countermarche tie up

I posted this question a few days ago, but see that I replied to a different thread.  I'm repeating it here to begin a new thread regarding tie up of the countermarche loom.

I'm continuing to have issues with my tie up. 

Sara, I'm not sure what you mean by a "plain" tie up, because the only way I have ever done it is by following the article that Madelyn posted. Is there some other reference that will give me more information?

I'm finding that when I take the peg out of the top of the loom, and the shafts hang in the neutral position, the front 4 tend to rest on the loom.  The back ones hang, about 1/2 inch from the body of the loom.  I think this is part of my problem because when the shafts are lowered, they don't have any tension on them, which allows the heddles to move around and cross over the ones that are next to them.  But for the life of me I can't figure out how to eliminate this.

I'm not sure how to adjust the lams so that don't either move up or down so much. 

Again, any help is certainly welcomed.



just finished a warp from hell and am making peace with the loom.  To help with the healing process, I retied the whole works, starting with the article by Madelyn.  I followed it to the letter.  But I'm still having some trouble with getting the lowered warp threads to be even.  The problem seems to be that the bar holding the bottom of the heddles that raise go up higher than the eye of the heddles that lower, lifting some of the lowered warp threads.  This is especially a problem when there are lowered shafts in both the back and the front of the loom (say shafts 7. 6 and 1 are lowered- 7 and 6 will have interference from the other shafts but shaft 1 won't).  I'm not sure how to fix this.

Also, some of the treadles touch the floor and others don't.  I can't figure out the variable that changes that.



Sara von Tresckow's picture


You have a couple of things here:

1. That article of Madelyn's has an extremely large shed, perhaps too extreme - it may well be that your shed exceeds the length of your heddles. If the lower shaft bars are bringing up the lowered threads, even by a little, you need to adjust your shed a tad smaller so that the lower shaft bars are not coming up as far. Actually, if you skip the elastics and odd lam angles and simply do a plain Jane countermarche tieup using the pegs at the lams and go for a more "normal" shed height you should be just fine.

The article you reference is based on Texsolv 330/12 heddles where most countermarche looms in cicrulation have 280/12. Remember, too, the working shed height is where you insert your shuttle after pushing the overhead beater back. If you make ANY shed too extreme, you are putting excessive pressure on your warp that is not really needed.

2. As long as you get your shed floor adjusted, where the treadle stops is actually of little importance. I generally have mine adjusted so that they do not dome all the way to the floor and stop pressing when the shed has opened sufficiently to pass the shuttle.


Posted on Sat, 01/16/2010 - 05:42

 Try Laila Lundell's "Big Book of Weaving" - it is a comprehensive book about countermarche looms. By "plain" tieup, I meant to avoid the odd upward angle in your article and the funky way of attaching elastic to the lower shed stick. You might want to work at getting the front four shafts working really well with a 4 shaft project (you tie the back 4 in any arrangement just to keep them from falling down or take them out altogether).  Yes, I know you have 8, but when starting with a countermarche loom it is important to understand how just a few shafts work before attaching lots more. Once you have our 4 happily weaving, the other 4 won't be so difficult to work into your projects. We all started that way.

This book has the most clear drawings and accompanying text that is available in English and is an excellent reference point.

Heddles crossing on the shafts lowered is normal - they straighten out when you bring them back up. The warp under tension keeps the heddle eyes in sequence.


Posted on Sun, 01/17/2010 - 02:26

Sara is correct.  I too think that you are making a shed which is larger than necessary.  And this will put wear on your warp threads.  If you weave with a smaller shed, weaving will be easier and your selvages will look nicer.  I sometimes put a 2x4 under my treadles when I have students weaving on my looms, as they often push far too hard on the treadles.  Other times I make the tie-up so that the shed is the right size when the treadle touches the floor.  You only need about 1/4 or 1/2 inch more space than the height of your shuttle.  And most Swedish shuttles are only 1 inch tall, or even less and 1 inch.

Also, are your lower lamms about a foot longer than your upper lamms?  This helps to reduced the dropping of shafts when you take the locking pins out.  Adding weight to the lower lamms, especially the front ones can help the balance of the shafts.  You can tie up and extra treadle to the lower lamms to help weight the lower lamms.


