Weighting bundles of warps makes threading the loom easier by putting a little tension on the warp threads.
The only thread that can’t tangle is a thread under tension. Taut threads are easier to see in the lease (cross) and easy to pull out as needed. To get them taut, use a light weight, such as a small wrench that weighs about 3 1/2 ounces (about the weight of a pair of pliers). Put a loop of string on the weight and add a rubber band onto the loop with a lark’s head knot (see the Knots chapter). Then separate a bundle of cut ends about the thickness of a medium-sized carrot and with another lark’s head, tie the rubber band onto the bundle near the end of the warp. The weight hangs straight down from the lease sticks, behind the shafts. When you select a thread to thread next, you pull it out of the weighted bundle. See Figure A.
Preparing the Loom for your Comfort
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. Use the following technique to set up your loom for comfortable and confident threading.
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 (see Figure B) 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.)
These tips are excerpted from Chapter 3, “Threading the Loom and Sleying the Reed” in Book 2, Warping Your Loom and Tying on New Warps– Revised Edition.