I received a question from a reader asking if she was using the wrong warp thread, because she noticed that when she weaves her warp shows more then what she sees in other people’s weaves. My first question was, was she weaving with a bulky thread. I asked this because when you weave with bulky threads, there is more area for the warp to cover and it will end up showing more (just check out my chunky grey thread above). But she informed me she was using a worsted size 4 yarn for her weft. To help with this question, I went all the way back to my first weave and sure enough, I had more warp showing using a worsted weight size 4 yarn, compared to now when I weave the warp is almost fully covered.
Both in my grey and white woven areas of my first weave you can see how the tension of my weft threads is so strong that it’s bringing the warp threads forward so that they show. These are worsted weight size 4 yarns.
So why does this happen? Well when you’re just starting out and getting the hang of weaving, you tend to pull your weft across the warp threads very tightly, where as the correct way to do it is to lay your weft threads between the warps. You probably have seen this many times, as I did when I was just starting out, but I hope to better explain the importance of using a “wave” technique when weaving. I clearly didn’t understand the importance of it when I was just starting out.
Since the plain weave is just going over and under the warp threads, it is very tempting to just pull the weft straight across. This, however, puts unnecessary tension in your weave and causes the warp threads to pull forward, which is why they are prominent when woven in this way. What I do is pull my weft thread across my weave but up, about an inch, above my already woven rows creating a “wave”. I then take my tapestry needle (or you could use your tapestry beater) and I push down part of the wave a few warps over and create a smaller wave that I smooth down. If I were to push the wave down right at the next warp and then the next, I would end up getting uneven tension. So if I push the wave down a few warps over this better spreads the tension of the weft. I continue pushing down my weft a few warp threads over and then smoothing the weft down all the way across the row I have woven. As you can see I’m more laying my weft threads over my warp threads, instead of pulling them and my warp threads are better covered to the point where you barely see them.
If you’re looking for even more warp coverage, check out my post on the weft facing weave technique.
As always, I love helping out with weaving questions when I can so please leave me a comment or send me an email.
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