights and tied many ties along the lengths of small bundles just so none of the threads flew around.Peggy post 7-24-15-3
You can see them hanging down at the back of the loom if you look closely. ( My loom is folded up for threading.) The fishing weights were from weaving velvet one time.

 

Peggy post 7-24-15-4 This photo shows the threads in the lease sticks. Peggy post 7-24-15
This photo shows the threads behind the heddles as they go into the heddles.
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These photos show the
threads coming out of the heddles.

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This last photo shows where I am so far—threads that are in the heddles and held to the side out of the way by a tiny ball of UHU removable putty.

These fantastic photos are by Bob Hemstock, my miraculous web guy.

There were looms in Ancient Greece!

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Greek loom with weights – click to enlarge

Greek Loom Weight

Greek loom weight – click to enlarge

There were looms in Ancient Greece. At the archaeological  site, Akrotiri,  we visited in the Island of Santorini we read there were hundreds of loom weights were found . At a museum we saw some weights–thrilling to see them. The picture shows a loom with the weights. This is a well known image. Exiting to see such elaborate costumes–all made of cloth from those primitive looms.

Weaving with an Extra Warp

Weaving with more than one warp is something I really like to do. We call it a “supplementary warp” when in theory, it could be removed and an intact cloth would remain.

“Red Square” was woven on 10 shafts–2 for the foundation warp and 8 for the red warp.

The sewing thread warp I’m weaving on now has a supplementary warp, too. In this case these warps aren’t threaded in heddles, but between them. See more in previous posts.

I weight my supplementary warps with washers that are hanging from shower curtain hooks.

The knot to use (because it is easy to undo and redo as needed) is described in 3 of my books because I think it is so useful. “Weaving for Beginners”, Book #2: “Warping Your Loom & Tying On New Warps”, and Book #3: “Weaving and Drafting Your Own Cloth”. See the chapter, Two or More Warps in Book #2 for details.

Weaving Begun (photos)

Weighted Supplementary Warps

Here is the back of my loom–weights are holding the purple supplementary warp and also the selvedges. I’m sampling to see what the colors in the warp will be like and to see if I can get sheer again. The extra warp isn’t threaded in the heddles, but between every 8th warp thread. They are in the same position as floating selvedges–in the middle of the sheds. When I want the  supplementary threads on the top, I shoot the shuttle under them. When I don’t want them to show, I put the shuttle over them. I learned this technique as “split broche.”

Supplementary warps above heddle eyes

Weaving Has Begun! (but no photos)

I made this post yesterday–but suddenly the blog software isn’t allowing me to post any images. You” have to imagine. I hope when I get back at the end of the week it will be fixed.
Here is the back of my loom–weights are holding the purple supplementary warp and also the selvedges. I’m sampling to see what the colors in the warp will be like and to see if I can get sheer again. The extra warp isn’t threaded in the heddles, but between every 8th warp thread. They are in the same position as floating selvedges–in the middle of the sheds. When I want the  supplementary threads on the top, I shoot the shuttle under them. When I don’t want them to show, I put the shuttle over them. I learned this technique as “split broche.”

My New Warp

Sewing Thread Warp (click to enlarge)

Here is my new warp–sewing thread–for some art pieces. More ruffles, probably. You can see the 10 spools that I used on my warping reel with a heck block. Otherwise, for 10 spools you would definitely need to use a paddle (which is a good idea). See my book, Winding a Warp & Using a Paddle). The warp is on its kitestick, ready to load the raddle.

Spools for Warp (click to enlarge)

I’m using sewing thread and hoping for sheer again. I increased the sett a bit from the yellow warp so I won’t have to beat so gently to get the wefts not to pack in too much.
I’m making separate selvedges out of white rayon and using a supplementary warp (egg plant color) for the punch. The technique for the supplementary warp I’ll use is split broche. The threads will not be in the heddles as they are threaded amongst the warp threads which on are 4 shafts. More on this when I get started.  For now, you can see those threads on their own small kitestick.
I think I’ll put in some horse hair–I love the color of it.

 

 

Weights and Croc Clips, Continued

Croc Clips (click on to enlarge)

Here is a welcome response to my post about how much weight to use for using croc clips instead of a temple to hold out the width of the warp. You can read a summary of  my post, below. Read more about temples in the tip section.  The illustration here  is from “Weaving for Beginners” on page 312.

Thank you so much! I have 3 lbs on each side right now, weaving with JaggerSpun Zephyr. It seems to be just right. I started with a temple, but it is one of the new Glimakra ones, these have mean thick teeth that no matter what seem to damage the cloth. The older ones have nice small teeth that cause no damage. That is why I am using the clips. I was uncertain, it was working, but…..was it right? Now I know it is for sure. thanks again!

Here’s a summary of my post.
“I have a question on the weight to put when using the crocodile clamps in place of a temple. …”
I’m not sure of an amount of weight to tell you. You want plenty of weight, that’s for sure–probably more than a pound on each side. What you want to achieve is to have the warp spread out to the width it is in the reed. You need whatever it takes to accomplish that. So much depends on the situation, such as, how wide is the warp and how much does the cloth draw in? I have a lot to say about draw-in in my new book, “Weaving for Beginners“–over 12 entries in the index.  (Too much tension on the warp can cause too much draw-in, for example.)
A weaving friend suggested that if you have a very wide warp it probably would be better to use an actual temple to be strong enough to hold out the warp wide enough. (There is a limit to the amount of weight croc clips can hold.)

better to use an actual temple to be strong enough to hold out the warp wide enough. (There is a limit to the amount of weight croc clips can hold.)