I'd appreciate some discussion about warping trapezes. Who has one? Do you like it?
I am a single weaver and think this approach would definitely help my beaming, especially with longer warps. The 3 yd shawl warps are manageable on my own, but once I get beyond that things get more difficult. You all know how it is with late night tangles... My fiber companion in crime is not always going to be available to help me wrangle my warp.
I'm comfortable with screwing things into the ceiling, so I think it will be easy enough to make up what I need with some eye bolts, hooks, chain, and closet rod. My questions are with how you use them, how well do the Weavo members find them to work. Do you use them F2B or B2F? Has anyone used a warping trapeze with fine threads?
If you have pics of one in use that would be fabulous.
One thing that helped me a great deal was using Katie Meek's book, Warp with a Trapeze and Dance with you Loom. She is selling it on her blog. I have used her system and it works quite well. She gives you everything you need to know.
I did not need to build a trapeze, my Glimakra is constructed to enable me to use the frame for a trapeze.
I don't have any pictures, I am putting a long warp on this weekend and will try to take photos then. The book is very good.
Very nice explanation on your blog Kerstin. It looks like you have a loom similar to mine and I'm trying to figure out where you attached it in front.
I have a cross beam on the top of my loom above the beater. I have used that at times for a trapeze. I take the warp up over the beam and then place it in front of the loom. Instead of bricks, I use gallon milk cartons filled with water also inside plastic bags and hanging from the warp for tension/weight.
The point is: it is *not* attached! The lumbers just lean on the breast beam - they are stopped from sliding backwards by the cloth beam. It (my homemade) is exactly the same construction as the Öxabäck one, only I use an alu tube (because I already had it) instead of a stainless steel one (that Öxabäck use).
Of course this means that it can wobble - but that is stopped once you add the weight(s). This also means that the loom has to be heavy enough not to fall over... something that is never a problem with Swedish looms.
Once I tried to make a "short-warp valet" construction, by putting a tube on the beater crossbar, but it never worked well. (I never got around to take off the tube)
I suppose my loom is "similar" to a Glimåkra... to me it is just a standard Swe loom. It is handmade, old (probably >100 yrs), came to me with several incarnations - oldest was a pulley contraption for max 8 shafts, then a drälltrissa (modern style pulley thing) for 10 shafts, plus a very old variant of countermarche. Some things had got lost during the years, but I could assemble a 13-shaft CM "just like that".
It also had (still has) 20 treadles. I have added another incarnation - 16-shaft vertical CM + double back beams.
(Read more about Swe looms vs "foreign" here.)
Edited to add: the blue band is there because the loom frame is warped. Stretching it that way works on both sides of the frame because the CM device has "notches" that sits on the frame's sides. I had hoped the frame would straighten with time, but no -
I built a free-standing trapeze out of a pair of sawhorse brackets and a couple lengths of 2"x4" lumber - wrote a blog post about it here, complete with lots of photos. It works very well and stores nicely. I have used it both for beaming and for handling a second warp without a second warp beam. The only thing to keep in mind is that the top bar of the trapeze MUST be parallel to the back beam.
I also highly recommend Kati Meek's Book Warp with a Trapeze and Dance with Your Loom. She gives great instructions.
As for fine threads, I'm not sure what you mean by "fine", but I've successfully used it for 30/2 silk, which is 7000 yards per pound. Never tried it with anything finer, but I imagine it would work just fine.
I use a ceiling mounted trapeze (pvc pipe suspended directly over back beam) with my Weavebird, which is quite deep. It works great with thick or thin threads. I don't use one with my little Harrisville or Macomber because they are shallow enough that I can apply tension with one hand and crank with the other.
I first learned about trapezes in Faithe Nunneley's wonderful book of weaving hints, "Thrums" (1991). She has some simple instructions for building one. Good book, worth searching out. It's like having a patient master weaver with a sense of humor sitting at your elbow giving you helps and hints while you weave.
Tien, I did not ask you then, but will now: how do you make sure that it is (stays) parallell to the back beam?
That question is not quite pertinent to the ceiling-mounted type - but mounting it that way means you can't move the loom? (I don't move my looms very often either, but it has happened)
I just set it up so it looks parallel to the back beam (i.e. I do it by eye). The weights stabilize the trapeze so it doesn't "walk", but if it ever starts "walking", I plan to drill holes in the back legs of the trapeze, about a foot and a half above the floor, put bolts through the holes, and hang some heavy weights from the bolts. That should keep it stable, though I've never had to try. Running it through a raddle clamped to the back beam means that the yarns down the trapeze almost vertically, so it doesn't tip. If I were pulling more horizontally, the trapeze would be unstable, but since I'm pulling more or less straight down, it hasn't been a problem yet.
Does that help?
Makes sense :-)
As I have my looms in the shop, it happens I get visitors/clients. Should they stumble on a free-standing thingy they could create problems!
Lucky you! Our guild just did a program on this, thanks to Kati Meek's methods, and one of her students, Margriet Carrico. (I should add Margriet build this trapeze herself, from the comprehensive directions and photos in Kati's book.)
Margriet demo'd this back-to-front. The trapeze attaches to the front of the loom. There is a raddle attached to the back beam before the warp approaches the warp beam.
Here's what I noticed at the demo and like about Kati's system:
-Perfect tension, everywhere. Margriet had a fine and fiddly warp, and it beamed on in about an hour or less. No dog combs or hair picks needed. Instead, the warp is "spanked" while under tension.
