I still receive questions on what to use as warp threads, and it’s a really great question! The truth is you can use type of thread you want, which can lead to some really interesting creations. However if you’re just starting out weaving, I like to recommend using a thin cotton thread for your warp. I recommend this because cotton thread is really strong and will help support your weave once it’s off the loom.
I mostly use a thin cotton warp thread in my weavings (check out my shop to find my favorite warp thread in different colors), but I have also experimented with other threads as my warp.
In my post on how to weave with 3 different colors, I use a worsted weight cotton thread as my warp. Having this thicker thread as a warp allowed for my warp to boldly show through my weave and made for an interesting design. I purposely spaced the top of my weave to have the warp threads show a lot, and then I wove so that my warp threads were more hidden towards the bottom of the weave I made. So you can weave with a worsted weight thread, if that is your preference.
I also used mohair thread as a warp when I created a mohair weave. The mohair fiber was really strong, but also had a lot of “grip” and was hard to weave with. It was a frustrating weave to make, but over all I really liked how airy the weave turned out when I was finished. Using mohair for both the warp and the weft is what really gave this weave a light feel.
You can also warp your loom with fibers like wool. If you decide to do this, just keep in mind that wool yarn is very stretchy. This means that when you warp your loom, the wool will stretch to fit the loom. You can weave as normal, using the wool as a warp, but once you remove the weave from the loom, the wool thread will settle back to it’s resting state and your weave will shrink a bit. My best advice for reducing the amount of shrinkage, would be to warp your loom on the looser side, but obviously you don’t want it too loose that it won’t sit firmly on the loom. This tip would also be for any fiber that is stretchy.
As I mentioned before, I personally like to use cotton warp thread and use it most of my weavings. But if you have a really great idea for using a really unusual material for your warp thread, then do it! The best part about weaving is that you’re only limited by your own creativity. And experimenting is the best way to find out if an idea is going to work or not.
Have you tried weaving on a unique type of warp thread? I’d love to hear about it.