Beat on an open shed or a closing one?

Just curious whether people generally beat on an open shed or a closing one.  Beating as the shed closes is faster, but I know some people swear by beating on an open shed and changing sheds with the reed at the fell.

I'm curious what other people do - I do it both ways, though lately I've been beating more on a closing shed because it's faster (more efficient?) and doesn't seem to cause problems with the fabrics I weave.

Tien

Comments

Posted on Tue, 06/09/2009 - 19:10

Interesting question. I'm a new weaver, and no one has told me which way to do it, but I've always beat on a closed shed. I just assumed that would be better since I use a jack loom, and the threads are all tensioned evenly with a closed shed. With the shed open, the lifted threads are under more tension, and I think beating then could cause breakage.

 

Laura in Orlando

Posted on Tue, 06/09/2009 - 19:23

That isn't necessarily true of jack looms.   In mine the at-rest position is not flat, it is raised half the shed-heigh (it is a sinking shed style)  so when the shed is open tension is even on all shafts.  There's a dingus that goes into the cams to hold the shafts at mid-level for threading.

Posted on Tue, 06/09/2009 - 20:07

Personally, I'm beating the shed in as I'm closing it - probably just hitting the fell as it's closed.  It seems to work fine for the weaving I've been doing and it's significantly faster for me to do it this way.

Posted on Tue, 06/09/2009 - 22:16

During a recent workshop with Jane Stafford, she recommended that you start your beat with the shed still open, then as beater is all the way forward, change sheds. Jane says this will help to ensure even selvedges.

The reason for this is that as the last weft thread is beaten in, it has to pack in around the warp thread, and it's path will become longer as it goes over and under the warp. IWeavers compensate for this somewhat by throwing the shuttle in such a way that the weft either "bubbles" or lies at an angle to the fell, but there is not usually enough extra weft here for all of the take-up required, especially on wider pieces. The extra has to come from somewhere, and there is only two possibilities:

  1. it can come from the shuttle, drawing off a bit of extra weft from the bobbin as the pick is beaten in.  But this can only happen if the shed is still open during beating

  2. it can come from the other selvedge, and cause draw-in as the weft is pulled tight. This is what happens if the shed is already closed during beating.

During the workshop, she had everyone try beating on the open shed and then changing sheds when the beater was all the way forward. Immediately, most people's seveldges became more even and had less draw-in. An added benefit was that for sticky warps (wool, and very closely set warps) changing the shed and then moving the beater clears the shed nicely.

 

Posted on Tue, 06/09/2009 - 22:24

All the arguments about beating on an open shed sound reasonable, but I find that it really slows me down and when I slow down too much I lose my weaving rhythm.  I usually beat as my shed is closing  -- as others have mentioned.

Posted on Tue, 06/09/2009 - 23:07

 I should record myself weaving so I can watch what I'm actually doing.  I just have a rhythm and a way of doin it and I guess I don't really pay attention.

 

This makes sense though.

Posted on Wed, 06/10/2009 - 06:27

For anyone interested, I have a couple of video clips on my blog showing how I weave.  My weaving rhythm is such that the motions all flow one into the other. 

http://laurasloom.blogspot.com  click on the tag 'video clip' to the right hand side.

I understand why the recommendation to begin by beating on an open shed, but once the weaving rhythm has been established and the weaver leaves sufficient slack on the weft, then selvedges should be fine and draw in not excessive to throw, and as the shed is being changed be bringing the beater forward so that when it goes back, it returns on the new shed.

To my eye it's more important that the weaver does *not* pull the shuttle toward their body as the beater comes forward, but lifts their hand so that the beater travels beneath.

 

 

Posted on Wed, 06/10/2009 - 23:27

 

I'm finding too that I'm not sure whether my shed is open on my beat. It all just comes together when I get into the flow of things.

Laura, I love the videos--especially the loom music!

 

Posted on Fri, 06/12/2009 - 04:07

Since I"m still fairly new at this, I've been trying both - I'm not tied to any one way yet.  That said, I'm finding beating with an open shed works better for me - while I wouldn't call the selveges even, per se, they're better than otherwise!

Posted on Tue, 07/14/2009 - 19:28

Throw. Beat. Change your feet.

I just saw that mantra somewhere, but WHERE escapes me.  For sticky warps, I think it is efficient to change sheds and then let the beater clear the new shed on its way back.

Posted on Tue, 07/14/2009 - 20:34

With smooth yarns and boat or end delivery shuttles, I beat with an angled weft on a closed shed, changing the shed with the beater at the fell.  On wide warps, with boat shuttles I extend my arm that is throwing the shuttle to release a little extra weft before throwing to prevent draw-in and bobbin jerking -  and so improve selvedges. 

