Warping Frame looms and Rigid Heddle Looms for Tapestry
Warping the Lilli Loom
If you will be using a frame loom, try to warp up the loom with as much tension as you can. Then to further tighten the tension, insert 2 small sticks in opposite sheds (first row over, under; second row under, over). To keep them as snug to the top of the loom as possible, tie them to the top bar with warp yarn on the right, middle and left side.
The warp is 6” wide and with a sett of about 5 epi, you’ll have a total of 30 warp threads. The warp yarn is the same as the yarn used on the Arras, a #18 seine twine.
I will be finishing the sampler with a Damascus edge. If you want to do this, you’ll need at least 2” (3” is better) to work the finish. Work a row of twining at this 2” mark, and you’re ready to weave.
Later, as you weave and get closer to the top of the loom, the tension will become tighter, you can just remove the tension sticks to loosen the tension.
To make the shed, I’m using the Schacht Weaving Stick which is the perfect size for this loom because it makes a very narrow shed. Depending on how much you weave, you may need to warp your frame loom a couple of times.
Warping the Cricket Loom
For this project I measured 30 ends, 2 yards long on the warping board. I’m using a 5-dent heddle and #18 seine twine. The warp width is 6”.
The warp is pretty narrow for the 15” Cricket loom. To prevent the apron bar from bending, I removed the 2 outside apron cords and then reattached one Texsolv cord, through a hole in the remaining apron cord, I then slipped a loop onto the left side of the apron rod, adding stability to the apron bar. It takes a bit of trial and error to get the correct length, but once you have it right, your apron rod should be stable.
Because an even tension is so important for tapestry weaving, I tied 1” warp bundles and attached the groups to the apron bar with lashing.
If you need additional tension, you can slide a rod or stick under the warp threads along the warp beam.
Because of the tension will be very tight, it’ll be very difficult, if not impossible, to raise and lower the heddle. You can get around this by inserting a pick-up stick, behind the heddle, under all the slot threads. Leave this pick-up stick in place and turn it on edge to make this shed. For the hole threads, lift up slightly on the heddle and slide another pick-up stick under the raised threads in front of the heddle. Remove the pick-up stick when you’ve finished weaving this row.
Weave as close to the front beam as possible and advance the warp every 2 or 3 inches.