Oh no, a broken warp thread! It is always annoying and time consuming when warp threads break, and as a newbie it is easy to feel a bit helpless.
In this post I will explain how I fix broken warp threads. There are other approaches that work very well, but I like and use daily the two methods explained below.
Method A: Used when weaving single pieces like towels, table runners, scarves, pillow covers, etc., everything where you begin a new piece after a while.
Cut a piece of yarn similar to the one that broke off. It should be 30 cm longer than what you would need to finish the piece you are currently weaving (towel, scarf, etc). We don’t want the knot that you will be making to come in contact with the heddles or the reed, in order to avoid problems with the shed or even a new thread break.
Splice the new end with the old one with a simple knot, e. g. an overhand knot. Cut off any long and fuzzy ends. Thread the warp thread through the hovel and dent where it belongs.
Insert a pin into the fabric and insert the other part of the broken thread beneath it,
Attach the end of new spliced thread by wrapping it around the pin just you would make a lying number 8.
Weight the thread at the back of your loom (more about this at the end of the post).
Continue weaving like nothing ever had happened and make sure the weighted thread is behaving like the rest of the warp: not looser and not tighter. When you have finished the piece you were weaving and are ready to start weaving the next, take off the weight.
Drag the thread with the knot through heddle and dent. Tighten it and attach it with a pin like you did above and start weaving the new piece. The original warp thread is now in it’s place again.
Method B: I use this approach when I weave very long fabrics like curtains or yardage.
Cut off a piece of thread that is about 10 to 15 cm longer than the piece that broke off. Tie it together with the original thread with a weaver’s knot. I have been told that the weaver’s knot is the flatest knot and besides, it is very strong. I will show you how I do it in a later post.
Tighten the spliced thread aorund a pin like above and weave on.
If the yarn is quite thick or the reed is very dense, even the weaver’s knot may break when in contact with the reed. If this is the case, I use method A.
I love to go the hardware store, because I find so much stuff there I can use for weaving, especially weights.
When weighting a thread, it is very important that the thread is as tight as the rest of the warp. If it is either more loose or more tight, it will be visible in the fabric.
Cheap carabins and S-hooks combined with nuts are ideal for giving a thread it’s perfect weight. If you need to weight several threads, you can use something more heavy, like a fishing weight together with a paper clip.
Remember to finish the fabric by weaving in all loose threads according to the binding pattern. If there are visible knots, you will need to loosen them, untie them and weave in the ends as well. I will whow how i do this in a later post.
Let me know if you have any questions, I would be happy to try to answer them!