-Everything is at a comfortable height. I hadn't consider this until we actually were working with the warp and beaming. If a tangle appears in the lease sticks, there is no "bending over" to inspect it.
-You may wonder what happens when the weight approaches the top of the trapeze and you still have a distance to go before reaching the castle with your warp. You attach an extension to connect the warp to the weight so it beams right to where you need it.
-Kati's trapeze can be clamped to any loom. This demo was on a Baby Wolf, and did not pull over the loom. After using, it collapses down and can slide under a bed, out of the way. (A BIG plus in my small weaveatorium.)
One thing Margriet realized about her fine thread warp (I am guessing this was something like a 16/2 or finer). She didn't do a thread-by-thread cross, she grouped them when winding. So that presented some resistance at the lease sticks from time to time when beaming. But believe me — if this multi-yard warp had been done traditionally, I know many weavers would have cut it off, or just given up at the first sign of trouble. In this demo, it was only minorly irritating and like I said, the warp was on in an hour or less!
Kati's book has lots of photos and ideas. So you may get even more inspiration how to modify your warping (and weaving!) in a variety of ways, not just using a trapeze.
It is good you pointed this out. It is much better to not wind a thread by thread lease cross, 1/1, with fine threads. If one reads instructions in the Big Book of Weaving, or in my new warping book, you will see that 1/1 lease crosses are not recommended except for thick rug warp. The beaming of the warp is much smoother if you do not have a 1/1 lease cross.
Many beginners in the US start with a 1/1 lease because they are winding their warp on a warping frame and are taught to wind with one thread. They are usually using a thick thread so it works ok. But it is important for weaving teachers to encourage them to wind with two threads at a time as they start to use finer threads.
beginners and warping: Swe beginners are immediately told to warp with at least 2 ends. (Of course putting a finger between the threads - and. as it happens, most of us have four "slots" built into the hand). But we also transfer the cross after rough-sleying, because that, too, reduces tangles in the lease sticks. I suppose that could be done even easier if one uses a raddle - just place the lease sticks between the raddle and the beam...
Sally thanks for the comments on the trapeze, you do things like that so much better than I ever could. Just a comment on making the trapeze, use a good grade of 2x4 lumber, sand it and give it a couple of coats of varnish. I have been using mine for the last 6 years and it works like a charm. It works on all my looms from the baby wolf to the 60" Macomber and use 4- 2.5 lb, 4-5 lb or 2-10 lb bar bell weights depending on the size of the yarn how wide the warp is and how many sections I have etc.
Hi Claudia, please do post photos of using your Glimakra frame for a trapeze. My loom is a Glimakra and I'm trying to decide if I need to build one.
Thanks Kerstin. I had no idea that it would be so easy to make such a valet myself. I have warned my husband that he will be involved in it some time soon, and I am sure he will love it too. I have always done my warping on my own, including 20 meters of rug warp, but this will be so much easier.
I highly recommend Kati Meek's book. She has a definite reason for her method of clamping the trapeze to the loom--looms move! If the loom moves, and the trapeze is not attached, more than likely, it will no longer be parallel. Will you notice the change? Probably not, until you start having problems with the tension of your warp bouts.
I built mine with door framing. It is lightweight, as wood goes, about 1 x 3 size lumber. The bigger and heavier the lumber, the harder it is to store. Hardwood is not necessary, and 2x4 size is overkill. Get Kati's book for the best pictorial instructions.
I have a photo of Kati attaching the trapeze to my tiny workshop loom on my blog back in March 2010. Here is a link:
...some looms move. Some looms might require 4 strong men and a team of horses...
Exactly what I was thinking about my Glimakra Standard Laurie.
Thank you all!
It's no surprise the Weavo membership has such helpful and extensive knowledge to share. With pictures, of course.
I'm going to contemplate my small loom room and see which version (fixed to look vs. suspended from ceiling) will work best in the space. I might actually get around to organizing and moving things around too.
Hi Laurie. So you don't have trouble with the pvc pipe bending in the middle? My husband built me one based on Katie Meek's book, but it was sized for my LeClerc Mira which I don't have any more. The board across the top isn't long enough for my 60" AVL and Glimakra. If I could just use pvc, it would be easy to do. It just seems too flexible to me, though.
No problems so far. It has fairly thick walls, 4" diameter and about 54" long. I don't use really heavy weights (cement blocks, for example). You could put an extra hook or two into the middle area if you are worried about it needing more support with a longer length and/or more weight.
I was inspired by all the information here and went this past weekend to Home Depot to get materials for a trapeze. My original thought was all PVC pipe but I could not get the necessary end pieces to create it the way I wanted. I ended up with the saw horse pieces but instead of wood as the crossbar, I did use a 2" PVC pipe that was 36" in length. It held up well as I warped a 4yd warp for the first attempt. I was very pleased as this warp went on better than any other I had done. Thanks so much for the inspiration.
The PVS pipe could be reinforced by a piece of lumber (the biggest that fits inside the pipe) ? The rest of the construction remains as simple as before.
We used plumbing end caps glued on. Works well and may provide a bit extra support. Filling it with lumber would be heavy but work if you had good support. I washed and sanded the pvc lightly to make sure there was no residue or burrs. It is nice and smooth.
I was thinking of the 1" pvc pipe. 4" would be stronger.