Loom waste

June 2, 2013

One of the things you should probably do when you get a new loom is figure out how much loom waste it generates. Loom waste, also called “thrums” is the unwoven yarn left over from a weaving project. It is the yarn used to tie the project to both the front and back beams, as well as the portion of yarn its simply impossible to weave due to the shed being too small through which to pass a shuttle, etc.

I had never taken the time to figure this out definitely. My rule of thumb when performing warp calculations was to designate a yard of length as loom waste and call that good. However, since loom waste on the Finnish Mantle project will be incorporated into the fringe of the piece, and I need a certain amount of length, it’s time to get it figured out.

Handily, I have just finished a part of wicklebanders. Instead of cutting them off the loom, I untied them and measured the thrums.


Turns out the magic number is about 25 inches. I expect this number flexes a bit depending on the weave pattern.

You don’t have to have a project from which to measure your actual loom waste. You can calculate it as well. Peggy Osterkamp, author of ” Warping your loom & Tying on New Warps” tells you how do that here: Tips for dealing with loom waste

And here is another nice article I found on the internet: Laura Fry’s blog “Weaving a Life” – Loom waste.


2 Responses to Loom waste

  1. Threads
    June 2, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    And, of course, you can tie on, without taking off the previous warp’s waste, which helps!

    • admin
      June 2, 2013 at 2:37 pm

      Yes! There are all kinds of ways to reduce loom waste. Tying on to a previous warp, using a dummy warp, etc. These are particularly desirable when using handspun or very expensive yarns.

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