Posted on Mon, 01/18/2010 - 08:24

Thanks for your help.

I now have my loom in a "happy" condition.  I raised the shafts that hang the heddles by two notches which seems to help.  I also made sure that when I tied up the treadles, I put some tension on the lams to put them into the same position as the last shaft ( I followed the 1-1-2-3-3-4-5 sequence suggested in Madelin's article) and realized that since the last lam is the only one to get pulled tight from the weight of the treddles, in order to have the other ones tied relative to the last one I needed to be sure they were in the same position.  When I tied up the treadles without pushing down on the lams to make them even with the last one I ended up  with the ties way too long on the first shafts.  I'm not sure if I've explained this correctly, but I have things much better aligned now.  I also ordered the book "Tying up the countermarch loom." I will do a search for the book you suggest and add it to my library too.


Thanks again,


Posted on Mon, 01/18/2010 - 08:32

Thanks for your help.  I was able to make my shed smaller and it certainly helped.  I also came  up with the idea of putting a 2 by 4 under the treadles and that helped too.


My lower lams are 2 feet longer than the upper ones and hang from a pulley out side of the main part of the loom.  How high should they hang relative to level? Various things I have read say anything from an inch or so lower than level to 3-4 inches above level.

I saw a reference to "Tying up the countermarch loom" and purchased it on line line.  I'm waiting for it to arrive in my post office box.


Thanks again,


Posted on Mon, 05/03/2010 - 19:44

Hi, I have been having similar troubles with my Glimakra Julia eight shaft countermarche loom.  I posted on the Glimakra Julia forum but it was suggested I also post on this forum as well.

I have been using the tie up suggested in the article by Madelyn and have yet to finish tying up the treadles, I only got part sorted today with that.  I became confused because when I used a four shaft threading and tie up to make some scarves the loom was fine and I had a good shed.  However I put on a light string warp to make some little rugs using up some yarn out of my stash, some old rug yarn and find that the shed is so small I couldnt get the shuttle through and also some of the threads werent raising as high as others.  I too spent a long time adjusting shafts and lamms and then came across the article mentioned above.  I hope it will work as I am very fustrated with my loom at present. 

This is the first countermarche loom I have owned and the instructions that came with it were to say the least, limited.  I only got a basic tie up diagram and no written instructions.  Although I have been weaving for about six years I have only had table looms to date.


Posted on Tue, 05/04/2010 - 19:26

Well, I have now finished the tie up sequence on my loom and it works!  Very well.  I didnt think it would but it has.  I feel I have learned an awful lot in this short space of time through doing this tie up and certainly it helps to get to know the countermarche system much better.  I think I was expecting to get a bigger shed before because on my Louet table loom there was a good sized shed, however as Joanne Hall pointed out above, you only need a slightly bigger shed than the height of the shuttle and this is true. 



Posted on Thu, 05/06/2010 - 14:13

I am halfway through my first rag rug on my Glimakra Standard.  As I've said this is a new to me loom.  It had all of it's harnesses tied to the lower lams, so I set them in place as they were.  I tied up the uppers, did the tie ups on the treadles and got to weaving.  I am doing plain weave on two treadles, I threaded on four harnesses.

I'm weaving, but I can tell I need some fine tuning.  I may have to replace cords in order to do the fine tuning.  Many of the knots are frozen in place having been tied and stored for many years. 

So here is what is going on.  My shed is too small.  One of them is clean, but the other is off.  One of the treadles hits the floor when I step on it.  The harnesses don't hang level.  OK, all of that needs to be cleaned up, and I think I can do it, with the help of the video and books.  I may or may not have specific questions along the way for you experts.

You must wonder how the heck is she weaving with all that going on.  Well, I didn't say I was weaving with ease.  I'm setting the rags in by hand, no shuttle.  Slow and steady.  The tension is great.  The loom came with an appropriate sized temple, so I'm using that successfully.  The rags I'm using are not my favorite colors, just what I had.  I have enough warp on for at least two more rugs.  One will be my handspun yarns.  Of course I hope to have the loom all straightened out before I get to the next one.

I'll be glad to hear advice.


