Peggy’s Weaving Tips > How to thread without mistakes:Part One

I believe your comfort is the most important factor in threading the loom without mistakes. If you can see clearly what to do, if your body is in a comfortable position, and if you feel confident that the threads and lease are stable so you can get up and move about when you choose, you can thread accurately and without anxiety. If you’re “making do” in any of these areas, you’re asking for trouble. Here are the steps to set up your loom for comfortable and confident threading.

Before you begin, make sure the warp is lying in the correct position: over the top of the back beam.

Lift all the shafts

This is one of the best ways to avoid mistakes. It puts the heddle eyes at or nearer your eye level when you sit on a low stool to thread, allowing you to see better. Do this by any means that works on your loom–weight down the treadles, prop shuttles under the jacks or between the shafts and the lams, or simply tie all the shafts up to the top of the castle. (For dobby and computer looms, check the loom manual.)

Suspend the lease

Threading the Loom Part 1 A
Threading the Loom Part 1 A

This is an important time-saver. You’ll be amazed at how much easier it is to thread from a lease suspended at the height of the heddle eyes. See Figure A.

Hang two loops of string from the castle or the back shaft and from them suspend a broom handle or other smooth rod. It should hang off the back of the castle 2″ or so higher than the heddle eyes.

Pick up the whole warp–the lease sticks and all–and slip it over the broom handle. Now the threading lease should be hanging between the last shaft and the broom handle, very close to the heddles.

Stabilize the assembly

Threading the Loom Part 1 B
Threading the Loom Part 1 B

Tie the top lease stick to the broom handle with a loop of string on each side of the warp. Make the string long and use bows for ties so you can adjust the height of the lease later. See Figure B.

Position the lease (cross)

Locate the lease itself so that it’s at the same height, on the same level, as your eyes and the eyes of the heddles. Remember you will thread sitting on a low stool. You can do this by adjusting the ties holding the broom handle or those on the top lease stick, or you may need to move the lease itself up or down on the warp. You can move the lease a few inches either way by opening it on either side as if you were opening the long handles of a pair of hedge clippers; the threads will pivot at the point where they cross. If you gently widen the gap, as if opening the clipper handles wider, you see that the lease moves. Don’t force it to move, however. If a dense or very sticky warp resists, open it in sections of a few inches at a time.

Before you begin, make sure the warp is lying in the correct position: over the top of the back beam.

This tip is an excerpt from Chapter 3, “Threading the Loom and Sleying the Reed” in Book 2, Warping Your Loom and Tying on New Warps– Revised Edition.


1 thought on “Peggy’s Weaving Tips > How to thread without mistakes:Part One”

  1. I recieved a loom from 8 years neglect in a dairy loafing shed, cleaned it up, ordered parts, got it weaving…followed M.M.Attwater instructions, wove a overshot wool henley, twill mens vest, now finally a plain weave scarf with some leno pickup…many errors, many mistakes, but me and the loom are having lots of fun, actually sort of beautiful stuff if you look fast and not too close. So today I look for book to tell me how to fix errors. You came up and I think its great another peggy weaver with mistakes…how wonderful can it be. Peg. R.


Leave a Comment