Wednesday, August 20, 2014

DIY warp weights that really work

Hello, friends. As we all know, necessity is often the mother of invention. On Saturday I took "Bug," my 4 harness Harrisville Designs small loom, out for her first field trip to demonstrate weaving at Londonderry's Old Home Days event. There was a warp on the loom (rayon chenille) and after unfolding the loom and getting everything ready to weave, the first three threads on one side of the warp were really loose and the whole thing was just a big kerfuffle.

Since I was on the road and didn't have my hemostats handy (my preferred method of suspending, for example, floating selvedge threads), I had to fashion something that would work out of the items I had with me in my "artisan-show-disaster-kit," which includes things such as screwdrivers, scissors, and cup hooks (which I use for display purposes for signs, etc...).

Here is what I came up with on Saturday:


Supplies needed:
film canister
cup hook (mine have a threaded screw-like end, which is great)
pennies or other weights

I have to say, these work great. Here's a  photo of the weights on the loom:


I like the way that additional weight can be added to the film canister, and the cup hooks have shown to be securely anchored into the lid of the film canister. "S" hooks or even a paperclip can be fashioned to add a bit of length/distance between weights.

There are all sorts of ways to tension a misbehaving warp thread (I recently read filling milk jugs with water or using "plastic bags full of rocks"), but I think the film canister method is a bit more tidy and compact.

Let me know what you think! I only wish that there were more film canisters around the house!

Be well,
Kate K.

3 comments:

Cindie said...

I also use film canisters but what a great idea to screw a cup hook in the top! I'm going to add them to my canisters now - thanks for that tip.

We used to be able to find the canisters at a photo shop in town - they had big barrels full of them for the taking - barrels disappeard around 6 years ago - a thing of the past.....sure wish I had more in my stash, who would have guessed they'd disappear.

Thistle Rose Weaving said...

Great idea Kate! I use the film canisters to weight my floating selvages. For loose warp threads I have some ice fishing depth finders which are basically lead weights with a built in clip on the end.

Hilary said...

I love them....use them myself, but the cup hook idea is BRILLIANT. I will be stopping at the hardware store for some tomorrow.... Camera film canisters are great, but hard to find these days.........Diabetics use strips to test their blood, and the containers that the strips come in are perfect. If you know a diabetic, have them save them for you...or if you stop in at your local doctor's office, they will usually save some for you.