Carry Your Weft Yarns

Carry the Weft
Carry the Weft

Weaving with lots of weft color changes means that you will have ends to deal with.  If you don’t want to stop and start your weft yarns all the time, you can carry the non-working weft yarns up the selvage edges while they are still attached.

You can choose to either secure or not secure the carried weft yarn with the working weft yarns.  If you don’t want the selvedge edge to be conspicuous, you probably want to secure your non-working weft if you are traveling more than a few rows.

When you secure the carried yarn, you wrap the working yarn around the carried yarn on each pass. This can be a bit fussy but is a visually pleasing ways to deal with weft color changes.   It does require some planning when you want to carry more than one color up the side.  Plan your color changes to happen on opposite sides if there are 2 colors being carried up the side.


When you don’t secure the carried yarn, you will see a visible float along the selvage edge.  You can use this as a design feature to highlight your pretty yarn, or even think about adding something to those yarns to accentuate the colorful addition to your selvage edge.  It is like hiding in plain sight!

If you are going to be weaving more than an inch or so of warp before you use the color again, consider finishing off your weft in another way for that section rather than carrying the yarn up the side.  You can still see the yarn that is being carried and it can make your selvage edge bulky if you carry it too far.



Here are some tips on how to carry your weft yarns:

Secured Weft: 

  • Leave the non-working yarn away from the web. In our example, we put the cobalt shuttle on a tv tray next to the loom.
  • Wrap the working thread around the non-working thread and insert the working thread back into the next shed.
  • Beat and continue to weave.
  • Make sure to catch the selvage warp end with the working yarn each time you come to the edge where the non-working yarn is waiting. If you do not catch the selvage warp end, you will have a float at the selvage, and it will look like a loop when you finish. Our rule of thumb to avoid the float is: If the carried weft is OVER the selvage warp end, the working weft must go OVER the carried weft. And, if the carried weft is UNDER the selvage warp end, the working weft must go UNDER the carried weft.

Unsecured Weft:

  • When you are done weaving with a color, put the non-working shuttle off to the side.
  • Weave as usual with the new color.
  • When you are ready for the next color, pick up the shuttle and start weaving with that yarn.
  • You will have a loop on the selvage edge.

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