Posted on Thu, 05/06/2010 - 14:55

Hi Janet,

If our warp threads go straight from the breast beam to the back beam, then you probably just need to adjust the treadle cords.  As you adjust them, replace the cords with Texsolv.  If the shed is not big enough because the treadle touches the floor, you can shorten those treadle cords to get a bigger shed. 

For the shed that is "off"  adjust the length of cords on the treadle (see page 25 of my book) and then keep weaving. 

It is best for the balance of the loom to tie up as many treadles as you have shafts.  But it is not necessary. Since you have four shafts threaded, weave your next rug in twill, by tying up the four twill treadles.  Do your adjusting at that time.  But until then, just enjoy weaving.


Posted on Thu, 05/06/2010 - 15:00

Aunt Janet - this will not help as long as you have old-fashioned cords with knots, but...
When you have textsolv cords to tie up the treadles, put pegs on top of the lamms. (Personally, I hate the anchor pegs, I use arrow pegs for everything texsolv) It is much easier to reach and adjust the cords with the pegs on top.
Generally speaking, the only part of the shed that needs to be level is the bottom, 'cos there is where the shuttle will travel. If there is a shaft that does not rise as high as the others, it doesn't matter (as long as there is space for the shuttle).
Also, in my opinion, it doesn't matter if the shafts do not hang exactly level (with each other - the individual shaft must be horizontal) at rest - "at rest" is just for appearances :-). It is only the open shed that is important.

This is how I do my adjustments: first, I tie up all necessary treadles to all shafts used, guesstimating the length of the cords. (Always tighter towards the back of the loom). Then I take out the locking pin (I have a vertical CM), and try the sheds, noting which sheds need adjustment. If, for instance, shaft 6 on treadle 2 does not lower enough, I shorten the appropriate cord until I'm satisfied. Then, perhaps, I find that shaft 2 on treadle 4 lowers too much, I lenghten that cord until it is good - and so on.
With practice I have got good at guesstimating cord lengths...

Oh, and OF COURSE I never try to do a tie-up without a warp in place!

Posted on Thu, 05/06/2010 - 15:11

Thanks, Joanne,

  I am not going to "get it" until I practice.  My loom has the horizontal CM, and yes, I'm using the old fashioned cords.  I'll probably replace them with texsolv eventually, but trying to use what I have at the moment.  I've cut and replaced a few cords with some of the cord that came with the loom.

   I get it that the shed doesn't need to be much bigger than the shuttle.  So my shed is probably wide enough, just barely. 

   Something I noticed that I don't know if it is a problem, or just the way it is.  The heddles seem to be moving all over the place.  Sometimes they cross each other at the top of the harness.  It doesn't seem to be effecting anything, so I'm assuming that is just the way it is. 

   I want to understand this machine before I go out to the monastery to teach the sisters how to use their loom. 

   Moving right along.

Aunt Janet

Posted on Thu, 05/06/2010 - 17:29

Hi Janet,

The moving of the heddles might be from tying up fewer treadles than you have shafts.  If that is the case, tie up an extra treadle just to the long lamms and that should solve the problem, without having to tie up more treadles.


Posted on Fri, 05/07/2010 - 13:37

I'm all straightened out now!  I tied up the extra treadle which stablized the lams so they can't cross each other.  The sheds are now even.  I'm still weaving slowly on this rug.  I was lazy and didn't prepare my rag strips for continous weaving, and I'm just setting them in with my hands for the most part. 

The next rug along this warp will be much faster weaving, though might still take about the same length of time, since it will be finer weft.  I'll try to get a weft faced rug in that one. 

Wondering how to determine where to hang the beater.  There are three spots available.  Also wondering about bench height.  I keep finding myself standing at the loom.  I will try the highest adjustment on the seat and see if that helps.  I don't really mind standing at the loom, but will probably want to sit if I'm not fussing with rags.

Thanks again for the help, Joanne. 

Off to weave for an hour before work.


Posted on Fri, 05/07/2010 - 14:38

 The three positions for the beater are for you to use in determining which is best at the moment to get the beater to hit the fell line more or less perpendicular to the web. This will vary from warp to warp and you'll need to experiment a bit. You can also use those positions to extend the amount woven before the next advance by putting the beater back a notch 2 or three times.

