The countermarch loom has great advantages over the simpler counterbalanced loom and jack looms. Because the treadles are tied up both directly to the harnesses, and to overhead jacks, the shed can be more perfectly balanced, and the tension on the warp can be very high, which is great for weaving rugs. Tying up a countermarch loom is a bit more involved than tying up a counterbalanced or jack loom, but the extra trouble is definitely worth it.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
Things you need
- Countermarch loom
- Nylon cord
- Nylon anchor pins
- Yarn for warp and weft
- Rags cut into strips
Wind a warp on the warping board. Make a figure eight cross at one end of the warp, and tie the warp with shoe strings at 1-yard intervals. Take the warp off the warping board and take it to the loom. Presley the warp in the reed and place the reed in the beater. Wind the warp onto the back beam.
Cut the warp in front of the reed. Take the reed and beater off the loom. Thread the loom through the heddles to the desired pattern. Put the reed back in the beater, put the beater on the loom, and sley the threads to the desired sett. The sett is the distance between the warp threads, expressed usually in ends per inch. Tie the warp to the front apron rod and tighten it.
Place the jack locking pins in the holes in the jacks on the castle, to steady the jacks and hold the harnesses still while you tie up the loom. Refer to your treadle tie-up diagram. The "X" marks signify a hole that connects to a sinking shed, and the "O" marks refer to a hole that is tied to a rising shed. Tie each "X" hole to the corresponding upper lamm. For example, if there is an "X" in the treadle tie up on the first hole, tie a cord from the first hole on the treadle to the upper lamm that connects to the first shaft. Tie up all the sinking sheds on all the treadles. Secure the cords underneath the treadles using the nylon anchor pins.
Look at the treadle tie-up diagram again and find all the "O" marks on the diagram, designating the rising sheds. Attach a cord from the treadle at the "O" hole to the corresponding lower lamm. The cord should go behind the shaft and behind the lamm for that treadle. The lower lamms are connected by long cords to the jacks in the castle. When you depress a treadle, the shafts connected to the lamms that you tied to that treadle will rise.
Check the sheds by stepping on each treadle and seeing if the sheds open evenly. Adjust the tightness of the cords to make the shed open more cleanly, so that the shuttle can travel smoothly across the shed.
Weave in a few picks of rag weft and then weave with the actual weft yarn until the warp is used up. Insert a few more picks of rag weft and cut the piece off the loom.
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