Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Fear of Warping

I have a lot of fears. The fear of accidentally leaving the stove on. The fear of the alarm clock not going off. The fear of forgetting to turn off my hair straightener. The list goes on. One fear that has always eluded me, though, is the (quite common) Fear of Warping. (Cue horror movie music.) 

Yes, warping a loom is probably not the most enjoyable part of bead or tapestry weaving. It takes a bit of concentration and a few repetitive motions, but it is not beyond anyone's reach. Once you have decided what you are warping for (Tapestry with the shedding device? Bead weaving without?), what spring size to use (which determines how close together your warps are) and how big you want your piece to be, you're all set to begin. 

Perhaps going a little bit into the reason we warp the Mirrix Looms the way we do will help ease your fears. The concept is simple: The warp is the canvas on which you will create your masterpiece. It is typically not seen (although in some types of weaving, it is) and needs to be both even and tight. This, I should mention, is one advantage a Mirrix Loom has over other looms. Its strength and design create the basis for excellent tension, which can mean the difference between a perfect piece and a failed piece. 

Depending on what type of weaving you are doing and whether or not you are using a shedding device you will warp your loom slightly differently. For bead weaving with a shedding device, you will put two warps in each dent of the spring and then put heddles on those warps to separate them and allow you to place your beads between them. This makes for fast, even bead weaving. For tapestry weaving with a shedding device you will put one warp in a dent (or every other dent if you so desire) and then will insert heddles in order to pick up every other warp. The tension on a Mirrix Loom makes keeping your tapestry even during the weaving process much, much easier. For weaving without a shedding device, you will simply put warp in every (or every other if necessary) dent of the spring and weave from there. 

The basic concept of warping is simple. Tie your warp to the warping bar (which should be suspended on the back of the loom using clips) and start wrapping around the loom. 

The sequence goes roughly like this:

1) Tie warp around warping bar
2) Bring the warp over the top of the loom, around the front and under the loom until you reach the warping bar again
3) Do a u-turn around the warping bar and bring the warp back down and under the loom, this time from the back
4) Continue up the loom and over the top until you hit the warping bar again
5) Do a u-turn around the warping bar 
7 Tie off on the warping bar

As you can see, it is simply the repetition of a few simple steps. Make sure you are doing these correctly when you begin, and warping will be an easy success. 

Make sure to use our .pdf step-by-step warping instructions the first time you warp!

Easy, easy! Are your fears at rest?

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