Fibre Crafts ZA                                                                                                                                                            July 2011
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Threading Demonstration

Greig Kothe, weaver extraordinaire, continues the instructions
on how to set up your loom.

Greig points out that if a mistake is made when putting the lease sticks through the threading cross, all is not lost. If the raddle has not been taken off the loom, it will act as a guide for replacing the threads not yet caught up in the threading cross. The threads are returned to the appropriate group of threads as defined by the raddle.

In the this illustration Greig stands at the side of a Table Loom when threading and threads from left to right (facing the loom). She feels this position gives one the easiest access to the heddles and threads. The harnesses are numbered, harness 1 at the front and harness 4 at the back. Before you begin the threading, refer to the pattern you are going to weave. Make sure there are enough heddles on each harness to accommodate the number of threads you have in your warp. The number of threads on each harness will depend on the pattern you are weaving. If you have 60 threads in your warp and you are doing a ‘4 harness’ straight twill you will need 15 heddles on each harness. If you have 61 threads in your warp and you are doing point twill you will need 11 heddles on harness 1, 20 heddles each on both harnesses 2 and 3 and 10 heddles on harness 4. Here the odd number of threads in the warp is to round off the point twill pattern.

Do the threading in groups, choose to make your threading ‘group’ the most convenient size for your chosen threading. When threading a 4 harness straight twill, 4 threads to a group is appropriate, but if threading a more complicated pattern, for example a point twill or overshot pattern, the threading group would be bigger. The 4 harness point twill pattern group would be 6 threads while the overshot group would depend on the overshot pattern. Here Greig will thread a 4 harness straight twill so her ‘group’ is four threads.

Step 1: Pull up the harnesses for the threading group, in this case 4.

Step 2: Count out the required number of threads (4)
Take the first thread from the lease sticks which are threaded through your threading cross and thread it through the first heddle on harness 1. The next thread in line will make itself apparent on the lease sticks, thread it through the first heddle on harness two and so on until all four threads in the group are threaded from thread 1 of harness 1 to thread 4 of harness 4. Greig finds it quicker and easier to use her fingers to thread the heddles, you can use a threading hook if you prefer.
The first four threads neatly threaded. Tie the 4 threads together with a looped quick release knot. Grieg was asked whether one could, if the warp was too thin, treat two threads as one and thread them through the same heddle. This is not advisable as there is too much friction and it will cause tension problems. Rather thread them through different heddles and have 2 heddles adjacent on each harness. The threads through the two heddles will act as one when each harness is lifted.

Tie the reed hook to the top of the loom – that way you always know where it is. Use a tape measure or ruler to measure the width of your warp across the reed and insert the reed hook in the first dent ready to thread.

Grasp the first tied group of warp threads on the right, pull the ends of the release knot to untie the threads. Use your forefinger to separate the threads and feed them through the reed one by one.
When the threading is complete pull the front warp rod into position in readiness to tie on the warp. Make sure the ties attaching the warp rod to the loom are the correct length for keeping the warp rod parallel to the front beam.
Rest the warp stick on the strings tied on either side of the loom from the back beam to the front beam (shown in Greig’s demonstration article ‘Beaming the Warp’ ). Pull the warp forward (or back) until the ends are about 3cm from the warp rod.





Take about one and a half centimeters width of threads in the reed, starting at the right. Pull and stroke to tension them evenly . Tie them together with an overhand knot.











Step 1:  Tie a long strong smooth non stretch yarn to the warp rod in line with the first group of warp threads on the right.

Step 2:  Tie a short piece of the same thread on the warp rod in line with the last group of warp threads on the left.





Pick up the long stretch of yarn on the right, thread it through the first group of warp threads on the right just behind the overhand knot then wind it around the warp rod. Continue to lash all the threading groups. 
Pick up the long stretch of yarn on the right, thread it through the first group on the right just behind the overhand knot then wind it around the warp rod. Continue to lash all the threading groups.

You are now ready to weave.