Process Review: Threading Preparation and Two Pairs of Lease Sticks

Dressing the loom with two sets of lease sticks keeps me on my toes. It means I am thinking carefully as I transfer lease sticks from in front of the reed to behind the reed. And, after beaming the warp(s), it means I am counting carefully as I put ends into threading groups of 48 threads each—32 ends of 20/2 cotton, and 16 ends of 22/2 cottolin.

Two set of lease sticks have been carefully moved from in front of the reed to behind the reed. After straightening all the warp ends, I will beam the warp.

I group ends together before threading. Then, when threading, if there is a discrepancy in the number of ends, it alerts me to find a threading error. Counting out these delicate unbleached cotton threads is challenge enough. Having the layer of cream cottolin threads underneath presents additional complexity. With all these ends, this part of the process is tedious. Still, it’s worth it if it lessens my chance of making threading errors with these 1,472 ends.

Preparation for threading. Ends are gathered into threading groups and tied together with a loose slip knot.
Each set of lease sticks is tied to the back beam separately, so they can hang at different heights. The lower set is tied around the side frame and over the back beam.
If I stand behind the loom, my back is in a leaning-forward position and not comfortable for long. I placed a child’s chair and cushion behind the loom. Kneeling behind the loom at this height gives me good visibility and access to the threads.
View from the back of the loom. Ends are counted at the center of a pair of lease sticks. These counted ends are tied together in a loose slip knot.
View from behind the loom. Loop of unbleached ends just counted lay on top to clear the view. Ends on lower pair of lease sticks are counted and tied separately. I tied the cotton threads and the cottolin threads separately to make it easier to find an error if I miscounted along the way (which, fortunately, didn’t happen).
Counted ends are dropped into hanging position before moving on to the next grouping. (After taking this picture, I re-tied the lease sticks closer together, making counting easier.)
Threads remain in the reed. I pull threads out of the reed when they are counted.
Pretty sight of counted ends. Ready for threading!

One step at a time.

May you enjoy the process you are in.

Happy Loom Dressing,

5 thoughts on “Process Review: Threading Preparation and Two Pairs of Lease Sticks

  1. this is going to be beautiful. why do you have 2 sets of lease sticks? and how do you put the second one in? i put my warp on the same way you do i believe, the vavstuga way. but i only put 1 set of lease sticks in.

    1. Hi Ellen, I have two sets of lease sticks because I wound the thinner threads (20/2 cotton) and the thicker threads (22/2 cottolin) separately. Essentially, two warps are going on the loom together. The lease sticks are inserted as usual in each warp, just before I pre-sley the reed. A couple reasons for putting it on as two warps: 1. I didn’t have to cut and tie every few threads when winding the warp, since there is one cottolin thread between every two cotton threads. 2. By winding like threads together, I am supposing that my warp tension will be more even than if I had mixed the two weights of thread in a single warp.

      Thanks for asking,

  2. Good morning Karen,
    Basis my carpet warp weaving perspective let’s see if I understand warping in two different sizes of very fine warps.

    Pre-sleighing the reed from front to back onto the loom introduces a consistency to both organization but also in tension as this keeps the individual warps at it’s own tension. This allows the warps’ fell (sewing term used to describe the takup of a fabric as it turns into a seam) the different ease required by the different threads.

    Relying on my memory. This loom is being warped up to weave a project similar to seersucker once completed?

    Wow. The detail.

    In the past I’ve referred to detailed projects as eating an elephant. One bite at a time.

    Thank you for sharing.


    1. Hi Nannette, It looks like you have a good grasp of what’s going on here. Even though the threads are pre-sleyed from the front toward the back, I wouldn’t want to confuse that with the warping process that I use, which is normally described as back to front.

      The project I am following from Väv Magazine calls this cloth “crinkly.” So, yes, I’m hoping for a seersucker-type result. We shall see…..! The prospect is exciting.


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