I never have understood the idea of changing sheds before beating.  Sounds like a recipe for trouble...

Posted on Thu, 07/16/2009 - 16:45

I have typically beat on an open shed or rather in the process of changing from one to the other.  That said however, I found recently that I got much better results on a wool blanket that I'm weaving if I beat (or rather pressed) the weft in place on a closed shed.  The main reason I made the alteration was that I'm trying to weave very square so that the color-and-weave pattern doesn't get too skewed.  Also, since this yarn is pretty springy, I'm also beating lightly for when it's off loom and plumps up.  When I was following my standard weaving process, the weft was getting packed in much too much and causing me headaches.

Posted on Sun, 07/26/2009 - 02:06

Finally got around to doing that video clip re: when I beat.  Set the video camera up so that it could record what was happening behind the beater, on a level with the warp. 

http://laurasloom.blogspot.com

Closing?  Closed?  You get to decide.  :)

Cheers,

Laura

ps - for more video clips, click on the 'video clip' tag to the right hand side of the page.

Posted on Sun, 07/26/2009 - 09:30

Veeeeery interesting!

I think on my first project I was finding that the closed (or new) shed was best - the reed/beater helps clear the new shed and the yarn stays in place better with the closed/changed shed to hold it in place.

I have however only woven a few pieces, and mostly with handspun wool - maybe this is differeny with cottons, linens, or simply with finer smoother yarns?

Posted on Sun, 07/26/2009 - 09:54

Normally I change sheds as I am beating, all in one motion, for the sake of rhythm and speed. My current project though, I am beating on the open shed, as it is reducing the number of broken warp threads for me. I read somewhere or another that for delicate warps to beat on the open shed to reduce wear and tear. It seems to be working.

Posted on Sun, 07/26/2009 - 11:18

 Generally, I get the best results by beating on a closed shed and then changing to the next shed as I push the beater back....which clears the shed nicely.

Posted on Sun, 07/26/2009 - 13:17

That's some fast weaving woman!   While weaving is ever so much faster, for me, than knitting, I have not reached your speed yet...

Thanks for taking the time to make the video and post it. 

Deborah

 

Posted on Fri, 07/31/2009 - 04:08

It depends on what I'm weaving.  It seems like every project is a bit different, and the effects are different. That's one reason I sample so much-- to figure out what the beat will be. But I generally beat on a closed or closing shed... it seemt to keep the yarn  in place more than the open shed does.

Posted on Tue, 06/09/2009 - 19:10

Interesting question. I'm a new weaver, and no one has told me which way to do it, but I've always beat on a closed shed. I just assumed that would be better since I use a jack loom, and the threads are all tensioned evenly with a closed shed. With the shed open, the lifted threads are under more tension, and I think beating then could cause breakage.

 

Laura in Orlando

Posted on Tue, 06/09/2009 - 19:23

That isn't necessarily true of jack looms.   In mine the at-rest position is not flat, it is raised half the shed-heigh (it is a sinking shed style)  so when the shed is open tension is even on all shafts.  There's a dingus that goes into the cams to hold the shafts at mid-level for threading.

Posted on Tue, 06/09/2009 - 20:07

Personally, I'm beating the shed in as I'm closing it - probably just hitting the fell as it's closed.  It seems to work fine for the weaving I've been doing and it's significantly faster for me to do it this way.

Posted on Tue, 06/09/2009 - 22:16

During a recent workshop with Jane Stafford, she recommended that you start your beat with the shed still open, then as beater is all the way forward, change sheds. Jane says this will help to ensure even selvedges.

The reason for this is that as the last weft thread is beaten in, it has to pack in around the warp thread, and it's path will become longer as it goes over and under the warp. IWeavers compensate for this somewhat by throwing the shuttle in such a way that the weft either "bubbles" or lies at an angle to the fell, but there is not usually enough extra weft here for all of the take-up required, especially on wider pieces. The extra has to come from somewhere, and there is only two possibilities:

  1. it can come from the shuttle, drawing off a bit of extra weft from the bobbin as the pick is beaten in.  But this can only happen if the shed is still open during beating

  2. it can come from the other selvedge, and cause draw-in as the weft is pulled tight. This is what happens if the shed is already closed during beating.

During the workshop, she had everyone try beating on the open shed and then changing sheds when the beater was all the way forward. Immediately, most people's seveldges became more even and had less draw-in. An added benefit was that for sticky warps (wool, and very closely set warps) changing the shed and then moving the beater clears the shed nicely.

