Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Sectional warping: typing warp bouts onto the back beam

A commenter in my blog asked how I go about attaching each warp bout to the sectional warp beam so I thought I'd answer with photos. The answer is to use headers. In the photo below I've just finished weaving the previous project, so the headers are stretched all the way to the back heddles.

Each section of the warp beam has a cotton thread tied to one of the dividers. Some sectional warp beams have a steel bar for this purpose, mine does not so I simply tie the thread to a divider, using the convention that it's tied to the right-hand divider for each piece. These are simply long pieces of sturdy cotton cut to twice the length between the warp beam and the back heddles, then with the ends tied in an overhand knot so that the thread runs around the divider.

The length of this thread is important. It's ideal to have the thread long enough so that they an reach the back heddles, which minimises loom waster, but also a length so that the end of the loop furthest from the warp beam sits between the wooden bars of the sectional beams. This is so that the knot for each bout (which can be quite large) doesn't interfere with the rest of the warp as it is wound on.

Each bout of warp (1" or 2", depending on the spacing of your sections) is tied with an overhand knot, and a larks-head knot is made from the end of the cotton header: fold over the end of the cotton thread and pull the two pieces through the end loop.

This is then slipped over the overhand knot on the warp bout, and drawn taut. Beaming can then continue.

One hint is to cut all of the header bouts at the same time so that they're all the same length. Do this even if you don't intend to use them. It saves having to undo one to check the length in the future. I just leave all of mine on, all the time, regardless of the width of my warp. They flop around a bit but they've never got in my way.


  1. Oh, yes, bring in the heavy artillery - excellent post, even more excellent-er if I had the setup!

    Wishing you a happy holiday season, Geodyne and all the best to Mr Geodyne down my way. Look forward to more fibre adventures in 2010.

  2. Interesting question to ask, and an interesting answer! If/when I get a sectional warp beam I shall know how to attach my warp ;)

    Best wishes for a Happy New Year.

  3. Great post. My loom came with a sectional beam which I have never used, but your blog make it seem so easy that I think I will try it. Thanks!

  4. Thank you so much for posting this. I am converting to a sectional beam and was wondering how to attach the warp to the back beam. :)