Resleying a Countermarch Loom

Handwoven Magazine Ask Madelyn

Hi Madelyn,


I use a Glimakra countermarch loom with an overhead beater. I am wondering if there is any good technique for resleying on the loom. My normal sleying method is on a tabletop, off the loom. But if I need to resley a sample, say, after it has been threaded, I can't figure out how to hold the beater still or how to keep the threads in order without doing some sort of contortionist's act. I can't see any good place to anchor lease sticks in a cross behind the beater. Is there something I'm missing? Thanks for any suggestions.




Hi Carol!

I have certainly been there! Glimakra looms are fairly large (a nice feature), so when you sit at the bench you are not very close to the threads in the heddles or even to the reed as it hangs in its swinging beater. I'm sure there are several ways to do this, but here is what I do to make resleying more comfortable. 


Before you cut the fabric off that you have woven at a sett you want to change, you need to put lease sticks in a plain-weave shed (or as close to plain weave as the structure will allow) between the reed and the shafts. Insert the first lease stick in the first shed behind the reed, then make the second shed and insert the second lease stick. You now need to do something to secure the lease sticks temporarily as you cut off the fabric and remove the reed (hang looped cords from the castle as slings for them or have someone hold them). Then, cut off the fabric, remove the reed, and tie loose knots in the warp in front of the lease sticks. To position the lease sticks for sleying, take a long cord and tie it around both the front beam and back beams, forming a sort of circle on each side of the warp. There will be now be 2 cords on each side of the warp, one above the other. You can switch their positions, moving the upper one down and the lower one up, then back again, to make openings for inserting the ends of the lease sticks (it's sort of like you are making a plain weave shed of the two cords and putting a lease stick in each shed). If the lease sticks have holes in their ends, loop a cord through both holes in each stick on each side to help keep them from going anywhere.


The lease sticks are now level with the cords, in front of the shafts, with the loosely knotted warp threads dangling down. Place the reed face down (so it's flat) on top of the cords in front of the lease sticks and sley from the cross (undoing the loose knots that secured the warp threads), bringing the sley hook up from under the reed and pulling the threads down through the dents. When you are finished sleying, turn the reed back up, put it in the beater, and remove the cords and the lease sticks.  It's not perfect, but it works. 



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