I almost always stand when weaving rugs - on several looms that I own. The beating force is simply better - more "oomph". When working with heavy weft and rug or ski shuttles, the big motions involved are easier if standing. Also, I get a perspective on the developing piece that I don't get while sitting. For yardage and lighter fabrics, I use the bench - your elbows should clear the breast beam so you're sitting fairly high.

Posted on Fri, 05/07/2010 - 15:57

To add to what Sara just wrote, Peter Collingwood said that if you are weaving a wide rug, you will have a longer reach if you sit as high as possible.  However, being short, I always put the Glimakra bench in the highest setting.  Your bench is an old one, so I don't know if it is the same height as my new one.  Sara and I both have sheepskin covers on the bench, which feels very nice.

Beater setting:  I usually put the beater in the front position when I advance the warp.  I advance the temple at the same time. Then after weaving a couple inches, I push the beater back one notch.  After another two or three inches, I decide if I want to push the beater back or advance the warp.  If I have to get up anyway, I just advance the warp.  If I want to weave further, I just push the beater back another notch.


Posted on Sat, 05/08/2010 - 12:04

The adjusted seat is great.  I'm such a shorty, I need to get way up there to get a good reach.  I have some felted fleece rugs that would work great for a seat cover.  I only had time to weave a few inches yesterday, but I should have some good weaving time this weekend.  I've been advancing the warp every two inches just because it feels right on this project.

Next project will use four shafts, then I'll think about using all 8.  Before this loom showed up I had declared that I never needed to weave on more than four shafts.  Of course there are plenty of four shaft projects for a lifetime, but I have now begun thinking beyond the four.


Posted on Tue, 05/11/2010 - 20:13

Weaving right along.  Halfway through the second rug I realized that the rug was off square by half an inch as it went over the cloth beam.  Hmmm.  I checked all over the place and discovered one of the beater supports is in the wrong spot.  The support has a couple of bolts that I guess were loose on that side.  I didn't want to fix it in the middle of the rug, so I kept on weaving and finished that one.  Now I'll bolt down the support, even up the warp and weave my third and last rug on this warp.

I need to re-tie the treadles, oh boy!  I'm going to weave double cloth with greys on one side and colors on the other.   Nothing fancy, but i want to try out another tie up to get the feel of it.


Posted on Tue, 05/11/2010 - 21:53

Hi Janet,

That beater support, called the beater cradle is adjustable so that you can set the beater to beat exactly square.  Then you tighten the screws to hold it in place.   It sounds like you are having a lot of fun.


Posted on Tue, 05/11/2010 - 23:55

Thanks, Joanne.  I'll try to call parts by their real names.  Your book is great help.  I also love the video and the Big Book all that I purchased from your company.  Yes, I'm having a good time.  I'm 57 years old and kicking myself for not learning to weave when I was 17-27 or anytime earlier than now.  But, anyway it is still a lot of fun.  I'm so happy to be working on a good loom. 

I'm also having fun with the band loom. Thanks to Ed for getting it to me in time for my presentation at my guild this week.

Back to weaving.


Posted on Fri, 05/14/2010 - 17:32

Hi Janet,

Ditto on all you said, and we are the exact same age.  I am glad I learned on a jack loom and even happier to now own the Glimakra Standard.  The video and books are a big help.  I have pictures but left the camera somewhere odd and can't find it just now.  I have the loom warped and am putting all the new texsolv cords on now.  It's quite time consuming but I am glad to be doing it. The old cords were just nasty.  I have just finished all the new ones on the top countermarche part and am moving down to do the lamms and the treadles.  Maybe I'll be weaving by tomorrow.  (I should mention that I am squeezing in all this loom cord replacement in between Weavolution meetings and marketing work which takes about 8 hours/day-my full time volunteer job).


Posted on Mon, 05/17/2010 - 20:25

How do you check to be certain the beater is square? I also have 5 choices of where to place a wooden pin in the top of the beater, above the cradle.  I assume that is to place the warp in the center of the reed when in the beater.


Posted on Mon, 05/17/2010 - 21:59

First, remember that all adjustments are easier to do with a warp in place (threaded, sleyed and tied-on).
Then put your beater in the cradle where you think it will be rigth. Hold it in the middle, bring it forward while observing: are both sides of the beater at the same distance from the breast beam? If not, adjust at the cradles - if worst comes to worst, the beater can be in (say) the first notch on one side, and in the second on the other side, as long as it stays parallel to the breast beam.

