Supplementary warp chains - how wide to make them?


I'm thinking about doing either lampas or taquete with a 60/2 black silk warp that is already beamed on at 40 epi.  My understanding is that I need to tension the tie-down threads separately from the "ground warp" threads in either  case - in lampas because it is really a second warp, in taquete because the "inner threads" will take up at a different rate from the tie-down threads.

My questions are:

(1) is this actually the case?  I have never woven either structure before, and I'm not sure whether I'm interpreting the articles/books I've read correctly.

(2) if this is the case, I will probably wind up doing a second set of warp chains and weighting them off the back of the loom.  But how wide can/should I make the chains?  I have a small loom, an AVL Workshop Dobby, so it is not very deep.  I've seen suggestions of anywhere from 2" to 12" in my reading, so I'm really not sure where to start.

Thoughts?  Alternatives to a second set of warp chains (that don't involve a second warp beam)?


Posted on Wed, 08/11/2010 - 13:51

Tien, I use split shed technique alot for my rug weaving and have to navigate different tensions for my tie down and pattern sheds.  My plain weave tie down threads get alot tighter than my pattern sheds.  Since I don't have a 2nd warp beam on my rug loom I use dowel sticks.  Before I tie on I "loosely" tie on and treadle my tie down threads and insert a series of dowel sticks into the back of the warp.  I have room to put up to 20 dowels that as the tie down tightens down I pull out two dowels sticks.  After I have the dowel sticks inserted in the right sheds I retension my loom and weave.  From experience I know that I get about a foot of length in my rug before I have to pull the dowels and let slack back into the warp.

I'm not sure where you would put those sticks for you on the AVL wdl unless you put them back over the back "breast" beam and the warp beam.  Since you are working at a finer epi you'd use much finer dowel sticks in the tie down warp area. Here are some photos:

Posted on Wed, 08/11/2010 - 15:41

Did you see the supplementary warp weaving while you were in Laos??  The weavers there insert bamboo lease sticks in their tabby sheds of the supplementary warp.  They then hang boards from those lease sticks to weigh down the supplementary warp.  I'll try to hunt down my photo of that.  It looked really wonky (technical term) but worked beautifully once the boards and warp weight were balance.  Note that in the photo below they used 3 lease sticks and attached the boards to each one.  I did not post a photo of the loom configeration since you are working on a wdl.  Credit where credit is due, this is a photo of my teacher, Campoon, in Vientiane, Laos at Phaeng Mai Gallery teaching studio.

Posted on Wed, 08/11/2010 - 14:07


The width of the warp chain and how many threads you weight at one time are two separate entities.

You want enough threads in each chain that it has some "body" - and when you spread those supplemental threads over your web, you can take sections of that chain for a single weight - or use Deb's suggestion to weight the entire supplemental warp.

I usually make two chains - one for each half so there is some clear delineation at the center, and in the case of horizontal countermarche looms, a separation around the center cords.

Posted on Wed, 08/11/2010 - 14:50

Since Taquete is a weft faced weave, there is not much point in putting a supplementary warp on the loom. I have never put any of my Tied Weaves or Tied Weave variations on two beams and I do not have an issue with different take up rates of the warp. I remember reading about the possibility for warps that are not used in a regular order, and in particular about stuffer rugs. I also recall reading something about it in older texts, but never found it to be true. Taquete is simply the tie down threads being used in regular order and the pattern threads being woven on opposites, so there is not much different in the take up of the warp. The few occassions I have woven Lampas I have not found it to be an issue either.

Posted on Wed, 08/11/2010 - 15:00

Thank you Sara and Deb!

Still considering which way to go.  The warp is already beamed on at a plain weave sett, so I would have to resley to a higher density to allow for the tie-down threads, should I go with the existing warp.  Also, tie-downs are supposed to be finer than the main warp.  Adding a second warp would let me preserve the original sett, but would be a real pain to weight each section of warp separately.

Deb, if you can post a photo of alternative #2, I'd really appreciate it.  I think I may go with alternative #1, but not really sure...

Sara - how fine should I make the divisions if I weight each section separately?  I am concerned that there won't be enough threads in each section to give the required "body" to keep weights from slipping down.  if I am using 60/2 silk for the main warp and 120/2 silk for the ties (since the ties are supposed to be finer than the main warp), and use a 1:2 or 1:3 ratio between tie-downs and "main" warp threads, that would make for about 14-20 threads per inch.  In 120/2 silk, that would make for very few threads to hang the weights from.  If I can make the divisions for the weights 6", that might be enough to work, but if it's supposed to be 2", then that probably won't work, I'm guessing.

What would you suggest?

Posted on Wed, 08/11/2010 - 15:52

Tien, When I've split a supplemental chain, I "chain" it from the far end and hang the weight in the resulting loop. This means letting out a loop when the warp has been sufficiently advanced, but keeps things rather orderly.

How many threads? depends a bit on the project and the weights used - you don't want the outside edges of the "bout" slanting a lot.

Posted on Sat, 09/03/2011 - 21:24

I usually take a spare cone, wind the thread and weight the cone. The loom keeps right on going. R

Posted on Thu, 05/02/2013 - 13:32

Do you need to tension the supplementary warp differently for lampas?  My understanding is that it is more like double weave.


Posted on Thu, 05/02/2013 - 20:21

Beiderwand or Lampas would be nice with the silk yarns you have, but you do not need to use two warp beams for this when your warp is all one fiber.

With that warp already wound onto a beam, you might consider a true supplementary warp project with the added warps appearing in select places. Or you could add a second warp for tie-downs for brocade in places.

I did not need a second beam for taquete until I tried it for a warp of weft-faced rugs. With rugs, I needed more tension in general plus additional tension on one layer of warp, and my 40" folding AVL was not the right loom for that. Clearly you are not going to make rugs with the 60/2 silk warp.