This is part two of my tablet weaving experience. Check out S&Z for the first post in this series.
So! We talked about tablet weaving basics and directions for threading and all that cool stuff, now we get to the actual warping of your fiber, and the next post will be about flipping the cards and setting up your pattern to begin working on your project.
I was going to put both in this one post, but it’s better to focus on the first part before jumping ahead. Especially if you haven’t warped your loom for tablet weaving before.
Also, I am splitting the warping into two posts, so it’s not too long.
I admit, I didn’t take photos of card dropping for post #2, during my weaving project, so I had to wait to clear the loom to take photos of the process. So, sorry about the time between post 1 and 2, but I’m posting 2 and 3 hopefully within the same day, or following day.
So, warping your loom doesn’t have to be a crazy process. You do not have to use a warping board, a rectangular frame filled with pegs for winding fiber, in order to have enough thread for your project.
Take a deep breath, grab your loom and lets work together!
There are many different looms to choose from. Some are specifically for tablet weaving (they’re missing the central heddle bar) and others are for both because that bar is removable.
The most important part of your loom is the tensioning bar, which helps stretch the fiber to maintain a consistent tension while weaving. It also releases pressure as you weave because with tablet weaving, as I said in the S&Z post, the project twists to create the design. The twist shortens the length of your warp over time. You need to be able to release tension little by little as you progress, otherwise you will stress out your pegs and most likely break your loom over time.
Also, the tensioning bar lets you release tension to flip the cards and set up the pattern or pattern changes in the middle of a project.
The biggest difference when creating the length for a tablet weaving project is that instead of threading two strands, you have to wind enough fiber to thread all four holes at once.
First you attach your fiber to the peg closest to you. I like to keep it loose by holding the thread in place with the subsequent rounds, versus tying a knot, which would have to be removed in the end. The attachment is temporary, you never want to tie your warp to the first peg, instead, when we thread the cards, you’ll see that we tie the warp to itself. Otherwise, the project can’t advance, which means it will not be able to shift down and open up more space when there isn’t enough room to turn your cards.
This is very important, it will let you release tension only on your working surface, without loosening the rest of your threads. That keeps the rest of your warp from tangling or slipping off the pegs.
Right now, I’m making sure I have enough fiber for all four holes for 6 cards in my pattern. The pattern I’m using has three holes filled with the main color, and one hole filled with black, so that means winding the thread up and over, 6×3 times per color and 6×1 time black.
So, for the tablet woven iris belt, I need 2 cards of black, 6 cards per color, and 2 cards of black. We will warp the loom in this order: black, Violet, blue, green, yellow, orange, red; followed by two cards of black.
I currently do not have bobbins or a place to set up four cones to just warp straight from the source, so I measure out my colors and look for bobbins in my every day gear. I am currently using film canisters, medicine bottles and paint cups to hold my thread while I drop cards.
I also do not have enough canisters to carry the whole project, so I measured out enough fiber for the first three colors, and will warp those, and then continue to measure out the next set of colors until I reach the black selvedge.
I made a mistake and forgot I was doing 3 one color and 1 black, so I had to warp 4 canisters with black and re-do my purple example.
I’ll explain the pattern in the next blog post. The photo on the left was from my previous warp. the one on the right is for this blog’s tutorial.
Let me untangle the mess of knots I just made and get back to you in part 2.