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Longer Warps on a Rigid Heddle Loom

Direct warping a  Rigid Heddle-RH can be tiring walking back and forth across a room for a long warp, not to mention keeping everyone out of the way.  Here's how to use a warping board to reduce the walking.

My warping board is large since I also have a large floor loom.  It is a yard across and has 8 pegs on each side for a very long 14-yard warp.  An RH loom won't hold a warp that long, so you could use a smaller 1/2 yard warping board, these usually have enough pegs to do 6 or 8 yards.

I keep the loom and the warping board to my working edge.  This reduces the amount of reaching I need to do.  I've already had two rotator cuff surgeries, no need to aggravate my shoulders.

For direct warping the RH loom. both need to be clamped to a large table, I used 2 clamps for my warping board since it was so big.

The pegs that I flattened to the table are for making the cross on warp chains.  The crossing of the warp yarns keeps them in order while moving the chain from the warping board to the loom.  The heddle on the RH keeps the yarns in order so no need for crossing the yarns.

Since I'm doing a direct warping I started as always at the back of the loom tying on to the back bar.  Then I pull the loop through the first designated slot on the heddle.  Next, I pull the loop all the way across the table to the warping peg that is centered to the loom, that gives me 64 inches.   Then I crossed the warping board 2 more times for an additional 72 inches, next I went down one peg to turn around adding 4 more inches.  So 64+72+4=140 inches, almost 4 yards.

RH looms are designed to simplify the process.  Often one beam at the front replaces both the cloth and front beams, and at the back one replaces the warp and back beams, like on my Ashford. 

Standard table or floor looms and a few RH have the extra beams that you wind the warp and woven cloth onto.  Here are the front and cloth beams on my large loom.  The front and back beams that the yarn and cloth go over while weaving keep the level of your yarn constant.

On RH with only one beam the yarn starts higher at the back when the warp beam is wrapped, then the front beam gets higher as the cloth gets woven and wound on the front beam.  Check your RH because if it's like mine, one beam at each end, then you have a limit on the recommended amount of warp.  If you wind on too much, the thickness of the warp or the finished cloth reduces the shed size when the heddle is in the up position.