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How To Warp A Loom The Old Fashioned Way

Traditional Weaver from Romania Loom Warping The Old Fashioned Way
A few days ago, I wrote about our arrival at a traditional weaver’s house, who was happy to show us how to set up a traditional loom for weaving.

Today, we will see how she dresses up the floor loom for weaving.

Traditional Artisan

In an industrial society, where Chinese products are a dime a dozen, weavers like Aurelia Cârdei are very hard to find.

Traditional Weaver

Once in a blue moon, we run old style textile artisans like her to earth. Aurelia learned to weave from her grandmother.

Peasant Costume

She shows a few recently made woven bands, explaining that the patterns are maybe a hundred years old. These patterned belts are worn with the Romanian peasant costume. Women tie their traditional aprons around the waist.

Before Weaving These Bright Belts, Traditional Weaver Aurelia Cârdei Showed Us How To Warp A Primitive Loom From Back to Front

She brings the warp, which was already wound and tied in a whole lot of places. She slips the loop at the end of the warp onto the tie on rod.

Loom Warping

Then, she inserts the lease sticks into the cross and ties them securely together. This keeps the threads in the correct order.

Loom Warping

With two cords, she hangs the lease sticks by the top of the loom. The ties, which hold the cross are removed, and it’s about time to wind the warp.

Loom Warping With The Help Of Her Niece, Who Is Eager To Learn The Secrets Of Weaving

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This process requires two people: one to hold the warp firmly and the other one to wind on. With the help of her niece, who is eager to learn the secrets of weaving, she winds the warp onto the warp beam, inserting wooden sticks into the warp, to keep the layers separated.

Loom Warping

When the warp is completely wound onto the warp beam, it is restrained by use of a stick (slobozitoare), inserted into a hole in the head of the beam.

Floor Loom

Threading The Heddles

The two shafts are each formed of two horizontal sticks, connected through the whole extent by numerous small heddles of an equal length.

Textile Artisans

Each heddle has an eye in the center, where the warp is threaded through.

Loom Warping

With a piece of fabric, she ties the other end of the warp onto the cloth beam.

Loom Warping

From left to right, she begins to thread one end through a heddle on shaft 2. The next yarn is threaded through a heddle on shaft 1.

Loom Warping

She takes each thread in order, as they come off the cross. A thread is passed through a single shaft, switching the shafts with each thread that is taken. You don’t pass two threads in row on the same shaft.

Read also Traditional Weaver Winding Warp for Patterned Bands

The shafts are tied with two ropes. One end of a rope is tied on shaft 1, and the other end is tied on shaft 2. The shafts are hung on these ropes, which are looped around two pulleys.

Textile Artisans

The foot pedals are hanging by strings from the shafts. When one pedal is pressed,  it lowers shaft 1, which draws the rope looped around the pulleys, which lifts shaft 2.

Primitive Loom

After threading the whole warp, she ties it in small sections to the tie on rod at the cloth beam.

Read also The Loom Weaving Methods of a Traditional Artisan

VIDEO Cârdei Aurelia Loom Warping from Back to Front

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  1. As I watch her thread her heddles, I am wondering if she is twisting the eye into them as she goes along? I’ve watched all of the videos you taped on weaving in Romania. They are fascinating to me as I have been weaving for a little over 10 years.

    • Hello Sherry, I am happy you enjoy these articles. Thank you! To answer your question, she doesn’t twist the eye, but her fingers in order to grab that eye with ease. Each heddle is made of two intersected cords, which form an eye in the center. She grabs the heddle and makes that twist to grab and enlarge that loop (eye), then she pulls the thread through.


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