Weaving Adventures – Warping Trapeze

After my first weaving project, where I ended up warping the loom again by tossing the warp over the bannister and weighting the warp with water bottles, I needed a new weighting option after moving the loom to the lower level of the house before the second project.

After doing some searching online, I found people using something called a warping trapeze. Brilliant.

However, I wanted my warping trapeze design to be a little different. I’m not going to walk through how to actually build a warping trapeze but I’m showing several pictures of how we build mine and why we chose some of the design features.

A Gallery of Pictures of My Warping Trapeze

The warping trapeze hardware This is most of the lumber and hardware. This doesn’t include upgrades we made to the trapeze later.
Warping trapeze bottom cross piece Constructing: Adding one of the bottom cross-pieces.
warping trapeze bottom cross piece Constructing: adding the other cross-piece.
warping trapeze - saw horse hardware The top of the vertical pieces is saw-horse hardware.
warping trapeze - saw horse hardware Just another picture of the saw-horse hardware.
warping trapeze - top hook for storing the adjustable top bar On the very top of the frame are these plastic dipped hooks for storing the adjustable top bar (you’ll see later).
warping trapeze - top board attached to the saw horse hardware The saw-horse hardware is only attached to the top board on one side so I can fold it up and set it aside when not in use.
warping trapeze - constructed and set up This is the nearly finished warping trapeze. The top bar is in its storage position.
 warping trapeze - top bar in top position This shows the top bar in its top-most position. It sits in another kind of plastic-dipped hook (see next picture).
 warping trapeze - hook for top bar top position This is the hook for when I’m winding warp. This is the top position of the top bar. When I start getting to the end of my warp, I can lift the bar off these hooks and move it down to the next position.
warping trapeze - top bar in first adjustable position This is the second position.
warping trapeze - plumbing pipe hooks for adjustment postions These hooks are what plumbers use to hang pipe and are what I use for the adjustment positions. They just screw right into the boards (screws were included with the hooks).
warping trapeze - top bar in bottom adjustment position And, this is the third position.

Note: I plan to add one more position that aligns with the front beam of the loom.

warping trapeze - bottom bar The bottom bar is fixed.
warping trapeze - end cap on adjustable bar Caps on the ends of the adjustable top bar. This is handy if, while I’m moving the warp down to the next set of hooks and I tip the bar a little, the warp won’t slide off the end. And, it looks more finished.  🙂
warping trapeze - warp draped over the trapeze - under the bottom bar and over the top bar Warp goes under the bottom bar and up over the top bar. Here the warp is un-weighted.
 warping trapeze - starting to weight the warp At this point, I start weighting sections of the warp. With this first time using the warping trapeze, I used water bottles for my weights.
warping trapeze - warp completely weighted All the warp is now weighted. All the weight is even across the entire warp.


warping trapeze - adjusting the weights  As I wind the warp onto the warp beam, the weights move up. When they get close to that top bar, I move the weights back to the floor. This continues until I run out of warp.
warping trapeze - top bar adjustment When my weights are at the end of the warp, I now adjust by moving that top bar down to the next set of hooks and continue winding.
warping trapeze - bottom adjustment position And again down to the next bar.
warping trapeze - more adjustment The next step is to pull the weights out from under the bottom bar and put over the bar at its lowest position.

It’s here that I need another set of adjustment hooks that are even with the front beam because the warp should be horizontal here.

warping trapeze - moving closer to the loom I move the trapeze closer to the loom to get as much work out of the trapeze as possible.
End of the weighted warp off the front beam When I can’t use the trapeze any more, the weights just hang off the front beam and I finish winding until the weights are up to the front beam.
Warping trapeze in use When I used the trapeze for the second time, I changed things a little. I bought weights instead of keeping water bottles on hand.
Weights on the warping trapeze - fishing weights These are S-hooks and fishing weights. These weights come in all sorts of sizes. I bought 4-ounce weights.
Warping frame on the warping trapeze This is the latest improvement to the warping trapeze. It now doubles as a warping frame! My other frame does 9 yards. With all the pegs in, this will do 20 yards.
Board with "the cross" is removable The board with the pegs for the cross is removable. The pegs are glued in to this board.
Pegs are removable All the other pegs are removable. That way, I can set up my configuration to suit the warp length I want to measure.
Pegs for "the cross" Picture of the board with the pegs for the cross.
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Weaving Adventures – Project 1 – Rewarping

After I got all the warp wound on to the warp beam and started weaving, I was completely frustrated with how uneven the tension was. I needed a better solution.

I rotated my loom to face the banister. I unwound the whole warp and cut off the 4 inches that I had already woven. I hung the warp over the banister and tied sections of it to water bottles to get even tension across all the warp.

I rewound the entire warp and ended up with a very even tension for the rest of the project. Success!

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