Tuesday, March 24, 2009

How to use a Weaving Temple ~ Love 'em or Hate 'em

Temples are one of those things you either love or hate. I love using my temples and have four of them; a metal Toika that works on weaving 35”-59” wide, perfect for blankets and now it is too wide for any of my current looms! A Leclerc temple that is for weaving 23”- 38” wide warps and is perfect for weaving rugs. And 2 Glimakra temples that work on weaving 16”-22” and 12”- 16” wide, these are the two that I use most often.

I’d like to share my method of using a temple with you just as my friend Susan shared her tips with me to get me going! First you have to figure out what size to make the temple, so that it does its’ job of maintaining the warp width as sleyed in the reed and prevents narrowing of the woven cloth as you weave the web. I don’t use temples when weaving tea towels or quick wool scarves, but I do use them for rugs and table linens, where straight edges are essential.

To find the correct width for my temple, I place the temple upside down against the reed and choose the pinhole that is closest in size as your sleyed warp. It's better to have the temple width a bit smaller than too big, ideally the pins or tenterhooks should just sit at the edge of the woven cloth. After pricking your finger on these tenterhooks a time or two you really understand the term "keeping you on tenterhooks", not a comfortable place to be!

I make sure I have about 2” of weaving done before I place the temple on the web. Sit it back about ¼” from the fell and plan to move it forward about every ¾” to 1”. I know this really messes up your rhythm, but if you are striving for straight edges, it’s worth it.

When I move the temple, I move the slider brace back to allow the temple to tent up in the middle and place the tenterhooks in the selvedge about 1/16”from the edge. I really take my time to ensure that the hooks are positioned straight on the web and that they are all imbedded in the selvedge threads. You can imagine what would happen if you continuously placed the temple at an angle, after a couple of feet you would have significant draw in.

You should be able to gently push the temple down with one finger, if it takes any more pressure than that, you either have not been allowing enough slack on your weft throws or your temple is too long for the web. You’ve got to fix one or the other!

Lots of weavers complain that the holes made in the selvedges are permanent in the weaving. This should not be an issue; the temple should only be in one place for moments and check that the pins are in the right place and not piercing through or shredding any weft threads.
This is my selvedge after moving the temple, a few slight holes and some upward curving is normal.
The holes can be finger rubbed right out and totally disappear after wet finishing.

I have a couple of other tips for you; never leave the temple in place when you leave the loom as it will stretch your web and never leave the temple in place when you advance the warp as it can cause damage on a slack web. I find the benefits far outweigh the inconvience of a temple.

Weaving Words

Sleazy is a term for loosely or poorly woven material.


Life Looms Large said...

Thank you so much for this great temple tutorial!!

I just bought a temple last week in my giant yarn table purchase at the guild. So far it's nicked my hand once - and all I was doing was unpacking it and stashing it in my studio.

When it is time for me to use it, I'll definitely come back and check this out. My local circle of weavers doesn't use temples often, if at all.

Thanks for the scoop!


Susan said...

Thank you for such a great tutorial on temples! As you know I use them often. The benefits truly outweigh any inconveniences in shifting them. It's a matter of just getting used to it.

Love that pattern on your loom by the way.... beautiful.

Your weaving word today is sleazy. Seems the Silesians were a city of weavers in the Med. who had a bad reputation! They cut back on the ends per inch so to be able to make more woven goods and it hurt them big time....and 2,000 years later, it's still a slur!
Gleaned this from Elizabeth Wayland Barber's book "Women's Work - The First 20,000 Years"
Love that type of textile history...


Sunrise Lodge Fiber Studio said...

I love this tutorial!!! Thank you so much for sharing!!!

charlotte said...

Thank you for sharing all this information and for the illustrative photos! I have two temples, and I use them when the weaving starts to draw in. I have hurt my fingers quite many times, and my husband dislikes them strongly (he got his hand nicked once).

Theresa said...

Great tutorial! I use them and simply put when you need one, you need one. I use small cardboard boxes,either constructed or found in the correct size to put over each end when not in use. I wish they came with snap on plastic protectors though when not in use.

Peg in South Carolina said...

Great tutorial. And Susan, sleazy fabric is still around today. That is how contemporary manufacturers save a bit of money. Course they also do things like shorten the length of shirts, uses plain knit instead of ribbing for cuffs...........

Unknown said...

What's the pattern from on the cloth you're demonstrating the temple on? It's really nice! Any possibility it can be duplicated with a 4-shaft?

Lynnette said...

Hi K,
The pattern I'm using is just an 8 shaft overshot pattern without the tabby and no double throws. To get a similar effect on 4 shafts try Bachelors Button (Marguerite Porter Davison's- A Handweavers Pattern Book page 137), it will give you a very similar effect. I did put a half motif repeated 3 times at each selvedge (so that's what you see in the photos) and at the borders. I used essentially the same colour warp and weft and the same grist. Happy weaving

bspinner said...

I have never used a temple but it could be because I've never known how to use one. With all the information you shared I might try one. Thanks. Oh, the fabric you're weave is beautiful.

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