Friday, 26 March 2010

Winding bobbins for weaving

The number of wooden bobbins needed when weaving has been discussed on online groups that I belong to. I wonder why people use them at all.
When weaving with a boat shuttle I use paper to create the core of a bobbin. This way you can wind more yarn on each bobbin because you do not have a thickness of wood and so need to wind fewer bobbins for each project. You can also afford to leave any left over yarn on your paper bobbin and store it until it may be needed again.
To create the core, cut an oval/egg shape from a sheet of paper. I usually use waste from my printer or unwanted leaflets if the paper is not very shiny.
The shape must not be wider than the width of the aperture in your boat shuttle and should be wide enough to wind round the spindle of your bobbin winder several times. I find A5 paper just the job.

When I am ready to wind I, first of all, curl the paper around the winder spindle as tightly as possible and hold it in place while introducing the end of the yarn to be wound under the spindle and wound paper.

The way the yarn is wound is very important. Otherwise the yarn may not run off smoothly and cause problems when weaving.
First wind the paper core and then the yarn across the tightly wound core to keep it in shape.

Next, wind a small but smooth bead of yarn at one end of the bobbin, without winding too near the end, and then another bead near the other end of the paper bobbin.

Wind smoothly and keep an even tension on the yarn as you wind.
Fill the space between the two 'beads', but do not wind higher than them. Build up at each end and fill in the centre without any yarn 'falling' over the edges, as this can cause problems when it unwinds during weaving.

Th important thing to remember is that the wound bobbin should be firm and slim enough to rotate freely in the shuttle. The wound yarn should not protrude below the bobbin when in place on the spindle. It's so easy to wind on just that little bit too much yarn!