Lynn's Handweaving

Douglas Andrew Kentish Loom

I need to share my success at solving the mystery of this loom. I've managed to weave some good stuff on it, but it's been persnickety and vaguely baffling. I found a terrible old book, Handloom Weaving by FJ Christopher, that appears to have been written to be sold with the looms. He reveals nothing about the detailed functioning of the treadles, lamms, shafts and horses and often mangles the jargon. The single thing I understood when I first got it was that the holes in the heddles should be the same height as the warp, and that's how the friend who sold it to me set it up. The heavy, stiff old cotton cords on the treadles were almost impossible to adjust by re-knotting them, and certainly not finely, so until I replaced all the cords with Texsolv fairly recently, I just ignored them after making a crude adjustment from The Big Book of Weaving where she says regarding the pairs of cords that go down from the lamms to the treadles, the one at the front should be slack at rest. She also says the lamms should be at a slight angle upwards and until my big day of discovery, they hung down at about a 15 degree angle. I also had the treadles too close to the floor. In the Big Book of Weaving she says the treadles should touch the floor when you treadle, but that's on Swedish looms. Mine are now way up in the air and working perfectly.

The whole thing is under tension from the top pulley, weighed down by the treadles. There are infinite ways for it to be out of whack.  What would have been very helpful -- and would have taken a line or two of text -- is if she'd written, "if you kneel on the floor with your eyes beside the shed, you can push down each treadle with your hand and see how the shed forms. If it's split into three sub-sheds, adjusting the length of the front lamm cord will merge them so you have a perfectly clean shed". I believe that correcting what was a random mess of intermittent looseness has established a perfect state of tension in the whole set-up. Now the shafts don't rest in a senseless cascade downward toward the back. The heddle bars don't work their way off to the side where they can bump into the gable crossbar. It's amazing! 

I've soldiered along with this loom for five years but I'm currently weaving black mercerized crepe cloth which makes it tricky to see when I might get a skip. I started changing things because one treadle was giving me a slanted split shed. January 17 2020

The old cotton cords were still on here.

Vavstuga's shaft bras are stabilizing the harnesses on this narrow warp.

I had replaced all the old cotton cords with Texsolv here, but I still had wonkiness going on, because I didn't understand how to fine-tune the lamm cords.

Here it is all set up properly. 

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