A Slanted Fell, Continued
Several of you emailed me with additional information regarding last week's Ask Madelyn. I had answered a reader's question about the possible causes for a slanted fell. (The fell is the edge of the woven cloth where the last pick has been inserted.) The problem described was that the fell line was not parallel with the reed, and instead, closer to the breast beam on one side.
Readers reminded me that this slant can also be caused by a beater that hits the fell at a slant. This can happen if the weaver always grabs the beater on one side, thereby applying more pressure on that side. If you are experiencing a slanted fell and you have verified that it is not caused by a difference in tension during the beaming process, do consider that it could be caused by how the beater is hitting the fell. There could be some play in the beater that allows it to hit the fell at a slant, which will have an even greater consequence if you always grab the beater on one side only.
The fell is more likely to be even if your beating style is to use your wrist motion to throw the beater towards the fell with speed rather than pulling it to the fell with muscle, since the beater is likely to swing evenly. If you are applying the force by pulling the beater towards the fell, wherever your hand is on the beater will affect the way it hits the fell. The speed of the beater is as important as its weight. If you move your arm with the beater, holding it the whole time, you'll slow it down and maybe add a slant when it hits the cloth.
We all soon learn that a major part of weaving is the need to problem-solve (such a joy when you succeed and such a pain when you don't). So when something odd happens, try to observe all the factors that could possibly be involved. And thank you to all of you who emailed!