I'm weaving a scarf with some very expensive beaded novelty yarn, and I don't want to waste an inch of it. I've heard of something called a "dummy warp," where some inexpensive yarn is tied to the apron rod and then the real warp is tied to that, so that the cheap yarn becomes the loom waste. Should I use a dummy warp with this project? Thanks! Regina
A dummy warp can be useful to avoid rethreading when you're tying on one warp after another, and it can also save you from twelve to eighteen inches of loom waste on each warp thread, but there are tradeoffs. When you tie knots to join two warps, they don't do well when they get close to the back of the shafts. You have to trim them and coax them into making any sheds, and getting the actual knots to go through the heddles takes some fiddling. You'd have to really have a valuable yarn to make it worth that work.
You can weave on most looms with the apron rod pretty close to the back of the shafts, so consider the value of your time versus the cost of the loom waste. That beaded warp might be worth it but most yarns aren't.
Posted April 10, 2010. Updated May 3, 2019.