Breaking Warp Threads

I have a new loom (new to me) and have had many breaking warp threads—they are on the sides, on both sides. What do I look for and how do I correct this?
—Janet

Dear Janet,

It would be unusual for the loom itself to cause warp threads to break. Check to see that the heddles aren't rusted, that there isn't anything unusual about their position on the shafts, and that no loom parts are rubbing on the warp threads.

When warp threads break on the sides of the warp, it is usually because the weaving is drawing in too much. Maybe this new loom allows more warp tension than the looms you are used to using. (Lower warp tension allows more draw-in without breakage; with higher warp tension, you especially need to be sure you are allowing enough weft angle in every shed.) My guess is that with this new loom, you need to allow a steeper weft angle than you are used to (make sure it's at least 30 degrees). Be careful not to pull the thread flat as you beat; to avoid this, place the weft, release the treadle, and beat on a closed shed.

––Madelyn

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