It is generally said that the warp should be in the center of the reed, heightwise, so start with it at that position. The height can be adjusted as needed - when I use a fan reed I change the position more or less every 20 picks.


Posted on Tue, 05/18/2010 - 23:25

I tend to move the beater back and forth as I weave, too.. it's faster than advancing the warp and keeps the shed in the right place.

Posted on Tue, 05/18/2010 - 23:37

Ok, now it's about the treadles.  I am slowed down by having to look down and see which treadle my foot is on.  They seem pretty close together.  Is there something I'm supposed to have in between each treadle in front?  It doesn't look as though anything would fit but I have to fish a bit and look down to check I'm in the right place.

Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


Posted on Tue, 05/18/2010 - 23:49

I know what you're talking about , I'm the same way. Here's what I do. I put a big thick rubber band around a critical treadle. So if I'm treadling 1234, I put the rubber band on 4,then I always have 2 reference points.. the  outside edge and the band.  And you do get used to it.

Posted on Wed, 05/19/2010 - 01:29

 The treadles on the countermarche loom must be kept together in the center of the loom. Otherwise the pivoting of the lams gets thrown off and the leftmost treadle behaves much differently than the rightmost.

After a while the closeness is nice - you heel and toe your way across the treadles. They swing right and left to allow you to get your whole foor between them when needed.  For more than 8 I have used raised objects taped around two treadles as place holders.

Posted on Wed, 05/19/2010 - 02:12

Hi Claudia,

The rubber bands work  really well.  And yes, you will get used to the feel of the treadles and your feet will automatically find them.  You probably know by now that you take your shoes off to weave.  The treadling is so light that you don't need shoes on.

And, you can also vary the height of the treadles.  If one treadle is slightly higher or lower, you can feel that with your foot and know that you are on the right treadle.


Posted on Thu, 05/20/2010 - 12:22

Thank you everyone for your suggestions.  I like the rubber band idea and will try that today.  I use ballet slippers while treadling, they have a little bit of leather on the bottom that makes it easy to stay on the treadle.  Of course, I could be completely barefoot because so little pressure is required to get a great she and the treadling is lighter than my 4 shaft Baby Wolr.

My body fits this loom much better than the TOTT and I am still stunned at how quickly the tie-up went.  I expected to put everything on and then take a couple days to get it all tensioned correctly.  Not so.  I put it on and sat down and started weaving.  What a great start.  The tie-up kit was worth every penny and the video by Becky Ashenden is a very good introduction to Swedish weaving.  I learned quite a bit.

And, of course, having the all of you on Weavolution to help with my questions and my learning curve made it so much easier.  I don't think I would have embarked on this loom without your help.  Or, if I had, I know I would not have been so successful.  

Thank you, everyone, for all your help.  I'm sure this will be an ongoing conversation.  I am, after all, planning on adding the other 4 shafts in the near future.  That should be interesting.


Posted on Sat, 05/22/2010 - 14:54

Cool!  I love the lines of the shaft holding strings on the left.  It is so artful.  Yes, great smile, too! 

I have to admit that the old cords on my loom are also "nasty", as you said.  There is a smell of mildew and maybe mouse pee.  Yuk!  I'm keeping my nose out of the cord basket.  I will eventually replace the nasty cords, but want to weave, NOW! 

I've had a busy week at work in my mill.  How frustrating to have my beautiful loom sitting over there in my studio, which is the same room as my mill, and I must work at carding.  It isn't that I don't enjoy the work, but the loom calls.  It is much easier for me to spin yarn while working, than to weave.  I set my wheel so I can see both ends of the carder, so I'm ready to jump to if anything goes amiss.  It is more difficult to leave the loom, and I can't see the conveyer belt from the loom seat.  I also want to weave with uninteruppted time.  So today I'm giving myself some weaving time.  DH will be gone for the day, which will help.  I'd love to get my rugs off the loom and start a new project.  Pretty funny, I'm loving weaving these rugs, but can't wait till I start the next one.  I might even make my warp for my next project before finishing this one.

Off to weave...


