This 4-Shaft Tie-up is My Gift to You

Tie-up for 4 Shafts
© Peggy Osterkamp – click to enlarge

This tie-up works for all 4-shaft looms except countermarch looms. I have made two posts about it already and here it is a third time. That is because it is so useful and I think, wonderful.

This way to tie up your treadles is a fantastic gift that Jim Ahrens taught us. You’ll never have to tie up the treadles again on your 4-shaft looms. My looms were built by Jim;  this tie-up is the only choice–because it’s so flexible. I love it and pass it along to you as my gift.

One tie up for four shaft looms is described in my book Weaving for Beginners on page 96, figure 226. I describe a tie-up that never needs to be changed, for four shaft jack and counterbalance looms. You can get all the combinations possible with four shafts with this system. Your feet can dance over the treadles for many weaves, and if they aren’t dancing, they can work very efficiently. See Figure 6. Another advantage of this system is that you can change to any weave structure you want in a project without changing the ties to the treadles.

I received this comment about the tie up I posted. (Search for tying up your treadles.) “Thanks for the tie-up, Peggy! What if you have a 6 treadle loom and want to add a tabby tie-up? Is it best to put it in the middle or on the outside treadles, in your opinion?”

Here’s my opinion:
No, no, no!! The extra treadles just get in the way and offer the chance for mistakes. To do tabby put your foot between the treadles and push 1&3 with one foot and 2&4 with the other. Then you can walk the treadles. Which two treadles to not hook up you can decide on depending on how your feet fit the treadles–and what’s comfortable. Getting comfortable helps avoid mistakes. See also page 2 in my third book, Weaving & Drafting Your Own Cloth.

7 thoughts on “This 4-Shaft Tie-up is My Gift to You”

    • Sorry, that is what makes 4-shaft weaving so EASY. so flexible. You can change your mind whenever you please.

  1. Hi I’m just wondering if you could tell me how to find out information on how to tie up my tekoteko loom, it has 4 levers on top with strings attached to the top of the heddles of which there are four. It has 6 treadles. My problem is I’m a complete beginner with floor looms and I can’t figure out how to tie the treadles to the heddles so that when you push on them they create a shed. The levers at the top seem to stop the heddles from moving either up or down. The loom is one I sort of inherited and it doesn’t have any manuals and the company is now defunct. I have tried numerous ways of tying up but nothing makes the heddles move please help.

  2. Trying to fit my brain between “Weave tallk” and engineering talk. I am finding out that “Weave Talk” is a whole new language! We recently purchased a 4 shaft 6 treadle floor loom of unknown origin. It has a great deal in common with the Hammett, but no label and enough small differences to see it was likely home made by a craftsman.
    Here’s how i see it. With 4 shafts and either 2 up and 2 down (balanced) or 1 up and 3 down or 3 up and one down (unbalanced), I come up with 14 combinations possible. It also appears that many patterns call for changing the tie up to fit the pattern. I would like to have one tie up that would, by pressing one or two treadles create every combination possible (and translate it to different patterns. – Whew!

    • So now you have your tie up–be sure to use only 4 treadles. Some people like to add two more for tabby–that defeats the whole purpose. Using just those 4 makes it easy to treadle as you are weaving as well as avoiding changine the tie-ups to the treadles ever again.

  3. I love the way you tie up the treadles on a 4 shaft loom! It makes so much sense and made weaving a breeze. Is there a way to tie a 8 shaft loom? Thanks

    • Not like this–we don’t have enough feet. Often you can make skeleton tie ups if needed where you might press two treadles at a time. Look it up on the web. I just did and there was good info. It is sometimes impossible to find combinations needed for weaves that need more treadles than the loom has. But worth checking out.


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