Skeleton Tie-ups

Handwoven Magazine Ask Madelyn

Hi Madelyn.

In the December 15th Ask Madelyn, you reviewed skeleton tie-ups – how do they work on a countermarch loom?  I tried it and if you treadle more than one treadle together, nothing moves. I gave up and just lifted the shafts singly and did pick-up for overshot figures on a rosepath threading. Any hints as to a better way? Thanks.

––Kay Wylie

Hi there, Kay.

You can use a skeleton tie-up on a countermarch loom, but your choices are much more restrictive because you have to move all the shafts or some threads will stay in the middle of the shed, and you can’t use two treadles together that ask a shaft on one of them to go up and on the other to go down. For example, for summer and winter, you can tie the pattern shafts only on the pattern treadles. So the pattern treadles are tied to shaft 3 and above with no ties at all to shafts 1 and 2. If you use a pattern treadle alone, threads on shafts 1 and 2 won’t move at all. So you tie shafts 1 and 2 to two tie-down treadles (one with 1 up, 2 down; the other with 1 down, 2 up) and you use one of those treadles with a pattern treadle.

For rosepath-type motifs you probably would not be able to use a skeleton tie-up because of the restrictions.


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