Peggy’s Weaving Tips > Using two or more warps – part three

When You Have One Warp Beam

Here are three ways to proceed.

  • Measure the two warps at the same time on the warping board or reel and beam on as usual. Do this when the threads for both warps are similar, there are few color changes in either warp, or when the tension and take-up on both warps are alike.
  • Measure the warps separately and put them together in the raddle and beam one beam as usual. Do this when the tension and take-up on both warps are the same and when there are many color changes on one or both warps.
  • Measure the warps separately, weight one warp and put the other warp on the warp beam. Do this when the tension on the two warps is different, the take-up is different, or when the warps are too fat to fit on one beam. It’s easy to do.

When You Have Two Warp Beams

Make two warps and beam each on separate beams. Do this in the following situations, details follow:

  • Use two beams when the two warp yarns “take up”differently.
  • Put each warp on its own beam when the two warps together would be too bulky or large for one beam’s capacity.
  • Make separate warps when there are many color changes in either warp.

How to Use Two Warp Beams

  • If one beam would prevent access to the other, be sure to beam the would-be inaccessible one first.
  • The two warps must not interfere with each other until they reach the shafts and are threaded together.
  • The warps must follow your loom’s correct paths between the beams and the shafts. There might be rollers to go over to bring the warps together at the shafts.
  • A pile warp needs to be much longer than its foundation warp, so for a pile warp, choose the beam that has the larger capacity.
  • If one warp is to be tensioned more, put it on the beam that has a ratchet brake.
  • If there’s a choice, I usually put the larger warp on the beam that follows the lower path to the heddles for easier threading.

How to Beam Two Warps onto a Single Beam

One of my weaving friends thought because she had only one warp beam, she had to warp her loom front-to-back whenever she wanted to weave her ikat double weave hangings.

When she explained her procedure, I knew she absolutely had to learn to warp the two warps back-to-front!

The procedure is simple: make the two warps separately with two leases as usual. (If you have only one lease, read what to do at the beginning of this book.) Put an end stick in each warp and a pair of lease sticks in each of the raddle leases. Load one of the warps into the raddle, check for mistakes, and remove the raddle lease sticks (not the threading lease sticks), as usual. Keep the end stick in the end loops. In the same way, put the second warp into the raddle on top of the first, keeping in the end stick when finished. Secure the threads in the raddle with rubber bands or tie on the raddle cap.

Tie both end sticks to the warp beam apron and beam on as usual. Thin end sticks or rods take up less space on the warp beam. Tie the end sticks together before attaching them to the apron rod if you feel that makes them more secure. When the threading leases appear, put a pair of lease sticks in each lease. Thread the two warps as explained, above.

How to Raise the Second Warp Off the Beam

So your two warps don’t interfere with each other on the back beam, raise the second warp above the main warp. This is especially important if the two warps are used at different rates. I use a firm stick or dowel, slightly longer than the warp width. Insert the stick under the second warp. Use spacers such as erasers or blocks of wood at each each to raise the stick off the beam. The stick and spacers can be secured to the back beam with C-clamps.

Taken from Book 2: “Warping Your Loom and Tying On New Warps

8 thoughts on “Peggy’s Weaving Tips > Using two or more warps – part three”

  1. I am searching for instructions on weaving block rugs using two warp (double beam) construction. The method is covered in Rug Weaving for Everyone by Gallinger and Del Deo but is limited to a two block (four harness) design. Any recommendations-, books or videos on this specific topic for multi-harnesses would be appreciated.

  2. Question: I am struggling to determine a sett for a weaving using two warps: a supplementary warp pick-up/double two-tie. I have had wonderful success following Ashenhurst’s Rule, but what do I do for 2 different warp yarns? Do I figure out the sett for each yarn separately and then average the two, or plan it for the heavier yarn?

    • You use the proper setts for each warp–you want the foundation to be the right sett and also the supplementary warp, too. You’ll need an open reed so all those threaads can pass each other. You want the two setts to be multiples of one another–very important. So, you might juggle each one a bit–and use your judgement. But basically you want the full sett for each one. My teacher had us use 8 dent reeds–you might need something even more open. An example might be the foundation sett is 10 and the supplementary is 20–each depending upon it’s own thread and structure. Does this make sense?

  3. I sort of get what you are saying. I can visualize that in a double cloth in a two separate layers situation where each warp is a separate layer. But I still can’t visualize it in a single cloth .
    Can we work through an example? Summer Winter threading alternating thick/thin yarn with one tie down followed by one pattern thread using 20/2 (8,400 yd/lb) ground and 10/2 (4,200 yd/lb) supplementary warp. For 20/2, I get 32 epi; and 10/2, 24 epi.What I can’t seem to figure is how to reconcile the 2 different epi to get a final sett.

  4. Interesting to watch. Very beautiful piece, so sheer. Didn’t quite understand the four crosswise threads. Did that help to produce ruffle effect? Would love to have a last shot-all154 inches- of full ruffle. I’m not a weaver but I think I got a better understanding of the process. Generous of you to share with weavers.

  5. Hi, I just bought a used older floor loom. It has the two double beams on the back. What confuses me is the three straps on each beam with a loop on the end of each strap. How do I use those straps on the beams?


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