Thursday, September 18, 2008


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

I was weaving this morning, clearing sheds at the selvedge (not at the reed). This is not difficult to do the way I am weaving and on a narrow warp. But weaving with shuttles instead of only pirns? Weaving on a wider warp? Time to investigate further. Besides, this weaving is beginning to put me to sleep....


I opened each shed. I looked at and felt the warp threads. All the warp threads at the bottom of the shed were pretty loose. I tried adjusting the treadle cords. Fortunately, attached to each treadle is a separate cord that you can use to raise or lower the entire treadle so that I don't have to fuss with individual cords. It's very easy to do. But no matter what I tried, it didn't solve the issue of the soft bottom warp on open sheds.


So I got out Volume Two of my trusty Osterkamp series. It is called Warping Your Loom and Tying on New Warps. It is Chapter 9, "Adjusting Looms," that I turned to.


The first thing I did was to realize that I could use my floating selvedge as a guide string. A guide string is a string you stretch from the front beam to the back beam, weight it on each end so that it hangs taut and straight. My floating selvdge does that. It's the same color as the warp so it doesn't serve as a contrast, but I managed anyway.

I learned two things.

  1. I learned that the warp does dip down at the heddles on a closed shed. That is good.
  2. I learned that when the sheds are opened, the top half and the lower half are pretty much equidistant from the guide string. That, too, is good.

Those two things may be good, but that means they don't represent the solution to my problem. So I soldier on and read more. Then I got to an interesting bit about weaving double cloth:

To make sure the sheds are clear enough to weave the bottom layer, advance the warp often and weave closer to the shafts than to the breast beam. (p. 114)


I thought about that. I invariably weave with the fell as close to the front beam as I can. That means that the V of the shed at the fell is very very narrow. I moved the warp up so that it was much closer to the reed. I stepped on a treadle and I knew just what Osterkamp was talking about. That V becomes very wide. The V becoming very side forces the warp ends on the bottom shed to tighten. And it forces them to separate from the top warp ends, not just at the reed, but at the fell. No more soft bottom warp. No more threads not wanting to clear at the fell.

I still had some fiddling to do. The fell was much too close to the reed to be able to weave, and the angle of the warp on the bottom was much too wide. This meant that the warp ends did not lay flat at the bottom. So I messed a bit with where to position the warp and I think I may be on my way.


One more thing. The guide string. When the sheds were opened, the warp ends on the bottom shed actually dipped down just a bit too much. I have been leaving my raddle in in order to raise the back beam. I hadn't tested it out. So many people seemed to have a problem with a too low back beam that I just assumed.......... So I may remove the raddle as well.

Related Post:
Art Piece 3: Reaching the End
Throwing the Shuttle

"Adjusting My (Jack) Loom" was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on September 18, 2008. © 2008 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina


Taueret said...

I gotta get those books.

Peg in South Carolina said...

They have definitely been worthy every cent I paid for them.

Leigh said...

Good post and you're right Peg, Must Have books. I went through this exercise with my Mighty Wolf awhile back. Like you, I learned a lot.

Peg in South Carolina said...

Thank you, Leigh