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Starting and Stopping Colors in your Color Gamp–Split Plies

10 Color Gamps on the Rigid Heddle Loom, Bright Colors
10 Color Gamps on the Rigid Heddle Loom, Bright Colors

When you weave a color gamp, you weave weft stripes.  And each time you start or stop weaving with one color and are ready for a new color, you have to deal with the weft ends.  There are several techniques to do deal with all those weft ends, and one of these techniques is to Split the Plies of your weft yarn.

This makes a very clean finish, and works especially well for 3/2 and 5/2 yarns, because it eliminates yarn build up at the selvedges.  It takes a little more time, but it is worth it for the clean finish!!!

With this technique you split the plies of the yarn and overlap the split plies.  Let’s walk through how to do it.

  • When you have finished weaving a color cut the weft yarn end 4” or so past the selvedge.
  • With the shed still open, pull the weft yarn tail up approximately 1 ½” inside from the selvedge.
  • Gently un-ply the weft yarn to the warp threads.

  • Cut off one ply near the warp threads. Be careful. Keep the scissor blades on top of all the warp threads. Don’t cut your warp threads.
  • This is what it will look like when you have cut off one of the plies.
  • Put the weft yarn back into the shed and carry the end out to the selvedge edge. At this time, you will only have one single ply travelling in the shed. This is how it looks before you have pulled the end all the way through.
  • The tail end of the cut-off ply will remain where you cut it off. And the remaining single ply will be sticking out the selvedge edge.

  • Wrap the remaining single ply end around the last thread of the warp and feed it back into the open shed.
  • Pull the wrapped ply up through the warp ends at the same point where the cut off end is.

  • Beat.
  • Trim the remaining ply close to the fabric surface. Again, keep the scissor blades on top of all the warp threads so you don’t cut a warp thread.

  • Now you are ready for the next color!

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