Too Much Treadle Weight

Handwoven MagazineAsk Madelyn



I have just put a new project on my loom and am running into a problem I’ve never experienced before. I am working on an 8-shaft jack loom. The shafts are tied up so that, with almost every pick, 6 shafts are lifted and 2 stay down. The problem is that when I press a treadle all of the shafts want to raise, and I have to push the two that are not supposed to raise down and hold them down as I throw the pick. I'm including a copy of the Atwater-Bronson lace tie-up (shown below).




Hi Christy!


The issue is that there is too much treadle weight on the shafts. If you think about it, every shaft has 6 treadles tied to it. If the shafts weighed more, they'd stay down, but adding weight to them would make them heavier to treadle when you wanted them to come up. Loom-makers know this and make the shafts as light as they can be and still stay down with most tie-ups. 


You have two choices. One is to add weight to the shafts. Another is to weave the fabric upside down (tie-up shown below). The difference would just be that you'd see warp floats where there are now weft floats. You will be using one treadle that raises seven shafts every other pick, but that will be more than compensated for by the lighter treadling for the alternate picks. You can arrange the treadles however you like to put the heavy treadle where it's easiest for you to use.




Tie Up Spacer 25x25 pixels  Inverted Tie Up
Original tie-up     Madelyn's inverted tie-up

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