Monday, March 30, 2009

Lashing onto the Apron

Here's a look at my favorite method of tying a new warp onto the apron:

I think this method is called "lashing on," and I've been doing it this way for a long time.

I first learned a method for tying on that involves taking a bout (usually about a half-inch worth of warp), bringing the bout over the top of the apron rod, then separating it into two sections and bringing each one under the rod (heading back toward the shafts) and then back up to the top of the rod on the left and right of the bout. Then I'd tie a bow knot with the two sections over the bout.

Unhappily, if you start at one side of the warp and work to the other, by the time you get to the other side, the first few bouts are woefully loose, and you have to go back and retie them all. Even if you start in the middle and work out alternately out to both sides, there's a big difference in how tight the first knots are compared to the last ones. As the arthritis in my hands got worse, this process of tying and re-tying became more and more painful.

In the "lashing on" method, I tie an overhand knot at the end of each bout. Then I attach a smooth, slippery nylon cord to the apron rod at one side of the warp. The other end of the cord is wound onto a plastic bobbin (which I bought in a knitting shop; I think it's meant to be used in intarsia knitting to organize the different yarns). Since the cord has to be at least 4 times as long as the warp is wide, the bobbin keeps the tag end of the cord organized, so it doesn't get knotted or snarled in handling. It also saves abrasion on the warp, by not drawing the entire length of the cord through every bout. The bobbin goes through the middle of the first bout, then back around the apron bar, then on to the next bout, etc.

At the other side of the warp, I attach the tag end of the cord to the apron bar. Then I wind the warp back onto the warp beam until it's fairly tight. To even up the tension on the bouts, I just tug the slippery cord on each loop, going from left to right and back again. Because the cord is slippery, it tends to self-adjust and equalize the tension pretty well. I verify that by pulling the beater forward and patting across the warp between the beater and the shafts to make sure there are no soft spots. Then I snug up the tension to the level I want to weave at, and off I go.

I'll try to remember to take a picture when the warp is all tied on before it rolls too far forward around the sandpaper beam to be visible.


Sue in MA said...

This is a great method. But can't wait to see how you deal with the 'bumps' from the knots against the woven web as goes around the beam.

Peg in South Carolina said...

I, too, use this method for the same reasons you do. But you are much neater than I: you get all your warp group ends pretty much the same length. I have yet to master that.
Sue in MA, I just use warping sticks to cushion the knots.

neki desu said...

thanks for your comments.
i'm going to try lashing on as it seems to be in command of tension problems :)

neki desu