RaddleWarping the loom back to front, requires more tools that warping it front to back.  This is one of the reasons that, until now, I have not tried the back to front method.  I am at the point with my weaving where i am trying to learn as many things as I can - and I think I am past due with learning this alternate warping method.

So, I needed to build the tools:

  • Raddle - A long, flat, narrow piece of wood with nails or metal pins every 1/4" or 2", used to spread the warp evenly for beaming the warp onto the warp beam. (definition from: http://www.glimakrausa.com/glossary.html)
  • Lease Sticks - Flat, thin, smooth, wooden sticks which are inserted into the cross (or lease) in the warp to keep the correct order of threads. (definition from: http://www.glimakrausa.com/glossary.html)

Luckily, I really like to build stuff and I had time after work one day this week to work on these tools.  I was able to purchase the wood I needed in lengths short enough that I could very easily fit them in the car - and I didn't end up buying more than I needed.

raddle and lease sticksTo make the raddle,


  • 1"x1"x36" piece of poplar
  • 24 - threaded eye hooks
  • 36" long wooden dowel that would fit through the eye hooks 
  1. Measure out 1" increments on one face of the 1"x" centered with 6" extra on each end.
  2. Drill pilot holes at those 1" incremental marks for the eye hooks to be screwed into later
  3. Sand the sides and the corners that the yarn will pass over to ease the stress put on the yarn. Also sand the wooden dowel.
  4. Finish the wood (1"x1" and the dowel) with paste wax to further reduce stress and friction on the yarn.
  5. Screw the eye hooks into the pilot holes and align them so that the wooden dowel can pass through from one end to the other to hold the yarn in place.

To make the lease sticks:


  • 2 - 1"x 1/4" x 36" pieces of wood
  1. Drill holes in both ends of both sticks large enough to pass string though (be consistant with the placement of the holes)
  2. Sand the sticks, easing the corners to ease the stress put on the yarn as it runs over the edges.
  3. Finish the wood with paste was to further reduce stress and friction on the yarn.

The width that I choose for my tools works very well with my 22" weaving width table loom.  Obviously, the size would need to be adjusted for other looms.

This weekend, I have been have warping my next project onto the loom using these new tools and the back-to-front warping method.  I didn't like the way it was working when I mounted the raddle onto my back beam with the lease sticks right in front.  Because of the width of the warp I am working with this time, there wasn't enough room between the headles to spread the warp out completely.  To work around this, I ended up running the warp up, over the castle where I mounted the raddle and I let the lease sticks hang down in front of the castle.  Once most of the warp was beamed, I was able to move the raddle to the back beam and the lease sticks to behind the castle.

One of the main advantages I have found to this method so far, is how NOT tangled the warp is.  The lease sticks work very well for combing out the tangles and keeping an even, consistant tension on the warp as it is beamed.  i also appreciated not having to hold the cross between my fingers as I threaded the loom.

I really think I am going to love this method.  As I have read a number of places, it is best to know many ways to do something so that you can choose the best method for each specific project.

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