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Submitted by Weavolutionary on Fri, 07/10/2009 - 12:21
Migrated Group Comments
Okay, I'll admit that the only reason I created this group is to suck up any information about my new-to-me loom. It COULD be a hand made loom or it COULD just be old. It's made from Redwood and it's really beautiful when the sun hits it. I need to re-do the tie-ups and add some heddles, but after that I can warp it ------- if only I knew how!!
So, if you have any advice, can point me toward a good book to learn about this style of loom or just have something to share with me about getting started on a Counterbalance, PLEASE contact me or even better, join this group and post all about it!!!
Hi, thought you might not be aware that there is Countermarch loom group already set up "Countermarch and Beyond" here on Weavolution- you should be able to get all the information you desire right there. I too have a new to me countermarch loom, a Glimakra Standard. Learned the tie up from Joanne Hall's book "Tying Up Your Countermarch Loom" - you can purchase it from her website www.glimakrausa.com
or at several on line weaving stores. Joanne is a wealth of information and has always been very helpful to all who come asking for help.
Happy weaving, enjoy your loom!
i really like my counter-balance loom - it's quiet, makes a nice shed, and works great for all types of weaving.
The one drawback I found out about my loom, was that you can't weave any 3-thread patterns - like a 3-thread huck lace, and how did I realize this - it was after I had threaded my loom and wondered why shaft 4 was right up at the top roller! I did some thinking and went "It's a counterbalance loom!" Without any threads on shaft 4 to balance what was threaded on shaft 3 - it wouldn't work, so I tied some metal rods onto shaft 4 and was able to weave. But I've never done that again!
But there is a difference between the counterBALANCE (which I have) and the counterMARCH looms. Or, at least that's what I was lead to believe.
You are entirely correct! There are some significant differences between counterbalance and countermarche looms.
My first loom, which I still weave on today, is a four-shaft counterbalance loom made by the Payton Loom Company. It's the only loom I owned for the first 30 years I wove . . . I absolutely love it! It originaly belonged to my great-grandmother. I haven't come across a loom that is easier to set-up or less of an effort to weave on . . . plus, it's very quiet.
Yes, counterbalance looms prefer two shafts and two shafts down for each weft pick . . . many counterbalance looms can weave with "unbalanced" weaves . . . one shaft up and three shafts down . . . or three shafts up and one shaft down. I haven't found a four-shaft pattern that I can't do on this loom.
My response is in more than one part. Please excuse my 'blabber fingers'!
Part II or reply
One thing that may help to weave unbalanced weaves on my counterbalance loom is that the treadles tie directly to the shaft frame as oppsed to a lamm. The loom also has one of the largest sheds I've ever seen on a loom of this size. Yes, the shed does get a bit smaller on unbalanced weaves . . . however, it's still generous in size.
IMHO, I think one of the key things that a counterbalance loom requires is proper hanging of the shafts and that the pulleys (or whatever helps the shafts roll up and down). Many counterbalance looms have found their way into homes beyond the original owner and cords have been replaced. If the shafts are not set-up correctly, it can have a dramatic effect on the counterbalance mechanics of the loom and the size of the shed.
Thanks Robyn! This is exactely the kind of conversation that I was hoping for. Do you know if there is anything published that addresses the specifics of Counterbalance looms? I'd like to see something about the mechanics of these looms so I can make sure she's strung up properly and that all the parts are operating as they should.
I have gotten differing opinions (read - guesses) as to its maker but without any markings I am at a loss. I am hoping there is someone out there who knows of or is an expert on older looms who could help me narrow it down.
There is a bit of work (mostly replacing worn parts and a good cleaning) to be done on "OL' RED" before I can thread her up and weave, but mechanically, she's in pretty good condition.
Anyway, welcome Robyn and everyone!
Sorry - I read your first post too fast - there is indeed a difference between counterbalance and countermarch - I was trying to be helpful - really. Again, sorry.
Do you have a picture available? I'm curious what kind of counterbalance loom you may have. That might help me point you in the direction of ressources.
If we can figure out the make of your loom, you may be able to find information about it at The Loom Manual Library . . . .You can find out more about The Loom Manual Library at www.weaversfriend.com/page1/page1.html
I'll take some tomorrow and post them (got to figure that out too...) But, Big Red is my avitar. Its a teeny tiny photo but that's her! ginny
YES, there is a comprehensive weaving book that addresses counterbalance looms.
