Weaving and Old Wives’ Tales

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madelynv@interweave.com

Hi there.

I have a 10-shaft Macomber loom. I have been told that weaving with only four of the shafts is not a good idea. I find this strange, but I was told that I have to space the threads among the shafts evenly for the loom to work. Is this true?

Thanks for your time,

Paulette

Hi Paulette!

I think this is one of those old wives’ tales that seem to abound in weaving. There is absolutely no reason not to use the first four shafts only (or the first two or the first six or whatever shafts you want). It’s actually better to use the “first” ones since they are the closest to the fell of the cloth. (On countermarch looms, the closer the shafts are to the fell, the bigger the potential shed.) At any rate, the loom is happy no matter which shafts you use.

Other old wives' tales:

  • You should space the heddles you’re not using between the ones you do use.
  • Keeping lease sticks in the warp behind the shafts will help your tension.

Can anyone think of more?

Madelyn

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