all about the tie-up

I’m very lucky with the Delta. It comes with room to expand from 8 shafts/10 treadles to 12 shafts/14 treadles. I couldn’t afford the extra shafts, but I was able to buy the additional treadles. 8 shafts/14 treadles is a fantastic combination, but even so I can find my ambitions outstripping the available treadlage… So while I’m discovering the fun of mixing up my options with the dobby on one side of the room, I’m stretching the limits of my treadles as far as I can on the other side of the room.

My threading for the Theo Moorman samplers is basically this:

With a repeat of three ends in the ground cloth and two in the tie-down, it takes six different lifts to make one pattern repeat:

twill lift A + tabby lift 1
twill lift B + tabby lift 2
twill lift C + tabby lift 1
twill lift A + tabby lift 2
twill lift B + tabby lift 1
twill lift C + tabby lift 2

However, I can split this into two components, using one foot on three treadles for the twill and the other foot on two treadles for the tabby. I saved a shaft! And then I can add other twill combinations (since I have two blocks and want them to change face here and there) by adding treadles three at a time. So I started by tying up eight treadles:

My notation is probably not especially helpful, but I can’t be bothered with x’s and o’s… Since the Delta is a countermarche I have to tie up my shafts in complete groups. The leftmost treadle is lifting shafts 1, 4 and 5 but it is also lowering shafts 2, 3 and 6. Shafts 7 and 8 are not tied to this treadle at all — they are tied, in pairs, to the two treadles on the right.

I started weaving with this, and then realised that I hadn’t provided myself with a tie-up for the inlay picks. If I needed to economise I could manage without it, since I can depress the treadle to raise shaft 7, say, and then just push the front six shafts down out of the way. But I wasn’t economising so I tied up two more treadles which each raise one half of the tie-down warp and lower all the other shafts. I added these to the right-hand side of the loom, though: my right foot has had to hop about a bit and I’ve ended up with some treadling errors. Before I start again (having just cut off my test piece), I am going to re-tie like this:

As I described before, each tie-down warp is raised for two picks in succession: one to weave in the ground cloth and one to make the inlay. So my right foot will make a journey across four treadles while my left foot joins in on every other pick. And I am still only using 10 treadles! I could add another twill combo. However, the gaps in my little picture correspond to the fact that I like to leave an untied treadle between groups when I have the capacity to do so — another contribution towards error-reduction. The 3-end twill is interesting because the blocks don’t have clean breaks between them; or rather, I can have a clean break at the sides of the blocks or at the ends of the blocks, but not both. I have opted for the sides just now.

all about the tie-up” was posted by Cally on 28 Feb 2012 at

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  1. Geodyne
    | Reply

    I’ve been following your Moorman adventures with interest Cally. And now – hey, this is something my loom is capable of! Until you add more complexity in the twill, of course.

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