CNCHnet . . . The Textile Arts Webzine of the Conference of Northern California Handweavers

Shopping for Weaving Tools

Weaving is a specialized endeavor with many specialized tools to help you with your projects, However, sometimes it makes sense to look for tools and supplies that you could find handy and helpful in other stores.  For Example,

The Hardware Store

Clamps– C clamps and pressure clamps

Weights– Lead fishing weights and swivels, large nuts and washers,  S hooks.

Mason Line– used for lashing on a warp. See next article.

Cord -for tying up treadles

Rubber mallet– sometimes you need to hammer your loom into obeying your every wish. The rubber mallet won’t leave ugly marks!

Spray bottle – for misting your linen warps.

Light weight oil – for lubricating those squeaks.

clamps and soft mallet

clamps and soft mallet

 

The Art Supply or Toy Store

Pipe Cleaners– can be used for choke ties on your warp chain and for stabilizing rods while you’re tying them to the back beam. They can hold lease sticks together and can temporarily hold groups of threads together as you thread the loom. They also can be tightened and loosened with one hand, they are easy to pick up and are reusable.

Markers – both permanent and washable for marking.

pipe cleaners

pipe cleaners

Sections of the Grocery Stores and Pharmacies

Afro picks– are excellent for straightening fringe before cutting it even. They are also useful for combing a sticky warp while winding on.

Ponytail hair bands-– come in many sizes and can be used for multiple tasks. They, too, can hold rods together temporarily and put over the warp in your raddle to keep it in place. They also make good loops for buttons on purses, bags and other items you make from your handwoven fabric. Rubber bands can be used, too, but they tend to lose their elasticity and die in a short period of time.

Hair clips – make good weights for one or two strands of yarn. They can also mark your place on a pattern.

hair clips

hair clips

hairbands

hairbands

combs

combs

 

Hair spray – for taming or sizing your warp

Dental floss – it is very strong and great for sewing on buttons and other closures on bags and, coats, etc.

You also may have old perm rods-the kind with the elastic band that hooks across it.  These work well for supplementary threads and  floating selvedges.  The perm roller will probably fit on your bobbin winder which means you can get the right length of yarn on it in a neat manner.

Paper Supply company- carries bolts of corrugated paper and plain brown paper in wide sizes. The bolts aren’t that expensive and they will last for years as you can use the pieces you’ve cut off many times before they are too soft for packing when winding on a warp. If your loom is a smaller width, Check out a —

Wallpaper store – they occasionally are selling off leftover or outdated paper for pennies and it makes great packing material for your warp. It’s also pretty!

wallpaper

wallpaper

Reed blinds also make a good packing material as do screen door trim and slats from Venetian blinds. All of these can be cut to the exact size of your back beam.

Sports Store – dumbbells. 3# 5# & 8# all are excellent for supplementary warps when you only have one back beam.  Just wrap a section of the supplementary warp around a dumbbell and let it drag across the floor.  This sounds crude but I have used this method successfully twice!

I’m sure I’ve just listed a very few of the ‘cheap tricks’ that we as weavers have found to work.  What are your favorites?

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