Ngaire just put on a project using Bambu7 and she found that getting perfect tension was problematic using our tried and true method shown here. The Bambu7 is a fairly thick yarn that has 6 strands and very little twist and frankly it’s really pricey, so lashing on was the solution to fix the problem and to save warp!
The fist step is to tie overhand knots. The knots are tied using the number of ends in about a half inch of reed. In this case the sett was 20 epi, so there are 10 ends in each knotted bout.
All the knots are done and you can see that Ngaire made every effort to get the knots about the same length from the ends. Taking time now to keep them even really helps later on.
On the right hand side you can see a stick holding up the front apron rod. Ngaire put one of these small lease sticks on each end of the loom and the purpose is to hold the apron rod in place while you lash on, making it hands free. Ngaire made sure that the apron rod started out about 3 inches away from the knots to ensure that there was enough room to tighten the bouts after lashing on.
The yarn you use to lash on is another variable. You need to choose a yarn that has hardly any stretch and is very, very strong because you will be pulling on it quite hard and you don't want it to snap half way through! Ngaire decided to use 2/8 Orlec, but any synthetic will do nicely. You need to start out with enough yarn to go over and through each knotted bout, so make sure you have at least 8 or 9 times the width of your cloth.
To start lashing on you need to tie the end of the lashing yarn onto the apron rod and go through the centre of the knot and then back around the apron rod.
You go around the rod and then up through each and every knot.
Every 5 or 6 knotted bouts stop and pull the tension fairly tight before proceeding forward. This is another little step that makes it easier in the end. When you have reached the end of the knots you tie off the lashing yarn and then pull or press on the lashing yarn until they feel even.
The knots should be in a fairly even line in the front, so go around to the back of the loom and walk your hand across the warp to futher even the tension. Just gently push down and rock your hand on any tight feeling ends. You may want to close your eyes to help you ‘feel’ the tension better.
Walk back around to the front and using the tension brake tighten up the warp to remove all the slack. Now run your hand along the warp in front of the heddles and behind the reed to make sure the warp is evenly tensioned. Leave the warp to rest with the tension on for twenty minutes or so, to make sure no new tension problems develop.
Here it is all done, evenly tensioned and ready to weave! This is a great technique to use on those 'spendy' yarns because there is hardly any waste.