Posted on Wed, 09/07/2011 - 03:21

Would that be the one with Elizabeth Windjeso about swedish weaving or just the one called big book of weaving? There are two books with the same name.

Posted on Thu, 03/01/2012 - 00:04

I have a small question, what diameter holes in the lamms, jacks and treadles are used for the anchor pins for the Texsolv cords to work as they should?  3/16" ? 1/4"?

Posted on Thu, 03/01/2012 - 00:29

Having recently replaced all the tie up cords on a new-to-me Toika CM, I notice that the (Australian) booklet that came with my Texsolv says "The anchor peg best fits into a 5.5mm (about 7/32") hole."

Posted on Thu, 03/01/2012 - 10:15

Or do as I do: skip the anchor pins, just use the arrow ones... they will never fall out. (Of a wrong-sized hole, that is)

Posted on Fri, 07/26/2013 - 19:25

Old thread, but it has the best discussion to a question that was bothering me.

I'm setting up my new to me/used Cranbrook loom with hanging beater.  I've still fairly new, been weaving on a Baby Wolf with upright beater.  From what I'm reading when I advance the warp, I want to set the fell line slightly forward, say one inch, from where the beater hangs vertical.  Then weave until fell line is maybe 1 inch behind where the beater hangs vertical.  At that point I should move the warp and start over, or move the beater back a notch or two.  Please correct if I have that wrong.

But that brings up my quandary.  On my Baby Wolf, the beater naturally lays back out of the way when the shed is opened and I throw the shuttle.  Obviously this won't happen with the hanging beater.  Is part of the action now to push beater back as I open the shed, throw shuttle, beat?  Or is there some other sequence?  Is this why I've seen pictures of the beater being held back by elastic so the action is more like an upright beater?  Is the elastic a good idea?

Any advice appreciated, thanks,

Jeff Anderson, Livonia, MI

Posted on Sat, 07/27/2013 - 00:36

Yes, push it back as you switch hands to catch the shuttle. Elastic is just a crutch unless you are doing pick up. Practice will help change your muscle memory from your prior loom. Your loom has changed, so your throw should adapt to the new loom.

Posted on Sat, 07/27/2013 - 07:54

It should be a light push or maybe the beater itself needs to be moved a position toward the shafts. Is there several pivot positions on the castle or one? You move the beater as you weave (every 1-2") because the fell line moves closer to the beater. Also the way the beater hangs, at least on mine, the pivots are on the back side of the top cross bar, this helps the better return with little effort. In fact, almost none for most of the way just mostly a little on the far back side of the swing. Most of the effort should be when returning to the fell when beating.

Posted on Sat, 07/27/2013 - 12:02

While you are adjusting to your new body motion with the hanging beater, train yourself to grasp the beater right in the center every time, not off to one side or the other (good body mechanics and a level fell line).

Posted on Sat, 07/27/2013 - 13:58

Thank you all for your responses, a couple of followups.


The loom is a Cranbrook, so yes the beater has multiple positions and is light to swing.  Reedguy, your comment gets back to my first paragraph.  I'm sure after a while weaving I'm going to learn where the beater should be and when to move it by feel as much as anything else.  But to start, throwing that first pick after advancing the warp, where should the reed be with respect to the fell line when the beater/reed is vertical?


Sounds like this is going to take practice on the motions.

So, left hand holds beater back, right hand thows, left hand releases beater and catches shuttle, right hand moves to beater to actually beat the pick?  and back with hands reversed.


On centering my hand on the beater, is this a case where a tactile reminder (rubber band, piece of sand paper) will be helpful while muscle memory is developing?  Kind of like the bump on home keys on many keyboards?


On a different topic.  Since it is important to center the warp, and they always have a specific width, is there a reason there are no reference marks on the loom as shipped?  Center point on the tie-on sticks, reed holder, etc?  Am I just being an Engineer (my profession) when the first thing I do is to mark up the parts that relate to the warp with a center line and then a scale to either side showing width warp?  I also marked the tie on sticks to make sure the ties located properly.



Jeff Anderson

Livonia, MI

Posted on Sat, 07/27/2013 - 15:54

A couple of points regarding the Cranbrook loom. You may have noticed that there are fairly large notches when advancing the warp beam and the cloth beam has a fine toothed ratchet. Your advances will depend on weaving enough to justify moving that warp beam a single notch.

