Ask Madelyn: Tie-Ups and Treadles

I’m a beginning weaver planning to make the Elegant Placemats in Weaving Today’s Free Handweaving Projects for Beginners. The tie-up requires seven treadles but the project is for a 4-shaft loom. Most 4-shaft looms are limited to six treadles. I have ten treadles to use so seven are fine, but I wondered how weavers without more than six treadles could weave this project. I’ve looked in my books, the internet, and class notes from the weaving course I took, and am not finding the answer!

Many thanks,

Hi Emilly!

Your question is an excellent one! Most projects for 4-shaft looms are limited to six treadles for just the reason you state. This project produces three different interlacements: huck texture, huck lace, and huck boxes. In the draft shown here, notice that the treadling for huck texture requires only four treadles (12-3-4). The treadling for huck lace also requires only four (1-2-5-6), but two of them are different from the huck texture treadles, and the same is true of the treadling for huck boxes (1-2-5-7).

For this project, it is easy to change the tie-up between placemats. The treadling might even be easier to follow if you use tie-ups a, then b, then c (you would not be likely to step on the wrong treadle by mistake). But you could also weave the first two placemats using six treadles as given, and for the huck boxes merely change the tie-up on treadle 6 to the one shown on treadle 7.

Thanks so much for your question!

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