Laila Lundell - "The Big Book of Weaving"
It is also one of the best general reference books on weaving ever - took me from a rigid heddle loom to an 8-shaft countermarche loom in a single day - back in 81 and I've been going forward since then. Excellent drawings, discusses use of tools, weaving techniques. I own it in the 1st edition (German and Swedish) and 2nd edition (Swedish and English).
A VERY popular book in Europe for many years, recently translated into English. A bargain at $29.95.
I was given this loom from a lady on craigslist. It is handmade and seems to be a Danish Style Counterbalance. I made the huge mistake of unhooking the treadles while loading it in the truck in an effort not to break them.. DUH.. I can not figure out how to put them back together. I am a new weaver as in I have woven one scarf on a rigid heddle new weaver.Here are some photos on my flicker pageOn the top front bar she has written out a treadle pattern it reads left to right> 2/4 1/4 3/4 2/3 1/2 1/3Can anyone tell me how to hook the treadles up from the back? My sanity and the people around me would deeply appreciate it.Thanks in advance!
Do look for a copy of "Big Book of Weaving" - you'll find all manner of helpful information that is pertinent to your loom.
2/4, 1/4, 1/2, 2/3, 3/4, 1/3 is the standard way to tie up a loom for 4 shafts/6 treadles - tabby on the outside and 2/2 twill on the inside 4 treadles.
To get you rloom started, try tying only the middle two treadles to 1/3 and 2/4 respectively and make sure you get a balance shed on a test warp. From there things should start improving.
Thank you so much Sara, I'm going to go give it a try right now and I did order the Big Book of Weaving.
Tying up treadles on a four-shaft counterbalance loom - a lesson in multiple parts
Since tie-ups were perviously mentioned, i thought I'd add a bit of information about tying up treadles on counterbalance loom.
First, there's really no such thing as a "standard" tie-up for a loom. Yes, four-shaft looms are frequently tied up with the outside treadles for weaving plain weave and tabby with the center treadles tied-up with a 2/2 twill combination. There are some 'standard' tie-ups for looms if you get into the details of 'star fashion vs. rose fashion' tie-ups. But, I digress.
Below, I've included a multi-post explanation of tie-ups on a counterbalance loom. I hope it helps. I had to break it down into smaller postings because of posting limitations. My apologies for the odd way to post it.
Second, everyone with a four-shaft loom has 14 possible combinations to tie-up a treadle . . . however, counterbalance looms prefer the treadles tied to two shafts in order to weave a balanced weave. It's possible to do unbalanced weaves (e.g., one shaft up and three shafts down or three shafts up and one shaft down) on counterbalance looms, but the shed may be affected.
My counterbalance does unbalanced weaves rather well, but that's may not be true for all counterbalance looms.
When tying up treadles for a pattern, the most important thing to know is if you're reading a tie-up for a rising shed loom (jack style), a sinking shed loom (counterbalance), or a countermarche loom. The drafts in Marguerite Davison's book, A Handweaver's Pattern Book, are written for counterbalance looms. In the tie-up portion of the drafts, the ‘x’ shows which shaft is tied to which treadle. Flip through the book and look at the drafts and you will see how the tie-ups will change. If you’re looking at a draft for a jack-style loom, which are much more common this day, you would tie-up the treadle ‘blanks’ instead.
So, how are you supposed to know which type of draft you’re looking at? Well, it can get a little tricky . . . It use to be if you saw an ‘x’ in the tie-up, the draft was for a sinking shed (counterbalance) loom. If you saw an ‘o’ in the tie-up, the draft was for a rising shed (jack) loom. If you saw both, it was for a countermarche loom. One way to remember this was that an ‘o’ resembles a bubble, which rises.
Unfortunately, not all drafts are so clear. Nearly all contemporary drafts are written for rising shed looms. If you tie up a counterbalance loom with a jack-style loom tie-up the pattern will weave upside-down.
Marguerite Davison's book was one of the few pattern books I had for 30 years. It’s a real asset for weavers with counterbalance looms. It’s still a wealth of information that I never grow tired of.
I need a source for heddles and cord for tie ups, etc.
Also, where do you measure from / to when measuring a heddle? Mine (from BIG Red) measure 28.75 cm from outside edge to outside edge. That's about 11.33 inches. I don't see this measurement in any of the catalogs that I have. Am I measuring wrong?
I've always measured from the top of the upper heddle bar to the bottom of the lower heddle bar.