Video Tip! Choosing Warp Yarns

Learn the easy way to figure out if a yarn will work for your warp on a rigid-heddle loom with this video tip from Sara Bixler.

Christina Garton Aug 29, 2023 - 4 min read

Video Tip! Choosing Warp Yarns Primary Image

Sara Bixler's tip for testing warp yarns would have saved young Christina a lot of wasted yarn. Photo from Beginning Weaving on the Rigid-Heddle Loom

When I first began weaving, it was drummed into my head that I needed to make sure my warp yarn was extra strong. Not only would the yarn be going through the heddle, but it would also be under tension throughout the weaving process. A warp yarn that broke under tension or abraded easily could mean disaster to an otherwise well-planned project.

This is all true: I’ve woven with yarns that should not have been used as warp to my detriment (although in the process I did become VERY good at fixing broken warp ends). How I was taught to test a yarn to see if it would work as a warp is where I was let down. Most of us were taught to cut a length of our proposed warp and then to try to break it with our hands—no holds barred, no restrictions on how hard or how long we pulled.

It didn’t take long for me to realize that this method was flawed. Nearly every single yarn broke when put under this kind of pressure—up to and including common warp yarns such as 8/2 cotton. I eventually learned how to better test my warp yarn, but for a while I was confused as to why so few yarns could be used for warp.

Thank goodness for Sara Bixler. In her new video Beginning Weaving on the Rigid-Heddle Loom, she shows you exactly how to accurately test a potential warp yarn. If I’d had her as my weaving teacher from the start I would have been able to warp with more confidence.

If you’re curious about Sara’s method, you’re in luck! Watch the exclusive video clip below to see Sara’s tip for testing warp plus five more incredible tips to help you pick warp yarns with confidence. It’s brilliant, and I think even experienced weavers will appreciate how she explains choosing a warp.

There you have it! How easy is that? No treating yarn like you’re the incredible hulk, and no friction burns from overzealous testing. Using these tips you’ll be able to choose warp yarns with confidence, whether you’re weaving on a rigid-heddle, inkle, or floor loom. For more great tips and instruction from Sara, make sure to check out her full-length video!

This video is sponsored by:

The Kromski’s take pride in providing spinners and weavers worldwide with high-quality, well-engineered spinning and weaving tools that not only operate at modern standards but also have a design and architecture that enhance the lives and surroundings of their customers. Form and function come together in the hands of a Kromski artisan, and the results are a sight to behold, use and own. Learn more at