A Universal tie up so you never have to tie up your treadles again!

Use the tie up in the photo and you can tie up the treadles one way that works forever if you have only four shafts and eight treadles. Most four-shaft countermarch looms have only six treadles, but on some looms it’s easy to make two more treadles from pieces of wood to match those already on the loom.

You can make all the sheds possible with four shafts this way by using both feet and using two treadles at a time. Each treadle has only two ties.

Look at the photo. Remember all “o”s represent shafts that are to rise (like bubbles) and all “x”s are for shafts that are to be lowered.

This is an ingenious tie-up because countermarch looms require each shaft to be active to make a shed. The shaft must either rise or sink, and you can’t ask a shaft to move in two directions at once. If you want shafts 1 and 3 up, the treadles to press are the second treadle from the left and the far-right treadle. Do you see that you could not use the two left-hand treadles together because that would be asking shafts 1 and 3 to go both down and up?

Think about what to do to get shafts 2 and 4 up: Use the far-left treadle plus the second treadle from the right. Then shafts 1 and 3 will go down and 2 and 4 up.

There is a comprehensive chapter on how countermarch looms work and how to adjust them in my book, Warping Your Loom & Tying On New Warps. It is available on my website as a pdf.


  1. Hi,
    I have a glimakra ( really big loom) in pieces… I will be putting it together soon… I have woven on a Toika… but never warped it or tied up the treadles , or the lamms… or any tying up … scary… so help???

    • I’ve heard toikas are different. Glimakra has a business in eugene Oregon. I’m sure they can help and are helpful people.

  2. Hi, I have a 4 shaft countermarch loom and I’m trying to do double weave which necessitates shafts 1,2,3 being up and 4 being down, 1,2,4 being up and 3 down.

    I’m having trouble getting this to give me a decent shed. Is there anything that you can recommend to try?

    Many thanks.

    • Hi, Leslie,
      All I know is what I put in my book after asking lots of people. I have an extensive section on countermarch looms. There is a universal tie up that works for 4 shaft looms with 6 treadles. The book is Warping the Loom & Tying On New Warps. It’s only available as a pdf–which means you can get it immediately if you like on my website. Sorry not to answer sooner. I’m swamped with my huge dye project and deadline just now.

  3. Ok so I have a Bergman 8 shaft 10 treadles countermarch and I read that on basic treadling patterns ( jack looms) you do the opposite of what it shows for tie ups is that correct?

    • NO!! that is not correct. The info you are referring to belongs to COUNTERBALANCE looms, not countermarch which you have. I can understand the mistake. When you read a draft what is usually shown is the shafts to be lifted with o’s (like bubbles and bubbles rise). The blank spaces in the tie up show what should be lowered and that’s what you need to do with the lams on the shafts that are to be lowered. For your loom,

      • continued reply to Loyann: The universal tie up in the post shows the treadles and the o’s show what shafts you tie to be lifted and the x’s show what are to be lowered. Remember this is for 4-shaft weaves. For your loom, every treadle used must have ties to ALL the shafts being used–the lifted ones and the lowered ones. Again, in a ususal draft what’s to be lifted is marked. You also need to tie the shafts that are to be lowered to your treadles (the blank spaces in the tie up. Let me know if this isn’t clear.

  4. Hi Peggy,
    I have your book “Weaving for Beginners – An Illustrated Guide.” I also have been gifted a Leclerc Countermarch Loom. I have contacted Leclerc but they are unable to assist me because it is a very old loom that has been discontinued. It is a four shaft-six treadle loom. By trial and error I have tied up the treadles and some appear to work while others are leaving threads half up? or half down? in the shed. Also, the shed is so narrow that a boat shuttle barely fits. I have never woven and so am in desperate need for guidance. Any and all help would be greatly appreciated.


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