Saturday, June 15, 2013

Warping a sectional beam - #1

When I first acquired my loom that has a sectional beam, I looked in the books I had, and then on the internet (searching "how do I warp my sectional beam") to find information on how to use it, and found that what is out there is a little short.  From what I was able to dig up, I've worked out my way of warping my sectional-beam loom.  So I thought I'd post here how I do it at least, with the thought it may help someone searching as I was.

Instead of putting the whole width of the warp on the beam at once, like you do on a standard warp beam, the warp gets put on in "sections" (hence the name "sectional warp beam").  The first thing you need to prepare is one "package" of yarn for each warp-end in a section.  These packages could be cones or spools, or I suppose even balls of yarn.

My sectional beam has 1-inch sections, and the project I am making is 24 ends per inch.  So I need 24 packages.  In my case, I am winding 24 of the cardboard spools in the photo.

The yarn I bought came on a cone, which I have sitting on the floor.  The yarn goes through a stick with holes drilled in it - the tension helps my yardage counter work better.  Then it goes through the counter and onto the spool which is fitted onto a bobbinwinder.

My sectional beam is 3/4 of a yard per turn, and I will be putting 3 turns worth of warp onto each section, 3 x 0.75 = 2.25 yards.  Adding 2 tenths of a yard for a knot and some overlap gives 2.45 yards per section.  I will be using 40 sections (since I want my project to be 40 inches wide in the reed), so I need to measure 2.45 x 40 = 98 yards onto each spool.  If you are used to doing the calculations for a standard beam, the math logic may seem kind of "sideways" until you get used to it.

I guess "yardage counter" is a bit of a misnomer since my counter actually counts feet and not yards.  Sigh.  98 feet x 3 ft/yd = 294 feet.  So I'm running the counter up to 300 feet "for good measure", as they say.

If you just buy a bunch of tubes or cones, then you could skip this whole step.  I don't buy yarn in anywhere near that kind of quantity, so I divide it up as I need it for each project.

Next installment, winding onto the beam, where you'll see my jury-rigged tension box and an alternative application for aquarium tubing.  Stay tuned...


  1. nice to have a source of info. hard to find!

  2. You are absolutely right..what tension box warping info that IS out there is spotty at best. Thank you

  3. So glad you wrote this. I have been trying to figure out how to get my counter to work in the loading of the bobbins. I am still looking for information on using my spinning wheel as a bobbin winder. Seems like that should be a thing.