Inkle Looms: Warping Woodstuffs' Inkle Loom
This missive is not directed at teaching you how to weave or
read patterns. It is just a quick lesson in theading Egil's Loom.
The pictures were taken against the floor to obtain a clear image.
Actual weaving should be done in a comfortable position.
First string: The first string does not get a heddle.
In choosing your path, you must leave one peg open for the
heddles. In addition, the first top peg is intentionally
skipped to create a shed for weaving. Your warp must
follow an open path without crossing over itself.
The warp shown is the maximum length possible, although
I suspect there are some very clever folks out there
that have figured out other ways to maximize the length.
You do not have to fill your whole loom with warp if a
shorter piece is desired.
For ease of illustration, each string is tied end-to-end
and cut after each pass, starting at the bottom left peg.
Note: You don't have to do this. You can warp continuosly
if you choose to.
This is a closeup of the tension bar. It has been pushed to
the middle for the picture, however it is best if you have it
as far to the left as possible when you start. What happens
is that as you weave, your work will become shorter. The
technical term for this is "take-up". You will need as
much room as possible for take-up on this length of warp.
If you live in a very humid area, leave yourself half an
inch to tighten further. Under humidity, some warp thread
will stretch. You'll want to be able to tighten a bit more
if you need to.
To figure out the length you need for your heddles:
Your second warp string will go over the first top post. The
heddle will go from the empty post shown in the picture above and
must reach up to where the second warp string will pass. The
picture illustrates measuring the length needed for the heddles.
Mercerized cotton is used in a contrasting color so that
the heddles are not mistaken for warp threads.
Your heddles will be measured and cut using the loom
pegs as a warping board so that they will all be the same
length. The above picture gives you one option for making
your heddles, especially if you like them a little bit longer.
For shorter heddles, which I prefer, the rear posts can be used.
Wrap the thread around the posts and count out the number needed for
the pattern. Then cut them off and tie each one individually,
being very careful not the cut the warp already on the loom.
Second Warp Sring: Put a heddle onto the empty heddle post. Make sure
your knot is touching the bottom of the post so it doesn't interfere with you warp.
Start your second warp string at the base, go through the heddle and up over the
top empty post. Follow the rest of the path as your first string. Note: I usually
wear the heddles on my wrist and slip them over the warp as I go. There are many tricks
for warping easily.
Finish Warping: Warping contiunes in colors per the pattern,
always alternating between a lower string without a heddle and
an upper string with a heddle. Finally the warping is finished.
Load you shuttle with weft. Make one pass through the natural
shed created by the loom. In the second pass, move the heddles
as shown, which brings the top warp down and pushes the bottom
warp up. Pass your shuttle back through and beat with the sharp edge.
Go back and forth in this manner until you need to advance the warp.
Advance your warp: Loosen the tension bar. Because this is a really long warp,
it will be necessary to scoot the warp along (counter-clockwise) in sections until
you reach the beginning again. It gets easier as you weave. After you've scooted
the warp to where you want it, re-tighten the tension bar and begin weaving again.
Note: Important! Leave the tension bar loose if traveling from a dry
climate to a humid one. Wood can swell. When storing your loom, relax
the tension bar so that the warp doesn't stretch. If you have warp on
the loom, use rubber bands from peg to peg so the warp doesn't fall
off in storage or transit.