Warping, Beaming, Tying in and Pirn winding

Warping, beaming, tying in and pirn winding…in video!  I first posted these on social media and felt that a wee warning/disclaimer was in order before viewing as I didn’t want these videos to cause over excitement…you have been warned!

First one up is warping.  This is where you arrange the lengthways ends of yarn in sections on a wheel in order to build up the width of your warp (tweed).  I filmed this in fast-mo and unfortunately I couldn’t find anywhere to place my phone in order to see the finer details, but that’ll make for another video someday!


Next is beaming.  This is transferring the warp onto a beam which will then sit on the loom.  Again, this was filmed in fast-mo and makes for funny viewing.  I do wish I moved this quickly in real life!!


Once the beam is on the loom, the new ends of yarn are tied onto the old ends, after you’ve arranged them in order of the draft (pattern/weave) to be woven.  This is quite simple, in that you just tie each end together in a knot.  After making 672 knots, it’s finished and can be pulled through!


The last thing to do before weaving can begin is to make pirns or iteachain.  These are ‘mini bobbins’ that sit in the shuttle which flies back and forth on the loom delivering the weft (horizontal ends of yarn in a tweed).  To change things up a bit, there’s a bit of this filmed in slo-mo!


Although there are a few other bits and pieces that need to be done before weaving can begin, these are the main preparatory steps and can take a whole day to complete.  You can see why weavers will often say that sitting down behind the loom is the easy part!

9 thoughts on “Warping, Beaming, Tying in and Pirn winding”

  1. Hi Rebecca,
    Wow! This is great to see you in action, and to learn about the processes you need to go through before even beginning to weave the tweed! Fantastic: thanks very much for sharing. I will look at my tweeds with even MORE appreciative eyes than ever 🙂

  2. Wonderful, just wonderful Rebecca, I keep watching the videos over and over. Do you need tension on the yarn when warping and beaming ? In mechanical weaving tension and humidity is important. I must come and see you in action, we were hoping to get up this year but sadly have had a family bereavement plus my better half was desperately ill the first half of the year but we or I will get to you. Thank you so much for the emails and videos. More power to your elbow.

    1. Yes, you need to keep an even tension throughout, otherwise it won’t be much fun trying to weave! You’re very welcome to visit any time!

  3. Love seeing Tweed being woven. There is a weaver in South Lochs that uses a wooden loom and ‘hand throws’ every shot. Some of the patterns she uses are truly unique

  4. This was great to watch Rebecca and so interesting…so much work goes into the tweed making process and it made me appreciate it more!

  5. I’d love to come visit next time we are up, watched a video at Na Gearrannan and it looks so time consuming ,ultimately worth the effort, i have some of your tweed in a cushion and i love it, it has a depiction of northton on the front, which i thought was very appropriate

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.