Hi all you rug weavers out there,
I have made several rugs on my Glimakra floor loom with very good results. Then I read in the late Rachel Brown's "the Weaving, Spinning and Dyeing book" that weaving a rug on a vertical loom produces a stronger rug. She writes, "Because of the vertical position of the warp and the extreme tension that can be applied to it, the weft can be beaten into place much more tightly than on a treadle loom." So my husband built me a very strong Navajo type vertical loom (4'x6'). Now, I am not using the single ply yarn that is common used for Navajo rugs, but so far, in my experience, the opposite is true! I can not possibly beat down as hard with my weighted weaving fork as I can with the weighted beater on my Glimakra.
I'm wondering what other people's experiences have been? I recently did a Swedish Rolokan weaving with the same yarn on the floor loom and it is much tighter than I am able to get on the vertical loom. I know sett, tension, yarn and all that make a difference... I know! But what has your own experience been?
When yarn and warp sett match correctly, yes, you get a firmer rug on the vertical loom. The latest few rows will not show this. What you get is that the rows farther down continue to compact as the process evolves. For this reason, when doing Navajo 4 selvedge pieces, the center of the design will lie a finger or three above the exact center of the piece when weaving it, but at the end, it drops into the center position.
Your warp and weft relationship might be a tad off and causing your rug to not pack in as well as you'd like.