Friday, July 2, 2010


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

Sleying fine threads threaded in a crackle structure is not the easiest thing in the world.  I have a friend who loves to weave overshot but swears after each warp is threaded that she will never ever do another overshot draft again.  She of course tends to change her mind on that one.  But then she is not working with excessively fine threads.


It is the combination of a draft where (as in overshot) the threading is continually changing and where there will frequently be threads next to each other but not on adjacent shafts, it is the combination of this plus the fine threads that has taught me quiet patience. Well, sometimes I do have to work at keeping the internal screaming under control….  But it has also taught me to find ways to help ensure a correctly threaded and sleyed warp.


With this warp, the process of sleying involves pulling out from the threaded heddles four groups of four warp ends each.  To choose the four ends, I look at the heddles.  I make sure that I am pulling threads threaded into four heddles. I lay each group of – hopefully – 4 ends across the top of the beater and put the rest of the ends over the top of the shafts.


At this point I count the number of ends in each group.  This is a necessary double check.  On this warp at one point I found two ends threaded through a heddle.  Had I not counted the individual ends, I would have ended up with five ends instead of four in one reed space. It might also be possible for an empty heddle to get grouped in.  Assuming that the empty heddle does not represent a threading error, I would then be in danger of putting three ends instead of four in one reed space.

I check and double check. And check for an errant thread that may have slipped from its neighbors and is hanging there, alone, from its heddle. Then I pull each of the four groups through their respective dents, making sure I still have four heddles and four ends in a group. 

I do three sets of these.  Then I return to where I began.  I pull the ends taut and look at the reed spaces to make sure there are no skipped spaces and then to make sure that there are no thick groups, indicating I sleyed two groups in one space.  I then pull the first six groups taut, double check them and tie them together in a slip knot.


I repeat this for the next group.  then I begin the whole process again.

Related Post:  Sleying the Reed Half Done

More About My Sleying Process”  was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on July 2, 2010. ©2010 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

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