Monday, January 07, 2019

Warping My Jack Loom

Warping My Jack Loom
for a doubleweave blanket using Bartlett wool
Sett: 6epi (sleyed double at 12 epi)

(This was a slideshow on my old blog published on 4/9/2012. Since I no longer pay to host my domain I moved everything into this post for a reference)

My method is based on my reading of Deb Chandler's Introduction to Weaving and Cay Garrett's Warping All By Yourself and on a wonderful class I took with Tom Knisley at The Mannings.

I start by laying two flat sticks from beam to beam. The beater is pulled forward and I've used the big spring clamps to hold the reed on the sticks.

You can see the sticks going through the harnesses. The sticks are narrow enough to fit between the harness and the castle if I have a really wide warp.

I've put in my lease sticks and clamped them to the sticks too. I use a big binder ring from Staples to hold the lease sticks together. Then I cut through the end of the loops, or if a lot of knots were used you can cut up an inch from the loop end.

The warp is loosely wrapped around the back beam.

After finding the center of my reed and my warp I begin sleying the reed. I look at the cross, find the first thread and pull off the stick completely and put it through the reed. I keep the hook below the reed with my right hand and use my left hand to feed the hook. I secure the ends below with slip knots, usually according to my threading pattern. What I like about this is you see the way the warp will look and you can pull out colors and move them around. Great for a mixed warp. Some people sley from one color at a time, skipping dents as needed. I usually go right across (it will be a little messy, but it all straightens out)

Now I go to the back of the loom and bring the end of the warp over the castle and let them hang off the front beam.

Now put the reed in the beater and you're ready to thread!

Here's the same view from the back. Now I lower my back beam to the floor and put a stool or folding chair right in there. I also anchor the warp to the breast beam.

I push the beater towards the heddles.

Remember to turn your threading draft upside down, that way harness one will be the furthest away from you. I put the threads under the harnesses and hold them with my left hand. The I pull out with my right hand, all the way to the end, bend and push through the heddle. This is the slow part, because I double check every repeat, but time spend here will save you much angst. 
I'm about 75% of the way done. I tied slip knots in one inch sections so they'll be ready to tie on..

After I finished threading I put the back beam up and tie on to the apron in one inch sections. I push the beater back to the breast beam - then if I have any tangles the beater will come up to the castle. That's my signal to stop and untangle. I make one full rotation and then go to the front and give a tug. If the warp's not too wide I can fit half in each hand and tug. Some people go as far as putting the foot on the breast beam and really pulling, but I've found that the key is even tension, not heavy tension. This is where Cay Garrett's tensioning system can be used. You can also use lease sticks. Step on the tabby treadles and insert them in opposite sheds between the heddles and the back beam. 
I usually put a piece of screen door molding (.75" x .5") next to the knots and start the paper there. The molding keeps the knots from popping through. If you have a very long warp you can also insert warp sticks every couple of yards.

After the warp is beamed, come around to the front and tie on to the rod in 1" sections. I do the two outside groups and then alternately work into the center, increasing tension on the cloth beam as needed.
To start I throw three picks of heavy scrap yarn without beating. Beat and repeat. That's all it usually takes to even out the warp and be ready to go.

And here we are! Opened out, fringe twisted, and washed.