Treadle cord - What's it called?

The previous owner of my loom cut all the treadle cords when they dismantled it. As it's a genuine antique, I'd like to replace them with the same sort of stuff, but I have no idea what it's proper name is. It's 3-ply, about 3mm thick and appears to be jute. The surface is surprisingly smooth, it looks like the ridges have been literally ironed out!

Googling "treadle cord" is not producing anything useful. Can anyone here point me in the right direction please?


Posted on Sun, 04/08/2012 - 16:38

Older Swedish books recommend hemp cord. It used to be available from loom manufacturers, but I can't find it anymore. (Texsolv is, after all, so much more practical... ;-)

I believe hemp or linen will withstand abrasion better than jute.

Posted on Sun, 04/08/2012 - 17:09

What is the make/model/year of your loom? Maybe post a picture or two of the loom and the cords.

Posted on Sun, 04/08/2012 - 18:21

Linen may be the closest you can get. I use it for all the various pieces of string I use when working with my CM loom. I use texsolv for the "essentials" but linene cord for tying the lease sticks into place etc.....

Posted on Sun, 04/08/2012 - 22:50

Texsolv . . .on a 100yo loom . . .

Thanks Kerstin, I'm having some success now.

Sarah, there are some photo's of parts of it here

The top pulley has the same kind of cord as the treadles and new pulleys. It's a Swedish 4-shaft CB.

Posted on Sun, 04/08/2012 - 23:18

It might be 100 year old loom, but if someone was using it they could be replaced with Texsolv. And an antique only has to be 25 years old to be called such. But you left out a lot of details in your post, except the cord description sure read like Texsolv. ;)

Posted on Sun, 04/08/2012 - 23:34

You have linen loom cord on your loom. It is a sized pre-stretched linen cord, very smooth such that if you make knots, they do not bite, but allow you to work them out again. It is most useful for making tie cords everywhere on a loom and the "old fashioned" way to set it up.

It is very strong and was used on the connections of counterbalance and countermarche looms before Texsolv cord was available. It is rather difficult to find. The last time I bought any, I got it through WEBS who imported it specially from Finland. I have seen it recently on the Toika web site, so would start there if you'd like to use the same type of material.

Unless you are really wanting to keep the antique look of your loom, you can easily substitute Texsolv buttonhole cord made out of white polyester and get the same results.

Posted on Mon, 04/09/2012 - 13:29

As I am constantly using my 100-y-o loom, I continue to ... "evolve" it. New parts, better parts, new heddles, new cords - the lot.

On my blog I have several posts about (old) Swe looms - here is the story of how I got mine. Here is a post about counter-balance multi-shaft setups, and here is one on some older warp-tensioning systems.

It was old (how old we don't know, it came from the seller's (in her 60'ies) great-aunt) when I got it, and I got at least two "generations" of loom - there were old (from the look of the wood) dräll pulleys for 8 shafts and some horses; there were dräll pulleys for 10 shafts and there was an older type of countermarche - probably for 16 shafts. It had 20 treadles and 16 lamms (both long and short), and a warp beam with the configuration as in the third link above. This was about 30 years ago.

And I'm sure he likes his new accessories, as he continues to weave sweetly! (Looms were often male, in old Swe folklore, so of course this one is, too. He is sometimes called Ramström, which is a name I  found in the same book on loom-lore)