Yarn frays and breaks
If you want to use a yarn that frays and breaks, avoid any friction that can cause abrasion on the yarns. Advance the warp often, so no one area of the yarn rides too long in a heddle or in the reed and becomes abraded.
Change the sheds when the beater is against the fell of the cloth to help prevent the reed from abrading too much. Lift one shaft at a time when making the sheds.
Move the beater as short a distance as possible, with the fell close to the shafts. Swing the beater gently, and do not beat more than once.
The sett may be too close and/or the reed may be too fine. You’ll need to use a reed with wider dents and/or open out the sett. For a given warp density (sett, ends per inch, or epi), a reed with wider dents and more threads per dent will cause less abrasion on the yarns than a finer reed with just one thread per dent.
Do not drag the warp through lease sticks during beaming. It causes abrasion and strain on the warp threads. Be aware of, or repair, or deal with a rough heddle or reed wire.
Warp the loom back-to-front
Warp your loom back-to-front, using a raddle, to allow you to handle the yarn as little as possible. This way of warping is the subject of my Book #2. Briefly, the process is to put the warp into a raddle as soon as it has been taken off the warping board or reel. The raddle guides the warp threads onto the warp beam. After the warp has been beamed on the warp beam, the heddles are threaded, the reed sleyed, and the warp tied onto the cloth apron rod. The process begins at the back of the loom and ends at the front. A raddle is shown in Figure A.
If the warp yarns pill, they are getting too much abrasion. These little, innocent-looking pills can cause serious problems, especially with fragile and fine warps. The pills actually join threads together as though they were knotted. It is almost impossible to separate the threads if the pills are allowed to fully form and to become very tight balls. If there is any fuzz around a warp thread, get rid of it –immediately, before a pill can form. Get up very often and look at the warp threads behind the shafts and pick off any fuzz. You must be diligent. A tightly twisted yarn pills less than one that’s loosely twisted. One reason yarns may pill is that the reed may have rough wires.
The above tip is an excerpt from Book 3: “Weaving and Drafting Your Own Cloth“. It is from the Troubleshooting chapter, pages 127-128.