You cannot always tell in advance of weaving a project just where the beater will work best - you just have to try it out.

No loom that I know of has markings to center a warp, because the recommendation to center is not an engineering requirement, but a recommendation. If the warp is an inch or so more toward one side, it makes no real difference - the reed centers itself during weaving, and all is well.

Weaving fabric is not like making a suspension bridge. Fibers have give and tolerances that are different from engineering materials. The best way to learn is to jump in, try something not too complicated, and see how it goes. Based on whatever you experience, you'll have ideas for the next project.

Posted on Sat, 07/27/2013 - 16:34

The beater should be as far forward as can be in the castle notches, then the fell line when you begin weaving will just fall into place as it were as you beat the first shots as far as you can toward the breast beam. The race of the beater (if there is one) or bottom of the reed, does not rub the warp or collide with the breast beam. That part is just common sense. You will know when to move the beater back a notch with experience so that your shuttle does not bind when it travels in the shed. There is no math involved or magic numbers. Each project is different. It will come to you pretty quick. ;)

Posted on Sat, 07/27/2013 - 17:23

No, the beater should be where it falls as perpendicular as possible to the fell line. Weaving too far forward or too far to the back can bring issues as well. The Bexell Cranbrook looms have 7 notches for fine tuning rug warps, and the shafts can be hung in two positions, so it is up to the weaver to work this our - but to say just start on the first on in the front is not always the best solution.

Posted on Sat, 07/27/2013 - 17:51

While I might disagree (again, being an engineer) and say a warp is exactly like a suspension bridge, fibers are just as much an engineering material as any other and all those things are calculable, I realize that's the, hmm, how shall we say, less than sociable side of me coming out.  I do realize I'm asking weaving questions and do appreciate your weaving experience in answering. 


I'm also a sometimes Cello player and understand that some of this stuff is better learned as muscle memory and experience.  I appreciate your reassurance that hand weaving is more forgiving and I can get good answers faster with experience than I can with calculations.  I also just need more projects behind me to get that experience.


On marking the loom to measure, I know no new loom comes that way, and no used loom I've seen (small sample, but consistent).  That's why I asked why something that seems so handy to me isn't so much in reality.  I will say it has helped this beginner in error checking as I thread and sley.  I assume this becomes less useful with experience.


Now to go try it (got the warp tied on last night) and start getting some of that esperience.


Hmm, I suspect the above in its side digressions isn't clear,

THANKS for the input. 


Jeff Anderson

Livonia, MI

Posted on Sat, 07/27/2013 - 18:13

Sara, your last comment came as I submitted mine. Correct, its a Bexell Cranbrook from the early '70's with the coarse warp beam ratchet and fine cloth beam ratchet.  Yet another adjustment from the Baby Wolf, but one that worries me less at the moment (hope I'm not missing something there).


It has multiple hang points on top of the frame for the beater, haven't counted them.  The beater also has adjustments to move the reed up and down. I have that set so the open shed is rougly centered.


But, you surprised me when you said the shafts can be hung in two positions.  I didn't see that on the instructions,  I don't I understand that.  There's a pin on the top beam that locks the jack frame in place front to back.  I don't see how the frame can move since the ties have to line up with the holes in the lams and treadles.  I know I can move the heddle frames up and down by adjusting the texsolv (I replaced the chains when I went to 8 shafts) but I thought the height should be set to have the warp threads run straight from back to front?  What are the two positions?


Thanks again,


Posted on Sat, 07/27/2013 - 18:20

Hi Jeff,

I used centering tape on my small loom to help me align my warps without having to measure each time.  There are times when a warp is 'better' off set from centre - ie when I'm using my AVL, weaving a fairly narrow warp and using my fly shuttle.  So being absolutely 'centre' isn't written in stone.  As with almost every 'rule' in weaving, there is an exception!  

If you feel you want to mark the centre of your loom, I'd say to go ahead and do that.  A loom is just another tool and it should work well with you.

I don't hesitate to get dh to modify my equipment (partly because that's the part that *he* enjoys!)   



Posted on Sat, 07/27/2013 - 18:56

Thanks Sara, for pointing out the angle of the beater to the fell. I have been going a bit steep it seems and not advancing soon enough.