Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Loom Parts

A comment on my last blog reminds me that I often use weaving terms that are not going to be familiar to the general public. So now and again I will try and remember to define my terms as I use them. Above is a picture of the warp going through the reed. It's called a reed because the little narrow slats were once made from reeds. The reed determines how many threads, or ends, per inch (epi) you want for the density of the cloth and holds the warps out to the desired width of the piece. Above is a twelve dent reed (12 slots per inch). They come in a variety of sizes and you can put one or two or three or more threads in each slot or skip dents for a wider spacing of your threads.

Next the threads go through the heddles. Heddles are long pieces of metal with an eye in the center. They are hung on the shafts. This is a 4 shaft loom. Each thread goes through one heddle on shaft 1, 2, 3, or 4 depending on the pattern I am threading. This is how you thread the weaving pattern that you have chosen for your piece. The shafts move up and down as you push on the treadles to create the pattern.
This is a closeup of the threads going through the eyes of the heddles.

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