Thursday, October 23, 2008

Adding a Metal Apron Rod to Louet Spring Loom

After I finished tying my cottolin tea towel warp onto the wooden apron rod on my new favourite loom, Lily Louet; I walked away for about 20 minutes as Jane Stafford’s video; which came with the loom, suggested (loved the video by the way!)
When I came back, yup, a full day later I noticed that the apron rod seemed to have twisted or torqued overnight. There was not much tension on the loom, and I could see a definite bowing on the centre section. I feel that this may be caused by the fact that the Louet has the apron rod attached to the cloth beam in only three places. The first and last attachments are about 6” from the edge but the centre is about 12” from the others. This seems to allow more bending to occur in the centre. My husband suggested that we replace the wooden apron rod with a 3/8” metal rod, so off to Home Depot we went, and under $10.00 later we had a new apron rod.

This is the wooden apron rod.
The replacement rod in place - can you see the floating front beam?

This seems to have done the trick and after retying the warp, I’m weaving and loving it! The front beam on the Lily (who is a Louet Spring 12 Shaft Parallel Countermarche loom) floats and moves slightly forward with each shaft change, this action makes the shed huge. I’m being a very good girl and advancing the warp every 6” or so and because the front beam pops forward when you advance, getting your tension back is simple; you roll the cloth beam forward until the breast beam is back to the upright position.
After about 12" of weaving the pattern of twill stripes and plaited twill stripes is showing.I'm using 2/22 Borgs Cottolin as the warp and 2/8 unmercerized cotton in blue as the weft. I plan on making 9 tea towels and will vary the weft content and colours, and add stripes to some. With 9 towels at a yard each, there is plenty of chance to create on the fly.

My only difficulty so far is ME! I’m a bit of a diminutive person (Ok I’m just plain short!) so reaching all 14 treadles is a bit of a stretch for me. Seems that my trusty Leclerc weaving bench just won’t cut it on this loom and a commuter style bench is what I’ll need to find. Right now I’m using my rolling computer chair which works, sort of, but is certainly not the right answer.


Susan said...

That was quite the twist in the original apron rod! Thanks for the heads up and I will watch for that when I load my warp. I got half of a 10 yard warp wound today, so I'm not too far behind....

:) Susan

thousandflower said...

Most apron rods will bend if you have extra ties too far from the edges of the warp. Solution is to have more ties and to remove the ones beyond the edges when warping a narrow warp.