Loom waste on a Macomber

As a new Macomber owner, should I allow for extra loom waste that goes beyond the normally recommend 15% when weaving large rag rugs? I have an older 8 harness big Mac. Just curious because visually (compared to my Schact floor loom) there appears to be a difference.


Thank you,



Posted on Mon, 02/05/2018 - 22:30

The bars on your mac should go right to the reed or heddles. The problem you will have is when weaving right down to the end you will loss your shed and you may have to switch to a stick to get the very last inch. That said 15% does not make sense. Just figure you are going to loose a yard

Posted on Tue, 02/06/2018 - 01:30

I think that you maybe confusing "Loom waste" with the draw that the interlacements of the weave structure create.  Loom waste is amount of warp that can't be woven because:  1-you have used it to tie on, or 2- it doesn't reach the heddles.  As you weave, threads bend around each other, and this takes up warp and weft.  A weave with large weft, like a rag rug or rep, will have more warp draw in than the usual 10%.

Actual loom waste differs from loom to loom, depending on configuration.  

Posted on Wed, 02/07/2018 - 15:26

can be anywhere from 15" on a table loom, to 36" on a floor loom.

If I am working on a floor loom that is new to me, I would allow 36" and measure what I used in the front (to tie on), and what was left on the back, when I could weave no more. Then you will have an idea of what the loom waste will be for that particular loom, using your method to dress the loom.

How you beam your warp can make a difference. Lashing in front results in less waste. Sliding your warp onto the back beam rod (no knots, B2F warping) can also reduce loom waste, along with how close your lashing cords will allow the warp to reach the castle/heddles, and how deep the castle is. (I have a 12 shaft loom, so there is more waste on this floor loom that one of comparable size with 4 shafts.)

Good luck!

Posted on Wed, 02/07/2018 - 22:55

Good point about the number of shafts. Yes, the more shafts you add will add to the amount of loom waste. On Cheryl's 4 shaft the distance from the back of the heddles to the front of the reed is 6 inches. On the 16 shaft mac the distance is 12 inches. But again a yard  (36 inches) is a good starting point for loom waste on the mac.

Posted on Thu, 02/08/2018 - 08:10

Cheryl says when weaving scarves there is no "loom waste" as both ends are turned into fringe. She also says 36 inchs is too much waste for a macomber.

Posted on Tue, 02/13/2018 - 13:21

You are all right, mol.  There is 10 - 20% 'take up', where the warp bends around the weft to a greater or lesser degree depending on weave structure.  This is not considered loom waste, but is a function of weave structure and warp length.

There are 2" - 4" (x 2) tie-on for knots at both front and back.  Then there is the depth of the shafts -- somewhat over a foot on a 20 shaft if I use all 20 shafts.

I end up calculating a yard of waste because if my "pattern debug" area is 50 rows ( that is, if it takes 50 rows to determine if the threading is correct) I may be too lazy to unweave that and just make it into a coin purse or cell phone bag.

I also like to have a small section of fabric left over for "play" at the end of my warp, for testimg patterns in the threading I hadn't thought of while creating the draft but which dawned on me while weaving.

What I end up with in terms of real waste -- maybe 2', counting the inch or two I trim off the fringe on the staring edge, and the knots and heddle depth at the back.