Friday, June 28, 2013

Warping a sectional beam - #3: last step before threading

The yarn was wound onto spools in step #1, then wound off the spools onto the warp beam in step #2, now we're going to partially unwind it back off of the warp beam so there's enough length to thread through the heddles on the loom.  I know, seems like a lot of wind-on, wind-off, repeat!  But of course it's really important to keep the yarn neat and under control, and this does it.

So next I transfer the ends each section of warp, still stuck on the pieces of tape, from the warp beam to a rod that I have now suspended from the back beam.  This is so that I can simultaneously unwind all the sections, a distance enough to get them threaded through the heddles.  You can see the wire heddles there in the background waiting to be threaded.

Next I slip the rod out of its hanging cord, and unwind the warp beam carefully while holding the rod.  I have found that if I unwind until the rod gets about to the front of the castle, in front of the upper jacks, it is a good length to pull through the heddles.
Look inside the loom in this photo; at the bottom of the loom behind the lower jacks.  I have put a piece of cardboard down there, in preparation for what I do next.

Now I've moved the cardboard up over the beam... that when I drape the warp down into position behind the heddles, it doesn't catch on the warp beam spikes.  It can be really annoying when it does that while I'm threading.  I'd be interested to know of different solutions people have come up with for this problem.  I've tried a towel, but I think I like the cardboard better.

So now the rod gets suspended from the castle, at a convenient height to reach through from the front of the loom while threading.

Everything from here on out is the same as when threading back-to-front on a loom with a standard warp beam.  The only difference is that instead of the warp ends being held on lease sticks behind the heddles, they are held on this rod with pieces of masking tape, one inch per piece of tape.  So when I thread, I count out 1 inch worth of heddles, bring the next piece of tape with its ends stuck to it and stick it somewhere convenient, usually the cloth beam, and thread as normal for a standard beam loom.

Ready to thread!


  1. I've been looking for how to get from sectional beam to heddles all over the place! so glad I found your page, thanks, its extremely helpful and brilliantly laid out, regards Tamsin

    1. Thank you - glad to hear it's of use! This is the way I do it on this loom. I've since got another also with a sectional. With that one, I unwrap each section one at a time and place the cross on lease sticks.