So here I am, warping my jack loom once again, after months of abandoning it for my new countermarche. Why am I doing this after all my praises for the countermarche system? Well, I am wanting to see if I can get a better warp, better shed, and better weaving, incorporating everything I've learned about looms lately.
Several weeks ago, I discussed the pros and cons of lashing versus tying a new warp onto the front apron rod. With this next warp, I'm going to use the lashing on method. I thought I might show you step by step how I do this. It can be done with either a b2f or f2b warp.
After the warp in wound on and threaded, I go to the front of the loom and trim the warp so that it is fairly even. I know that some weavers can measure their warps so that they are perfectly even, but I'm not one of those weavers.
The warp is knotted in one inch groups. I use a slip knot to do this. I have read that this is not a good idea as the slip knot can slip, but I haven't had any problems with it. I reckon if I ever do, then I'll use a different knot.
Before I begin lashing, I do two things.
First I support the front apron rod as shown on the left, using two 12 inch rulers. I place one on each side of the warp, resting them between the breast beam and the beater. The front apron rod is laid across those two rulers. This supports it for lashing.
The second thing I do is to make sure that the apron cords are centered in relation to how they wind onto the cloth beam. On the left, you can see the cloth beam with the black apron cord wound around it (near the top of the photo). The cord then travels over the breast beam (at the bottom of the photo) and is looped over the apron rod (resting on top of the ruler in the photo's center.) The apron cord forms V shapes. I try to center each point (where the cord loops over the apron rod), in the middle of the V. The one pictured on the left (to the right of the ruler) isn't centered, so I moved it on the apron rod a bit to the left.
The lashing cord needs to be about 9 to 10 times the width of the warp. It also needs to be very smooth, so that it can slide easily through the warp bundles. Mine is a smooth braided cord. It is tied to the front apron rod with a double half hitch.
Next, I lace the cord through each warp bundle. I go through the center of each bundle, threading the lace from the top down.
The lashing cord then goes under the apron rod, and then up and over it. (See photo at right.) The effect is that the lashing cord is being spiraled around the apron rod, through each group of warp ends. I aim to keep about three inches between the warp knots and the apron rod.
I continue threading the lashing cord through each group of warp ends. I pause occasionally, to tighten up the cord. Once it's laced through all the warp bundles, I tie it on the other side of the apron rod with another double half hitch.
The next step is to begin to even out the tension across the warp. To do this, I go to the back of the loom and push down on the warp........
..... focusing especially on the sections that are tautest. Since the warp bundles can slide easily on the lashing cord, the tension begins to even itself out.
To test how even the tension is across the warp, I go to the front of the loom again, and check it behind the reed.....
I repeat this process until there are no obvious taut or loose sections. Then I can fine tune the tension from the front.
Since the lashing cord slips easily through the warp bundles, fine adjustments of the tension are fairly easy. The tension of indivudual bundles can be adjusted by either pulling on the cord, or by pressing down on the knots. Either way works.
I used to fret over getting the tension perfect. I felt quite inadequate because I wasn't always sure how even the tension was. Then I read "Lacing On" in Peggy Osterkamp's second volume. On page 65 she says,
"Don't agonize. If you can feel a tight or loose bundle, adjust it, but if you can't tell, then the tension must be even."
If I have any further doubts about the tension, then I use a two stick header. This always seems to even the entire thing out. It entails using two smooth sticks or dowel rods.
To make a two stick header, I first throw three shots without beating, then beat them all together. After about one inch of plain weave, I place a stick in each of the next two sheds.
This evens it all out like a dream. Then I weave another inch of plain weave, and I'm ready to begin on my project.
Posted 14 Oct. 2007 at http://leighsfiberjournal.blogspot.com
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