Converting Metric Reeds to Inches

Dear Madelyn,

I have two looms: one has reeds that indicate the number of dents/inch; the other has metric reeds (labeled as a 40/10 and a 25/10). Is there an easy way to convert metric reeds in order to follow project instructions that give the setts in the number of ends per inch?

Vicki

Hi Vicki!

Looms manufactured in the United States and Canada (when purchased new) usually come with the reed of your choice, most likely a 6-, 8-, 10-, 12-, or 15-dent reed (meaning 6 dents per inch, 8 dents per inch, etc.). Metric reeds are labeled differently, usually by the number of dents per 10 centimeters. You could use math to figure this out, but a rule of thumb is:

20 dents per 10 cm (20/10) = a 5-dent reed
25 dents per 10 cm (25/10) = a 6-dent reed
30 dents per 10 cm (30/10) = an 8-dent reed
40 dents per 10 cm (40/10) = a 10-dent reed
45 or 50 dents per 10 cm (45/10, 50/10) = a 12-dent reed
60 dents per 10 cm (60/10) = a 15-dent reed

The precise number of dents per inch with these conversions may not be exactly 10 or 8, etc., but close enough to be used interchangeably. Note that reeds can also come in different heights, so if you are ordering a metric reed or buying a used one of either type, be sure its height is right for your loom. Some beaters allow varying reed heights, but most do not.

For more about converting metric measurements into feet, yards, and inches, see The Weaver’s Companion, page 43.

—Madelyn

If you have a weaving question please email Madelyn! Pictured: Starry Sky Placemats by Judit Ozoray Handwoven Sept/Oct 2016 View related & recent “Ask Madelyn” posts!


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