Here are 10 common troubles that weavers have, some as a beginner… and others you will face all the time. But, do not become discouraged- these are easy (mostly) easy fixes that can be corrected with simple tricks or with lots of practice!
Let’s take a look at the problems and how we can solve them and get back to weaving- the FUN part!
1.Uneven edges – hourglass shape
Weaving weft yarns can be tricky, especially when there is a high density of warp yarns. As the weft yarns are woven, the warp yarns are drawn toward each other and this causes the yarns to bunch up. The edges of the warp become noticeably cinched by the weft- which creates an hourglass shape. The base and top of the weaving are wide, however the middle area is significantly narrower.
To avoid this, there are a few things that you can do. For example, at the end of each row of weaving, pinch the weft yarn at the corner and send the yarn through on a diagonal. Start from the middle, and beat the yarn down to create small hills and then even out the yarn row. This will insure that the warp yarns have enough yarn and space, so it will not be drawn in too much.
I have outlined essential tips that help you weave straighter and explains how to balance out the weft yarns while weaving in a previous article, “How to weave straight selvedges”.
There are various ways to introduce color into weaving, for example weaving color blocks, interlocking methods or using a color gradation method. These methods create differing appearances in the weaving.
Weaving color blocks
Add color and design with sections of color or color blocks. In order to weave color blocks, you can use various interlocking methods, such as the warp interlocking method and the weft interlocking method. Color blocks are also formed by weaving slits.
Let’s say that you want to weave an entire block of one color yarn on the left of the warp and another color on the opposite side, but you want the colors to be separate from each other. Weaving slits between the two yarns will create a line of demarcation. However, its important to be aware that the higher the slit, the less support the weaving structure will have in this area- which can be used in a creative advantage or just something to take note of in your design.
The full tutorial of this weaving technique can be found here in a previous blog post, Weave Slits: Weaving Techniques.
Warp interlocking method
In this technique two weft yarns are wrapped around the same warp yarn to connect and start another color or yarn in the weaving. The transition between the two colors is not as clean as weaving slits, but the warp interlocking method shows a clear separation of colors.
The full tutorial of this weaving technique can be found here on a previous blog post, Warp Interlocking: Weaving Techniques.
Weft interlocking method
Between the warp yarns two weft yarns are linked to each other to connect and start another color or yarn in the weaving when using the weft interlocking method. The transition between the two colors is a bit subtler in this method because the weft yarns “hide” between the warp yarns.
The full tutorial of this weaving technique can be found here on a previous blog post, Weft Interlocking: Weaving Techniques.
If you want a smooth transition of colors in your weaving, then use a more subtle method. Depending on your preference and methods, you can transition colors in a gentle or stark way. This effect is generally created by weaving with two yarns together, then gradually reducing the number of yarns of the previous color. The full tutorial of this weaving technique can be found here on a previous blog post.
The full tutorial of this weaving technique can be found here with three different methods:
3.Visible Warp, but you want it covered
Before weaving, it is important to consider if your project will be weft facing weaving or warp-facing weaving. Weft-facing weaving shows only the weft yarns and covers the entire warp. Warp-facing weaving exposes the warp between the weft yarns.
If you do not want the warp yarns shown, then there are a few techniques to try to give an even and cohesive appearance in your weaving. Some tips include using warp yarn that is of a similar color or in the same color family as the weft yarns. It is also important to beat the weft yarns with a consistent force in every row.
I have added more tips on weft facing and warp facing weaving on this blog post, Warp Frame Loom with 2 or more colors and yarns.
4. Loose top and bottom ends of weaving
Securing the weft yarns is important to hold the woven design in place. In the final weaving rows use the hemp stitch to end the weaving. Intertwining the final rows will keep the yarns in place. Another tip is to carefully knot the warp end closely to the final weft row. This will give the yarns a bit more support.
Learn more six more methods to finish weaving in this blog post, 7 Ways to Finish and Hang Weaving.
5. Too many yarns? too many EPI or not enough EPI?
Yarn density affects weaving… a lot. Before weaving you must calculate how much yarn is needed and how you will divide the yarn per inch. This is the EPI, or ends per inch. The more yarn ends there are, the higher the EPI- and the fewer ends there are, the lower the EPI and density.
Weaving a project with thin yarn may use a higher EPI, but thicker yarns tend to use a lower EPI. The number of yarns in your project affects the form of the images you weave and the amount of yarn you need to complete the project.
To learn more about EPI and its effect on your weaving design, check out this blog post Weaving Warp Spacing: EPI low density and high density.
6. Uneven Warp Tension
The longer the warp remains on the loom, the looser its tension becomes. Therefore it is vital that you dress the loom properly before weaving.
Warp yarns are secured at the top and bottom of the frame loom usually by pins, nails or grooves. The best method for tightening the warp is at the initial dressing phase. As you dress the loom, wrap it once and secure the warp. Then, go back through the warp strands and tighten up any loose ones. Retie the final warp strand and begin weaving.
While weaving, if the warp becomes too loose, you can insert a small wooden stick to tighten the tension. By inserting the small stick between two warp strands at the top of the loom, you can rotate it slowly and twist the yarns up. You will notice that the warp will tighten. Once at the desired tension, pin the stick around the remaining warp string.
Second to a proper initial dressing of the loom, is weaving quicker is another way to maintain warp tension longer. 6 Tips to Weaving Faster and Completing Projects is an article that outlines the other methods to weave quicker which holds the tension longer.
For a complete step-by-step tutorial for dressing a frame loom, check out the following posts for tips on keeping the tension.
7. Broken Warp Yarn
A broken warp yarn is an unforeseen incident that can throw your weaving off, but it isn’t anything to fret too much over. If the warp yarn breaks then you can use a pin, such as a paper clip or other metal pin to secure together the broken end and a new yarn added to the warp sett. Once the weaving is off the loom, you can clean up the two yarns for an even transition from one yarn to the other.
Read this article for a detailed tutorial to repair a broken warp yarn.
8. Skipped Warp Thread
It is inevitable that you will miss a warp yarn or two in a row. This can throw the pattern off and you will have to go back and fix the pattern. Depending on the placement of the mistake, you may want to go back during weaving and correct it or you might find it easier to correct it after the project is off the loom.
This simple process is done by weaving new yarn and removing the mistake. You can find my full tutorial here.
9. Uneven Weft Tension
The best way to avoid uneven weft in a row is to use a loom comb to create small hills with the new weft row. This allows the yarn to balance out between the warp yarns and it does not pull the other yarns.
Tighter and even weft tension also means that the tension of the warp will remain strong too. For more information about maintaining equal tension for warp and weft yarns check out this article, How to Weave? Weaving for Beginners in 5 Steps.
10. Bubbling up or wavy fabric off the loom
You might have noticed that your weaving is curving or just not laying flat once it is off the loom. This is common with knitted and woven fabric. By laying the weaving in water gently then letting it dry on flat surface, the fabric can dry flat. Pins can assist in the drying process by pinning the weaving down to a blanket or towel. Here is a full tutorial.
No weaving problem is too big to fix. With some time, lots of patience and practice, and maybe some hot milk tea or coffee you can solve anything on the frame loom.
I hope that this post was useful and helpful for you to solve these common weaving problems. Keep practicing and don’t worry: your skills will continue developing with every yarn you weave.
Thank you for visiting my blog.