What's a Warp Coil [Updated]

warp coil

When you’re weaving beads or tapestry, how your warp threads (the threads that go around the loom) are spaced is very important. That spacing will allow you to weave the size beads you want (imagine trying to stick 8/0 beads into warp threads spaced for 11/0 beads) or the yarn you want (different thicknesses of warp -and weft- need different warp spacing.)

The spacing of your warp threads is called your sett. This is measured as DPI (dents per inch) or EPI (ends per inch). Those terms mean the same thing: How many warp threads are in an inch across the top of your piece horizontally.

On some looms, you have a fixed sett. There are grooves or pegs set a certain distance apart at the top (or top and bottom) of the loom. You can get more than one sett from these fixed sett systems because you can warp every other dent (a dent is a space -between the grooves, pegs, spring -we’ll get to that soon, etc.) or every two dents. So if your loom had a fixed sett of 12 DPI, you could also warp at 6 DPI or 3 DPI. Other looms don’t have any way to fix your sett, so you have to make sure your warps are spaced correctly and STAY spaced correctly.

On a Mirrix, we know it is important for both bead and tapestry weaving to be able to easily weave at a variety of setts. Sometimes you’re weaving with fine silk and sometimes you’re weaving with chunky wool. Today you might want to weave with 11/0 Delicas and tomorrow you could be weaving with 8/0 beads. That’s where warp coils come in. They are springs (we use the terms warp coils and springs interchangeably) that you put at the top of your loom (or the bottom if you have a Bottom Spring Kit) that allow for different setts. Any Mirrix with a shedding device comes with four of these warp coils at 8, 12, 14 and 18 dents. We also have 10, 20 and 22 dent coils available. These coils will allow you to weave at pretty much any sett. The 8 dent coil can give you 4 or 8 DPI. The 12, 6 or 12. The 14, 7 or 14. Etc.

For more on why warp spacing matters for tapestry, check out this blog post.

For a bead weaving warp coil cheat sheet (and a little more on warp spacing for bead weaving) click here.