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Download our free tapestry frame warping instructions or view the videos in Learning for Free on how to warp up

Tapestry and rug weaving are traditionally described as 'weft-faced'. This means that the weft yarn, going over and under the fixed warp yarn, is beaten down so firmly that it fully covers the warps. So you might think that the warp thickness does not matter. But the thickness of the warp and it's density influences how complex the shapes within the weaving might become as well as the nature of the finished cloth.

So which warp thickness to use?

The answer to this will depend on how big your rug or tapestry is going to be, how much detail you want to weave in terms of shape complexity and how rigid or flexible you want the finished fabric to be. 

Warps per inch/centimetre

Choosing the number of warps, or 'ends', to the inch or centimetre can be difficult. For cloth weaving the normal practice is to count how many wraps of the warp fill an inch/centimetre and then divide the resulting number in half to establish the number of warps per inch/cm for a balanced weave.

For tapestry and rug weaving the calculation advised by Archie Brennan, the renowned tapestry weaver, is a very useful one:

  • number of wraps per centimetre = number of warps per inch
  • number of wraps per half an inch = number of warps per 3 cm.

Still confused? Hopefully, this little table will help but we do stress that it is for guidance only.

Warp type

wraps per cm/inch


ends per cm/inch


No. of Fine (18/2) strands per weft No. of Medium (9.5/2) strands per weft No. of Heavy (5/2) strands per weft
9s (Fine) previously 6s (Fine) 13/34 5.5/13


1-2 1
18s previously 6's (Medium) 9/24 4/9 3 2 1
9's & Dyed Warps 7/18 3/7 4-7 3-4 2
24's 5/12 1.5/5 12-16 6-8 3-4
4/9.6 Natural Linen 10/28 4.5/10 2-3 2 1
6/9.6 Natural Linen 9/24 4/9 3 1

* wraps per centimetre/inch & ends per centimetre/inch - for an explanation see the Glossary.

weaversbazaar Warps

weaversbazaar offers a number of different warps.

Cabled cotton warp: This means that the yarn is made up of a number of single cotton strands that are plied and then the resulting plies are 'folded' again to make a strong and resilient yarn able to maintain its integrity whilst under high tension during the weaving process. It is available in three weights: 

9s (Fine) previously 6s (Fine): this is 3 strands of three-ply 24s single cotton yarn - sometimes referred to as 24/9 cotton warp

18s previously 6s (Medium): this is 6 strands of three-ply 24s single cotton yarn - sometimes referred to as 24/18 cotton warp

9s & Dyed warps: this is 3 strands of three-ply12s single cotton yarn - sometimes referred to as 12/9 cotton warp

24s: this is 3 strands of eight-ply 12s single cotton yarn - sometimes referred to as 12/24 cotton warp

Linen Warp. Our undyed linen warp is very strong and ideal for rugs or large tapestries. It is available in two weights: 6/9.6nm and 4/9.6.