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