Threading a PDL

I am warping my new-to-me PDL for the first time.  I have the warp on and am threading it. My instructions from AVL apply to a mechanical dobby, but I have the compu-dobby.  Since the breast beam and beater are hard to remove, I decided to thread it from the back.  This has been tedious and uncomfortable.  How do other people thread their PDLs? 


Posted on Tue, 02/24/2015 - 01:11

I would take off the beater (not that hard) and remove the cloth beam, then you can sit inside in front of the shafts.  Also, on both mechanical or compudobby - you can raise all the shafts and lock them in place so the eye of the heddle is at a comfortable height.  Enjoy!



Posted on Tue, 02/24/2015 - 01:48

From the front. I have had my loom since 1982(?) and always remove the beater top, reed and sandpaper beam. This means taking apart the old style cloth advance, but after doing it a few times, I didn't find if all that bad. I also removed the built in bench a long time ago and sit on a tall stool to weave, a short stool for threading. But I'm tall with longish arms. This may not work for someone else.


Posted on Tue, 02/24/2015 - 21:12

Hah! So many ways to Rome. I never take off the beater, reed, and sandpaper beam. I hang my warp from the castle and thread and then sley the reed as I go. I suppose, depending on your height whatever, threading this way would be uncomfortable. Actually I have *no idea* if removing the beam etc. would be better. So far I have no back or fatigue problems but we are all different so I can see that doing it another way would be better depending on you! Your milleage will vary.

Posted on Tue, 02/24/2015 - 22:27

This loom has a four box fly shuttle, which is not easy to remove, and having gotten it all adjusted and working smoothly, I don't want to touch it.  The sandpaper beam could come out, but that still leaves me with heddles that are too low.  Is there any way to raise them with a compudobby?  Can I set up a draft that raises all the shafts (or maybe the shafts for the next four threads) and put something on the treadle to hold it down?  I am very inexperienced with computer driven looms, but I have threaded jack looms in this way before.

Posted on Tue, 02/24/2015 - 22:35

Dawn, I just read your post more carefully; how do you go about raising all the heddles with a compudobby?  I think if i could do that, all I would have to do is take the sandpaper beam off to thread comfortably.

Posted on Tue, 02/24/2015 - 22:51

As you surmised all the shafts can be lifted via a "lift all" row in a draft.

When you get all the shafts up: keep the treadle down while you stick the (hopefully) provided pin through the hole in the back of the dobby box that will keep the dobby arm from going back to resting position.  If you cannot find the hole post back and I'll take a picture.

The AVL website has a lot of helpful information -

Posted on Tue, 02/24/2015 - 23:47

After taking out the breast beam and beater bar I take a small camping chair, it's like a sling, and sit sideways and thread the heddles. This way I'm down low. It's a tight fit but not bad.

Posted on Thu, 02/26/2015 - 01:31

If your loom is old, like my 60", you might not have the hole and pin to keep the shafts up. It is easy to drill the hole and you can get a pin at the hardware store. PM me and I can send you a photo and the place you need to drill to make the hole, not hard to do.

Posted on Thu, 02/26/2015 - 02:30

You can always "treadle the threading" - you put the threading in the treadling column of your computer file and treadle it.

You can go one thread at a time, or create a file that raises the shafts for the next - say 4 - threads.

That way the heddle eyes are raised and more comfortable to thread.

Posted on Thu, 02/26/2015 - 22:24

Sara, that sounds like the winner.  I know that many people thread several threads at a time, but for most warps, I find it faster and easier to work one thread at a time (I usually set up a set of threads that are a part of the pattern, set them aside, and thread one by one.)  Raising the heddle for that thread would solve two issues at once; getting the right shaft, and getting it high enough to reach.  Next warp, that's what I'm doing.  I just made a file for doing that with this huck check.