The principle of the crossed threads must be observed in making the warp. The crossing in making the warp is generally kept by cords, and a ready-made warp comes from the factory with these threads firmly tied in place. These must be removed before the warp can be spread out on the yarn beam, and this is where amateurs frequently come to grief, by taking out the cords before putting in lease sticks to hold the cross. A very simple method of procedure
Crossed or Leased Warp as it Comes from the Factory. Top View and Side View.
is to insert long, heavy cords to hold the crossing threads. The warp must be fastened securely to the beam at the end from which the chain unlaces (there is sometimes a cross at both ends). Some yarn beams are made with a long stick sunk in a groove, in which case the stick may be slipped through all the loops at the end of the warp, and put back in the groove. It is tied in place in the groove after the warp is spread out to the desired width. The lease sticks may then be easily put in place, one at a time. They should be tied together, or held with large rubber bands to prevent their slipping.
A very useful device to keep the warp threads from tangling and make them wind smoothly on the yarn beam is a long wooden comb as wide as the loom, called the raddle.
With it is sometimes used an upper piece which prevents the threads from slipping over the top of the raddle teeth. The raddle is fastened securely across the loom in a vertical position. A very good plan is to fasten it to the upright sides of the batten. A small portion of warp is then unwound from the beam, and the threads are distributed between the teeth of the batten, care being taken to keep them straight from the beam to a corresponding position in the raddle.
In order to wind on the warp smoothly without leaving loose threads, it is necessary to get a very even tension. The best way to do this is by winding the chain of warp on a drum, but this often is impracticable for an amateur, and the chain can be held firmly enough in the hands of one worker while another turns the beam of the loom and winds on as far as the warp threads are straight. The lease sticks which have been wound with the warp must then be worked back toward the raddle, care being taken to undo gently any little caught places so as not to break the threads. This plan of having the raddle stationary and the lease sticks movable, gives an opportunity to wind on about a yard at a time. The warp on the beam should be kept from settling in by occasionally laying a stick - a curtain stick answers the purpose - along the beam under the warp which is about to be wound on. There should be one of these sticks to every six or seven yards of warp. The greatest difficulty which amateurs are likely to encounter is that occasioned by the chain coming undone so that the threads loosen and tangle. Care should be taken not to loosen the chain for more than a yard or two at a time. A cord tied around the bunch of warp will prevent tangling. If a thread breaks the ends must be tied at once with a weaver's knot.
Putting on, or beaming the warp, is sometimes called warping the beam. When the warp has been put on smoothly for its entire length with but few knotted threads, it may be said that the multiplication table of home weaving is mastered.