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How to Thread a Four Harness Weaving Loom

Updated April 17, 2017

Threading a four-harness weaving loom, also called warping, seems daunting to most beginners. These large, complicated-looking floor looms have an array of levers which may frighten the most experienced needleworkers. Tackle the threading, however, and the rest of your weaving project will seem a breeze.

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  1. Learn the difference between warp and weft. The "warp" is the yarn attached to the loom itself and located in a vertical line in front of the weaver. The "weft" is the yarn the weaver pulls, horizontally, through the warp.

  2. Determine how much yarn will be needed for the length and width of the completed project. Using this total, calculate the threads per inch and sort the threads, by colour and number, on a warping board.

  3. Attach the warp to the loom after sorting the yarn. This process is called "warping." Secure the yarn to the apron rod of the loom. Lock the loom's brake to give tension for the next step.

  4. Take the yarn and separate the threads, piece by piece, and place each in the "rattle." This keeps the yarn in the right spot as you weave your design.

  5. Wind the rest of the warp onto the loom after the threads are sorted on the rattle. The loom will have a crank handle in the back attached to the apron rod. The entire warp is wound onto this rod.

  6. Now, "sley" the reed. The reed is the comb-like piece on the loom which keeps the threads separate and in the right order. Pull each thread through the reed. Once complete, you can tie and knot the warp onto the front rod of the loom.

  7. Pull each thread through the parallel wires in the harness which is called the "heddle." The heddle guides and separates the warp threads. Each heddle is attached to a shaft which moves up and down, creating your design. The loom is now threaded and ready for weaving.

  8. Tip

    Paper between the layers of warp on the apron rod will keep the warp even and taut as you weave. Post office wrapping paper is inexpensive and works well.

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Things You'll Need

  • Warping board
  • Yarn

About the Author

Jennifer Marlowe is a seasoned journalist with experience since 1994. As a former reporter and columnist, she has written for a variety of publications including "The Cleveland Plain Dealer," "Sew Simple Magazine," "Northern Ohio Live," "Ohio Game & Fish" and "The Country's Best Log Homes." Marlowe holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from the University of Akron.

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