One Tie up for 4-Shaft Weavers: Never Tie Up Your Treadles Again

I began to think more about sampling after suggesting a sampler in my previous post. You can be very free if you don’t have to change the tie-up every time you weave something different—that is, if you are using 4 shafts. And the weaving often is faster and you can “walk the treadles”.  Weaving is more efficient when you can alternate your feet. Try practicing the tie up below with a common twill. Imagine the sequence and move your feet. 12, 23, 34, and 41. Soon you will be dancing. Note that you will be pressing more than one treadle at a time. If you have more treadles, just don’t tie them up at all. One weaver proudly said she then added two more treadles for tabby. That misses the point—the fewer treadles the easier for your feet to find them.

I wove all these variations without re-tying the treadles. And I kept getting new ideas to try. The warp was set up to weave the needle pillows. You can see one in the photo. When you can weave plain weave you can make cloth to dye later. And handwoven plain weave can be attractive.  My warp was handspun cotton I got in Bhutan. You can try an “almost plain weave”. Because you can’t get a true plain weave. Then see what you think.

Here is the special tie-up. And the way to weave tabby is to use two treadles at a time. You press your feet between the treadles to get 1 & 3 and 2 & 4. You can create/invent from there!

4 thoughts on “One Tie up for 4-Shaft Weavers: Never Tie Up Your Treadles Again”

  1. Hello, I have been following your blog for a long time and love your book. I have renovated an old 4 shaft counterbalance floor loom. It doesn’t appear to have any lamms. It has six treadles. I have found one reference to a loom without lamms which suggests feeding the treadle ties through a ring & then tie them centrally on the shafts. It works after a fashion. I am interested in your diagram. I assume it just doesn’t show the lamms rather than direct tie-up? Would be great to have any thoughts. Thank you!

    • I wonder if you need lamms at all. Is it possible to connect the 4 center treadles directly (each one) to the centers of the bottom shaft bars? Try using the tie up in the post. If you really need lamms and there’s no accommodation for them that surprises me. Then, I think you know more than I do about your situation. My book Warping Your Loom & Tying On New Warps has a lot about counterbalance looms, but doesn’t address not having lamms except for saying “..if you have them”. The book is out of print but available as a pdf download. I think it could be useful for info about counterbalance looms.

  2. Thank you for your speedy response. I will have a go at tying up the four central treadles directly to the stages using your suggested tie up. Makes a lot of sense being able to press two treadles at a time for tabby, especially as they are so close. I have downloaded your book and look forward to reading it. There doesn’t seem to be much information out there for counterbalance looms, so will be great to have another reference. Thank you again!

  3. Peggy, thank you so much for this tip! I was struggling with treadling and never felt “connected” with the loom. After making this change, my whole weaving flow feels much more natural.


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