Beaming Alone: The Simple Tension Device

Comments 22

Tired of the trapeze and weights or don't have room for that? Crank and yank too tedious for you?  Give this a try.

Run 2 sticks from the front to the back on each side of the loom and secure with hair ties or similar.

Then run 1" dowels parallel with the warp beam and secure with hair ties.

Lay the warp over the dowels and attach to warp beam in your usual manner.

Lay 2 more dowels on top of the warp between the 2 existing dowels. Secure with hair ties.

Beam your warp without any intervention other than going to the front to manage any snarles.

Naturally, remove after beaming. If you leave it in, you will not be able to make a decent shed. This is basic geometry.


No more weights, no more crank and yank.  Try it! You will not be disappointed.  I have been using this system on my floor looms for ages and tried it on my rigid heddle with the same pleasureable results.



  1. Marie Mitarotondo

    Hi, there~ I’ve read this several times and it just won’t make sense in my head. Would you be able to post a photo of the end product, if not the steps? This would be used just during warping, right? It would be removed in order to weave? I’m just not getting the whole picture. Thanks in advance.

  2. Joyce (Author)

    I’ll upload pictures directly to the page. Apparently you are not seeing the ones being hosted by Facebook for some reason.

  3. Louise Semmel

    This looks like just what I need! I have trouble with tension on wider warps so I can’t wait to try this. Thanks

  4. Patricia Morton

    Thanks for the excellent explanation, Joyce. Are you using 3/4” dowels? Or…?

  5. Joyce (Author)

    1” dowels. You can use larger. Some people use PVC pipe. The key is surface area contact. The more the yarn comes into contact with the dowel, the more drag and the more drag means more tension. :) I’ll update this post to include that information and change the FB post. My profile for that has been deactivated.

  6. BarbB

    What are the measurements of the “stick” that you attach the dowels to?

  7. Joyce (Author)

    It doesn’t matter. Use anything that will fit on the loom.

  8. Donna

    I’m a beginner with a rigid heddle. My problem is that my tension seems to be even when I begin but I later find out that the center is tighter than the sides. Does this solve the problem of uneven beginner tension?

  9. Joyce (Author)

    This will not solve that issue if you are not using a warp separator and if you are, it’s not wide enough and the selvage threads are falling off the sides. What are you currently using?

  10. Diane Cademartori

    I’m fairly new to weaving, and I think this is something I really need to learn. Any chance you can post a video? That would be so helpful to me. Thanks for the consideration!

  11. Joyce (Author)

    There’s not much to it and a video really isn’t necessary. You dress your loom like you normally do. The only difference here is that when it comes time to beam the warp, the warp goes over and under the dowels on its way to the warp beam. Once the warp is beamed, remove the device. It really is that simple. To see it being used on a floor loom, which is not any different, check it out on my sister site

  12. Kathy King

    I finally see how it works. Lay two dowels on, then add two alternating. You will not have to pull the warp over and under. The dowels take care of it.

  13. Joyce (Author)

    You got it Kathy! That’s exactly how you do it! :D

  14. Tracyandrook

    This looks good for projects where only one kind of yarn is used for warp. Any difference between individual warp thicknesses or springinesses (?) would pull differently through the gadget, because the yarns themselves space the rods apart. So thick yarns would hold the rods apart and thin yarns would be loose. If you don’t mind too much I’ll call your innovation a “lease stick tensioner”…ok?

  15. Joyce (Author)

    You’re allowed to call it whatever you like but it’s not my “invention”. It’s merely a way of providing tension without needing expensive equipment that is available elsewhere, such as Harrisville Design’s “Tension Device” which is rather expensive and my set up provides the same function. As far as drag goes, drag is drag. The drag on any sized yarn will be the same. What you might want to do is provide a supplemental warp beam if the differences are that dramatic. The reason I say that is because of the *diameter* of the warp going around the beam will be different. The size of the yarn doesn't have anything to do with the spacing of the dowels. Happy Weaving!

  16. Tracyandrook

    Well Joyce, I was wrong anyway. Lease sticks go through crosses in the warp, and these dowels don’t. Couldn’t be simpler.

  17. Betty B

    Awesome. This truly works!

  18. Dan

    I might be missing something but wouldn’t it be easier to use sandpaper like AVL does? individual threads can be tensioned with not knots necesssary.

  19. Joyce

    Dan, this is not for tying on. It’s for providing tension on the warp as it’s being beamed.

  20. Leslie Pettie

    Thank you so much! I just cannot get an even tension when I warp my ashford 24” RHL. I hope this will do the trick.
    Please tell me, what are you using for the sticks? Regards Leslie Pettie

  21. Leslie Pettie

    Hi again Joyce;
    Will this tension device work with the ashford RHL? It seems that the positioning of the sticks interferes with the turning of roller because of the way the warp sticks are attached. Is there another way?

  22. Joyce (Author)

    Hi Leslie. If it’s interfering with the back beam, try using it in the front. For what I am using, that’s listed in the article and also in comments. Good luck and happy weaving!


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