 

Posted on Tue, 06/09/2009 - 22:24

All the arguments about beating on an open shed sound reasonable, but I find that it really slows me down and when I slow down too much I lose my weaving rhythm.  I usually beat as my shed is closing  -- as others have mentioned.

Posted on Tue, 06/09/2009 - 23:07

 I should record myself weaving so I can watch what I'm actually doing.  I just have a rhythm and a way of doin it and I guess I don't really pay attention.

 

This makes sense though.

Posted on Wed, 06/10/2009 - 06:27

For anyone interested, I have a couple of video clips on my blog showing how I weave.  My weaving rhythm is such that the motions all flow one into the other. 

http://laurasloom.blogspot.com  click on the tag 'video clip' to the right hand side.

I understand why the recommendation to begin by beating on an open shed, but once the weaving rhythm has been established and the weaver leaves sufficient slack on the weft, then selvedges should be fine and draw in not excessive to throw, and as the shed is being changed be bringing the beater forward so that when it goes back, it returns on the new shed.

To my eye it's more important that the weaver does *not* pull the shuttle toward their body as the beater comes forward, but lifts their hand so that the beater travels beneath.

 

 

Posted on Wed, 06/10/2009 - 23:27

 

I'm finding too that I'm not sure whether my shed is open on my beat. It all just comes together when I get into the flow of things.

Laura, I love the videos--especially the loom music!

 

Posted on Fri, 06/12/2009 - 04:07

Since I"m still fairly new at this, I've been trying both - I'm not tied to any one way yet.  That said, I'm finding beating with an open shed works better for me - while I wouldn't call the selveges even, per se, they're better than otherwise!

Posted on Tue, 07/14/2009 - 19:28

Throw. Beat. Change your feet.

I just saw that mantra somewhere, but WHERE escapes me.  For sticky warps, I think it is efficient to change sheds and then let the beater clear the new shed on its way back.

Posted on Tue, 07/14/2009 - 20:34

With smooth yarns and boat or end delivery shuttles, I beat with an angled weft on a closed shed, changing the shed with the beater at the fell.  On wide warps, with boat shuttles I extend my arm that is throwing the shuttle to release a little extra weft before throwing to prevent draw-in and bobbin jerking -  and so improve selvedges. 

I never have understood the idea of changing sheds before beating.  Sounds like a recipe for trouble...

Posted on Thu, 07/16/2009 - 16:45

I have typically beat on an open shed or rather in the process of changing from one to the other.  That said however, I found recently that I got much better results on a wool blanket that I'm weaving if I beat (or rather pressed) the weft in place on a closed shed.  The main reason I made the alteration was that I'm trying to weave very square so that the color-and-weave pattern doesn't get too skewed.  Also, since this yarn is pretty springy, I'm also beating lightly for when it's off loom and plumps up.  When I was following my standard weaving process, the weft was getting packed in much too much and causing me headaches.

Posted on Sun, 07/26/2009 - 02:06

Finally got around to doing that video clip re: when I beat.  Set the video camera up so that it could record what was happening behind the beater, on a level with the warp. 

http://laurasloom.blogspot.com

Closing?  Closed?  You get to decide.  :)

Cheers,

Laura

ps - for more video clips, click on the 'video clip' tag to the right hand side of the page.

Posted on Sun, 07/26/2009 - 09:30

Veeeeery interesting!

I think on my first project I was finding that the closed (or new) shed was best - the reed/beater helps clear the new shed and the yarn stays in place better with the closed/changed shed to hold it in place.

I have however only woven a few pieces, and mostly with handspun wool - maybe this is differeny with cottons, linens, or simply with finer smoother yarns?

Posted on Sun, 07/26/2009 - 09:54

Normally I change sheds as I am beating, all in one motion, for the sake of rhythm and speed. My current project though, I am beating on the open shed, as it is reducing the number of broken warp threads for me. I read somewhere or another that for delicate warps to beat on the open shed to reduce wear and tear. It seems to be working.

Posted on Sun, 07/26/2009 - 11:18

 Generally, I get the best results by beating on a closed shed and then changing to the next shed as I push the beater back....which clears the shed nicely.

Posted on Sun, 07/26/2009 - 13:17

That's some fast weaving woman!   While weaving is ever so much faster, for me, than knitting, I have not reached your speed yet...

Thanks for taking the time to make the video and post it. 

Deborah

 

Posted on Fri, 07/31/2009 - 04:08

It depends on what I'm weaving.  It seems like every project is a bit different, and the effects are different. That's one reason I sample so much-- to figure out what the beat will be. But I generally beat on a closed or closing shed... it seemt to keep the yarn  in place more than the open shed does.