Ask Madelyn: Warping a Second Warp Beam

How do you warp a second warp beam if you’re a front-to-back warper? Madelyn has the answers!

Madelyn van der Hoogt May 28, 2020 - 3 min read

Ask Madelyn: Warping a Second Warp Beam Primary Image

Photo Credit: George Boe

Hi Madelyn!

I have an 8-shaft floor loom and have now added on a second back beam. I would appreciate help on how to use this attachment to the loom, specifically how to warp it. I have ordered Barbara Walker’s book on supplemental warps.

Thank you!


Hi Sheena!

Warping instructions in Barbara Walker’s book are excellent. They are for back-to-front warping, though, and I am a front-to-backer. I have developed a way I really like for warping two beams.

First, I wind the two warps separately, the warp that will go on the regular beam (usually the ground warp) and the one that will go on the second beam (usually, this is a supplementary pattern warp). I sley the reed with the ground warp first. After I’ve done that, I tie a cord across the reed above the ground warp and sley the supplementary warp. The cord keeps the threads from mixing together.

Then, sitting behind the shafts and taking the threads in order (making sure threads from the two warps don’t twist around each other), I thread the heddles. After about each inch of warp width, I tie an overhand knot in the ends of the threads from each warp separately, the ground threads in a knot and the pattern threads in a knot. After all of the warp is threaded, I untie the chokes that secured both warps to the breast beam for threading. Then I take the knotted groups from the supplementary warp up and over the shafts and sort of tie them in a loose knot to the rest of the warp chain (or whatever I have to do to have them up and out of the way of the ground warp). This is easier to do than to describe.

I remove the cord across the reed and then beam the ground warp on the regular beam as though the supplementary warp weren’t there. (It’s important not to have had any of the threads from either warp twisted together for this to work well.) Next, I tie the ground warp onto the front apron rod in the usual way and tighten the tension. It’s then easy to beam the supplementary warp as though the ground warp were not there. When the supplementary warp is beamed, I tie it onto the front apron rod between the ties from the ground warp, and I’m ready to go!