How to Warp a Band Loom

To warp my new Glimakra band loom, I use a method that is similar to the way that I warp my large floor looms, front-to-back.

The total length of the band loom is about a meter, a comfortable distance to reach both the back and the front beams of the loom, if you sit on the side, facing the heddles. This will feel a bit awkward at first, if you are used to working from the front beam of a floor loom. But everything is accessible, the front beam, the heddles, the back beam and the pedals. I do find the loom a bit high so that my shoulders get sore while working on it. Sitting on a higher chair such as a dining room chair, or the weaving bench helps to alleviate this problem.

I wind the warp on a warping board. When making narrow striped bands, you do need to change colours frequently, but it isn’t difficult to tie the previous end to the warping peg, and tie on a new colour.
In this simple band, I am using 40 ends of different colours. The draft shows which shaft to thread the yarn through alternating between the 2 shafts, Shaft 1 (Front heddle) Shaft 2 (Back heddle)

Band Loom Draft
Band Loom Draft

I have used 8/2 cotton for this band, but you can use any weight of yarn that you wish.
Turquoise Blue 20 Ends
Yellow 8 Ends
Red 8 Ends
Purple 4 Ends
Total 40 Ends
Warp Length: 3.5 Meters (including loom waste)

Band Loom Warp
Band Loom Warp

After winding the warp onto the warping board, I insert the lease sticks into the cross, and remove the warp from the warping board.

I use masking tape, to temporarily attach the warp onto the front beam of the band loom.

Band Loom Warp Sticks
Band Loom Warp Sticks

While sitting on the side of the loom, directly in front of the heddles, I move all of the heddles close to the front. Again, I use a small piece of masking tape on the last heddle, to prevent them from falling off the pegs while I am warping. I start to thread the heddles, working from the back of the loom to the front.
I select the warp ends from the lease sticks and thread each end through the next heddle, alternating between the Front and Back heddles according to the draft. The lease sticks keep the warp in threading order as I warp.
I find it easier to use my fingers to thread the texsolv heddles, rather than using a threading hook.

Band Loom Lease Sticks
Band Loom Lease Sticks
Band Loom Warping
Band Loom Warping

When all of the warp ends have been threaded, I tie them to the back beam.
I use 2 texsolv heddles to attach the rods to the back beam, rather than using the texsolv cord that was provided with the loom. I find the texsolv cord to be a bit too heavy.

Band Loom Texsolv
Band Loom Texsolv

I now remove the lease sticks – they aren’t really needed anymore as the warp threads are all in perfect order. I find it easier to wind on a smooth warp without the sticks.
Again, sitting at the side of the loom, directly in front of the heddles, I hold the warp threads with my left hand, and slowly wind the warp onto the back beam, winding the warp with my right hand. Occasionally I have to stop, and gently comb out any loose ends, and continue winding.

Wind Warp on Band Loom
Wind Warp on Band Loom
Wind Warp onto Band Loom
Wind Warp onto Band Loom

As I am winding the warp onto the back beam, I insert one of the warp sticks with each revolution. This helps to keep the warp tensioning even as you are winding on.

Warp Sticks on Band Loom
Warp Sticks on Band Loom

Once the warp has all been wound onto the back beam, I adjust the warp tension and tie the ends to the front beam.

Wind Warp onto Band Loom
Wind Warp onto Band Loom

As there is no reed on a band loom to help keep an even sett, weaving on a band loom is a bit more free form than weaving on a conventional table or floor loom. I find that it always takes a few inches of weaving, to determine the correct weaving tension in order to get straight edges.

Weaving Tape on Band Loom
Weaving Tape on Band Loom

More About Band Looms
Band Loom Pickup – Simplified
Band Loom Pickup
Glimakra Band Loom Assembly

Band Loom Weaving Books
Tape Loom Weaving… Simplified
Handwoven Tape: Understanding and Weaving Early American and Contemporary Tape
Norwegian Pick-Up Bandweaving
The Weaver’s Inkle Pattern Directory: 400 Warp-Faced Weaves

Books from Blurb

EBAY Band Weaving


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