You can’t swing on a Warping Trapeze. If you’ve ever been a child, you most likely had an art class, or went to day camp, or if you were really lucky you spent a week at Scout camp. And, I’d be willing to bet (a very small sum, of course) you wove something. A potholder made of stretchy loops made on a six inch square metal loom. A lanyard of plastic strands woven with a clip to hold a whistle or your ID tag. A beaded bracelet woven on a little metal loom. Or maybe you even pounded a few brads into the end of a wooden thread spool and tried your hand at spool knitting. Am I right?
You know from early experience, the foundation for weaving something useful is control of the material. If you don’t pay close attention to its foundation, the finished product will be loose, wobbly with weak places, crooked, ill fitting – well, I think you get the gist. So, the objective is to control every aspect of the weaving.
Warping Trapeze? Not yet. Read on.
Weft is easier to control as you weave it one row at a time and can always take out the work down to the loose line or a mistake in treadling. However, the warp is a different story. You can’t even begin weaving until it is in place. A warping trapeze is the best tool to have in the closet (it’s too large for the tool box).
When you string (warp) a loom, you have to get an even tension on all strings before you ever begin to weave. Whether you have forty strings or four hundred, this task is not as simple as it sounds. Here’s where we come to the Warping Trapeze thingy. Basically, a “trapeze” is a simple solution. You loop several yards of warp around some wooden bars, put a little weight on it and then slowly wind an even tension of string onto the back beam of the loom.
The key is weight. It doesn’t take much. Just enough to keep the warp threads from looping and clinging to each other. Sort of like hanging homemade noodles on a dowel to dry. If you let them touch each other, they will cling and you’ll end up with one very large noodle nobody will want to eat.
So, there you have it. The Trapeze.
If you weave, use a warping trapeze to wind your warp. They are easy to make. Click on this photo to see how.
If you don’t weave now, revive a forgotten skill set and try it. On any scale, weaving is fun and rewarding.
Later – J
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