More about making sure that heddles can’t fall off the end of the shafts

As it seems that the article on "how to secure lease sticks" on my web page is not very clear, here are some more pictures and some more words.

First, it seems that the title of the page is making confusion: why is it about lease sticks? (and – if the method is for lease sticks, then, surely, it isn’t good for the use on shafts, is it?)

So. Starting with the lease sticks.

Why would one want another method than tying them together, so that the pair is "fixed together"?
I can see several reasons: for a very dense and/or sticky warp (warp rep with, say, 36 ends of cotton 16/2 per cm, approx. 140 ends per inch, is one example – another can be a brushed mohair for warp, can get sticky even at open setts) – for the dense or sticky warp it will be so very much easier to move the lease sticks separately.

Another reason can be that moving a folding loom about in its folded state: my folding looms need the warp tension to be slackened for folding, which means the lease sticks can slip around. Then this can happen:

Granted, it is quite possible to get the warp back onto the sticks, but it takes more fiddling (at least for me) – and so I use this method ’cos I find it faster and easier.
This is what it looks om my big loom (the blue stripe was an afterthought, and narrow enough not to need a lease for the sample I’m making):

Back to the folding loom (used mainly for demos): it will never, ever get folded without security strings on the shafts bars.
(One of my students thought that "sissy", folded the loom and carried it away. The lower bars promptly fell out, because she had not tied the treadles yet. It took hours to get them back, with the correct heddles on the correct lower shaft bar, in the correct order. She added security strings...)

So this is how it looks:

I always put the "handle" for opening (the knot with its tails) on the left side, because I thread from right to left – if I need to add (or take off) heddles while/after threading, this will always be done on the left side.
(Fow to make this style of security string, pls refer to the web page, linked above)

But, some of you say, why not just connect the upper shaft bar with the lower shaft bar?

AVL does this, by sticking a long metal rod from top to bottom

So what will happen if you just tie them together with a piece of string? (The black string may be hard to see, but click the pics to biggify - it should be easier to see)

OK, it will not happen every time, but it sure can happen, especially if you are using the whole width of the loom.
The heddles will not fall to the floor, it will be easy to know which shaft they belong to, that is true. However, should this happen to the outer heddles, there will not be any shed at the selvages... and it would require fiddling to get the heddles back.
Again: I find it so much easier to secure the heddles in a way that ensures me that they stay in their place.

Yes, I know: there are no safety strings on this loom for the moment. Next time I’m going to weave wide I will put them on... or, maybe, next time I get annoyed at having to get the fallen-to-the-floor unused heddle back on. Nobody is perfect...)

Edit - adding:
It did not occur to me when writing, but: the top-to-bottom connector string - how to handle that when one wants to add/subtract heddles? This possible connxion can, as can the other "knotted strings", be tied with an easily undone knot (bow?). Otherwise it will also hinder the heddle handling...


Laura Fry said...

Nobody is perfect. It depends. More than one way to skin a cat....oops, not a good phrase to use chez Kerstin! ;). Tell kitties not to hold it against me?

Kerstin på Spinnhuset said...

How about trying to come up with something akin to "a horse of another colour" (you're the native speaker; I'm the keeper of many-coloured kitties...)
Anyway - thr main pupose here is that we al want/need the heddles to stay where they are meant to stay!

Laura Fry said...

Of course we do. And your way is so elegant.