Crammed Warp Structure

Posted by Jodi Ybarra on

Summer Celebration Placemats

~ Crammed Warp Structure~ 

This month we are going to learn about weaving with a crammed warp.  

A crammed warp is simply adding more warp threads in certain areas in the reed.  The areas that are "crammed" with more threads will be raised or thicker and add a dynamic effect. This can be subtle or strong depending on the weight of the yarns and the number of threads warped.

Crammed weaving is a technique that uses different ends per inch in the same weaving. This will create little ridges that are higher in some areas creating a touch of interest to your project. 

Most of the time we simply warp our looms at 10-20 ends per inch in a 10-dent reed, or 12-24 ends per inch in a 12-dent reed. This will give us a balanced weave throughout the entire project. 

For this weaving challenge we are going to add a varied amount of warp threads, which will also change the dynamics of the weave structure.

You can also achieve this by using a variable dent reed, but you can easily get the same results with you regular 10-dent reed.

Let's Get Started!

  • Gather your supplies ~ We've supplied a pattern in this blog to help you get started. You will need a 10-dent reed, at least 15" weaving width, one shuttle, and of course yarns in at least three colors.  We are using Aurora Earth 8/2 cottons in this project, but you are welcome to use other yarns as long as they are similar in weight.
  • We make it easy!  Our Summer Celebration Placemat kit makes gathering your supplies easy. This kit includes all the Aurora Earth 8/2 Cottons needed to make a set of four placemats, two runners or even a set of towels. 
  • Colors to choose from ~ We are offering a kit in colors to celebrate the 4th of July so that you can weave these in June and enjoy them in July. We also encourage you to order a kit in your own color choices. Just click on "Choose Your Own Colors" and be sure to let us know what three colors you would like in the comment section of the shopping cart.
  • Let's Weave together!  I hope you enjoy this free pattern!  I'm here for you every step of the way!  

Summer Celebration Placemats or Runners

~ Crammed Warp Weaving ~

Weave structure:  plain weave

Yarn Amounts:
Aurora Earth Lipstick 600 yds
Aurora Earth Royal Blue 600 yds
Aurora Earth White 600 yds for warp, 650 for weft

note: extra yardage is calculated in these amounts.

Equipment needed:  Rigid Heddle Loom (2-shaft); 15.1” weaving width; 10 dent reed; 1 shuttle.

This pattern can be adjusted to fit all sizes of looms.  Order extra yardage in the three Aurora Earth colors to make a wider width.

Total warp ends: 151 (388 total threads). The lipstick and royal blue threads will have two threads in the slots and holes, while the white threads will have six in the slots only.  There are a total of 134 threads Lipstick, 144 threads white, and 110 threads royal blue.)

Warp length: 4 yards (144”)

Setts: varied epi; 14 ppi

Finished Dimensions: 4 placemats 12” x 18” hemmed or 2 runners 12” x 36” hemmed. You can adjust the length of your runners to fit your table size. 

Other supplies: matching sewing thread for hems

Getting Ready to Warp:
Set up your loom to direct warp a length of 4 yards (144”).

There will be two threads per slot and hole with lipstick and royal blue and 6 threads per slots with white. Note that the white will only be in slots and never in holes.

Start with:
Six slots and holes with two threads each lipstick. (Slot, hole, slot, hole, slot, hole, equaling 12 threads).

Six threads white in the next slot. (6 threads in one slot).

Continue with the following sequence from * to * 11 times:
*Five slots and holes with two threads each royal blue. (Hole, slot, hole, slot, hole, equaling 10 threads).

Six threads white (6 threads in one slot).

Five slots and holes with two threads each lipstick. (Hole, slot, hole, slot, hole, equaling 10 threads).

*Six threads white (6 threads in one slot).

Finish with:
Five slots and holes with two threads each royal blue. (Hole, slot, hole, slot, hole, equaling 10 threads).

Six threads white (6 threads in one slot).

Six slots and holes with two threads each lipstick. (Hole, slot, hole, slot, hole, slot, equaling 12 threads).


Wind the warp onto the back beam:
You are working with a lot of threads in this project so be sure to take it nice and slow while winding your yarns onto the back beam to prevent tangles. I like to wind one turn then give the yarns little tugs in front of the heddle. Keep winding one-two cranks and then give a little tug.  You don’t want to comb your threads with your fingers but instead straighten them when needed with a little tug.

When you have finished winding the yarns onto the back beam, tie the yarns in small sections onto the front beam and tighten your warp so that it’s evenly tensioned.

Preparing the Shuttle:
Wind a shuttle with white. The entire project will be woven single strand. 

Weave with scrap yarn to spread the warp evenly. 

With single strand white weave for the entire length of your warp.

Because we are weaving single strand throughout the entire project, there is no need to measure out each placemat or runner as you weave.  You will be able to weave approximately 110” or more depending on how much waste yarn is needed.

When you have finished weaving the entire length of your warp, weave a few rows with scrap yarn before cutting yarns off loom.

Finishing and Hemming
You can choose to make four placemats or two runners. 

Sew Before Cutting:
If you are making placemats measure 23” for first placemat and mark with a stick pin.  Using sewing thread, sew across at 23” for the first placemat.

Continue on to the next placemat sewing about ½” from the previous sewing. You will want each mat to have sewing on both ends so they will be secure when you cut them apart.

Measure out another 23” for the second placemat and sew across. 

Continue this way for all four placemats making sure each one measures 23”.


You may have extra woven fabric to make an extra mat. I had an extra length of warp to make a 12” washcloth. 

If you decide to weave runners, you have approximately 110” of woven length to work with and you can choose the length of each runner to fit your table.


Using a hot iron, fold each hem over twice to get a nice flat edge. 
Sew a straight stitch across the ironed hem, securing each hem. 
Machine wash in cool water and dry on normal in machine dryer. 
Press with a warm iron. 



Enjoy or Gift Your Celebration Placemats!
I hope you enjoy this month's weaving challenge project! 

You now have a set of summer placemats, perfect for a 4th of July picnic, summer barbecue, weekend brunch, or as a holiday runner to decorate your table.

Weave a set in your favorite colors!

Happy Summer Celebration Weaving!

 Jodi Ybarra

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