Ursula's Alcove

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.

Step 1

First String: Recommended Path

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.

Open Path Closeup

Open Path Closeup, Tension Bar

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.

Finished First String

Step 2

Measuring the Heddle

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.

Measuring Heddles: Option 1

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.

Measuring Heddles: Option 2

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.

Step 3

Warping Second String

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.

Warp Strings 1 and 2

Step 4

Totally Warped

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.

Step 5

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.

Separating the Shed

Step 5

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.


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