Peggy’s Weaving Tips > A great tool: the doubling stand

Doubling Wefts on Pirns or Bobbins

Have you ever wanted to combine two or more yarns as one weft? Have you discovered it doesn’t work very well because, no matter what you’ve tried, one yarn always loops up so they don’t lie flat together in the shed? The answer is: use a doubling stand to double up weft yarns so they come out of the shuttle together and evenly.

Doubling stands

Warning!! Do not double warp yarns because the upper and lower yarns will be of different tensions when they leave the doubling stand. It isn’t a problem with weft yarns. Doubling stands can be homemade or purchased. Figure A shows a commercially made stand. (Note the optional tension box for winding tight weft packages.) One or more yarns are put on vertical posts with the yarn guided exactly up from the centers of the posts, just like an ordinary vertical creel.

Above these yarns is a single cone or spool of yarn supported by a vertical tube instead of a post. The yarns below are guided up through their respective thread guides and then up through the tube and the center of the extra cone. Then, the lower yarns plus the upper one are taken together up through a guide above the center of the top cone. You can see what happens: The yarn from the upper cone encircles the yarns coming up through its center. This encirclement keeps all the yarns together without any of them looping up during weaving (Figure B). To guide the bottom threads up through the cone on top, fashion a long hook from a coat hanger or use a long heddle.

The three keys to keep in mind when setting up a doubling “situation” or in making a homemade stand are:

  1. The thread guides for the lower spools must be exactly over the center of the pins or dowels that hold the spools or cones.
  2. There must be enough space between the tops of all the packages and their thread guides to allow the yarn to whip off the packages freely.
  3. The top cone or spool must have a way for the lower yarns to pass up through its center.

A tube to hold the top cone is the hardest thing to find–try hobby shops. You could use a short length of copper tubing with the sharp ends sanded. However, there are many other ways to accomplish the job. I’ve seen one cone underneath an upside-down “milk crate” with another cone sitting on top and the thread from below coming up a hole in the crate and through the top cone. There are many ways you might make (or rig)a doubling “stand” yourself. Figure C shows a commercially made stand with 5 positions on the lower level. There will always be only one yarn on top–that’s the one that spirals around the others–no matter how many there are below.

You can design your own wefts using this doubling technique.



The above tip is an excerpt from Book 3: “Weaving and Drafting Your Own Cloth

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