Peggy’s Weaving Tips > Using a Temple or Stretcher (Croc Clips)

Using a temple or stretcher
Taken from “Weaving for Beginners”,  pages 312, 313.

Weaving with a Temple
Weaving with a Temple

Temples and stretchers can slow you down, but in certain situations, they are necessary. Rug weavers use them. They are helpful for weft-oriented weave structures that tend to draw in more, such as overshot. Some weavers say that if the sett and everything else is right, there is no need for a temple. I encourage you to use one whenever your weaving is drawing in so much that your selvedge threads keep breaking.
Since a temple or stretcher cord needs to be moved frequently, it’s a good idea to choose a type that opens and closes easily. The cord stretcher moves very easily.
With temples, the method for locking the two bars together should be quick to use, such as a collar that slides back and forth. In the illustration, the collar is the metal part seen next to the left thumb. Some temples are unwieldy, which slows you down and interrupts your rhythm.
The stretchers and temple work more to help with the beater than to preserve
the selvedge threads, although they do that, too. They eliminate the drag on the
beater and keep the fabric stretched out as the beater hits the fell.
With a stretcher or temple, you can weave your cloth with more draw-in. The
draw-in still takes place in the woven cloth itself, but at the fell, the temple
holds the warps stretched out, so there is no friction on the reed or abrasion
on the selvedge threads. If you like the appearance of the cloth with the wefts
drawing in the cloth, use a stretcher or temple. That way, your selvedge threads
won’t always be breaking from abrasion from the reed.
Positioning the stretcher or temple
Keep the stretcher or temple on the woven cloth as close to the fell as possible,
not more than ¼”– ¾” from the fell. Since the fell will be changing as you weave along, you need to move the temple often, perhaps, every ½” in rug weaving,
or every 1″– 2″ for fabric weaving, or each time you advance the warp.
Stretch out the cloth to the same width as the warp ends are in the reed. The
warp threads should be in a straight line from the reed to the fell.

6 thoughts on “Peggy’s Weaving Tips > Using a Temple or Stretcher (Croc Clips)”

    • Thanks so much for your kind words. Let me know if you have some suggestions for topics to cover. I hope you have seen my tips–I made them for people like you. Peggy

  1. Hi Peggy –
    I have really taken to using the temple. However, a new problem has appeared since I started using it. Before and after wet finishing, the edges of the fabric look scalloped- as if there is more fabric on the edges waving up and down to make up for the fact that there is more of it. Is this from setting the temple too wide? Too narrow? This was especially pronounced in an overshot piece I did which was 108 inches long and 25 inches wide. The ground warp and weft was 20/2 merc. cotton, the pattern weft was a very fine wool, Filatura Di Crosa Centolavaggi. This also just happened in some ms and os kichten towels in 8/2 unmercerized cotton I wove, at 20 epi.
    Can you please help??!!
    Thank you so much-

    • I haven’t used the temple myself much. In my books I write that it should be set so it is the width of the reed and move it often. It’s only job is to keep the cloth wide enough so the beater goes back and forth easily. If you want to make the weaving wider, you must understand how the warps and wefts bend and the sett and incorporating enough weft in–all issues involving the width.

  2. Thank you so much Peggy, for this information. My husband and I are beginner weavers and live in Australia. Our first floor mat just came off the loom and was a challenge to say the least, but has not discouraged us both from trying again. Our next projects are a krokbragd floor rug for the entrance and a rag rug for the kitchen and we are now on the hunt as to where we can buy a temple.

    We have read in comments on a weaving site to bubble the weft and have no idea what that is. Yes we are complete novices here. We have recently retired and moved into a new to us home and want to make it cosy and put our own stamp on it.

    Thank you


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