Tried and True: When the Shed is Missing

You followed all the instructions for dressing the loom, and have finished the countermarch tie-up. Now, at the moment of triumph you step on the treadles, one by one. Alas! Some or all of the treadles give you nothing you can call a shed. Now what? Maybe you relate to Laura who wrote me recently, “I can’t seem to get the treadles to make a shed.”

The solution is simple. Follow the advice in this sentence on page 37 of Learning to Warp your Loom, by Joanne Hall, “If your sheds are not good, check your loom tie-up from the top down.”

If sheds are missing, there is a good chance you have a crossed cord.

Warp is threaded, sleyed, and tied on. After arranging and connecting a few Texsolv cords, I will tie up the treadles.

Find Misaligned Cords

1 Follow each Texsolv cord, starting from the countermarch at top of the loom.

All the shafts are good to go, right? Not quite. Better see what’s happening at the top of those Texsolv cords.

2 Make sure that each cord is connected in the right order at the right place.

Is the first countermarch jack connected to the first shaft, the second jack to the second shaft, and so on?

Misaligned cords as seen from the top of the loom.

Are the cords that go to the lower lamms strictly in order?

– With horizontal countermarch, does each cord fall behind the shafts in order?

Cords from the horizontal countermarch go through the center of the warp, to be attached to lower lamms below.
Make sure each cord goes behind its corresponding shaft bars to the lamms below. When attaching the cords to the lamms, make sure the cords are attached in the correct order. If loom is already tied up, follow each cord to check that it is attached to its corresponding lamm.

– With vertical countermarch, is each cord on its pulley, and connected to lamms in the right order?

Vertical countermarch has cords that go over pulleys on the side down to the lower lamms. I have to be extra careful to keep from attaching a cord to the wrong lamm.

3 Correct any misaligned cord.

Now, step on each treadle, one by one. Decent sheds that just need a little refining? Triumph!

Helpful Habit

When attaching a cord while dressing the loom, start your hand at the top of the cord and slide it down to the point of connection. This helps you take hold of the correct cord.

Ready to connect the shaft cords on the Glimåkra Julia, made easy by the small hooks on the shaft bars. Instead of expecting the cords to hang straight down in order, I reach my hand up to the top of the cord.
Touching where the cord meets the wood, I know I have the correct cord for the shaft closest to the front of the loom. I do the same for the next cord.
My hand slides down the cord and I connect the cord to the correct shaft. Now, all that’s left is tying up the treadles. Then, we weave!

May none of your cords be crossed.

Happy Weaving,

14 thoughts on “Tried and True: When the Shed is Missing

  1. Wish I would of read this weeks ago. But thanks to you and your wonderful emails, I got it!,. Don’t know why I kept thinking it was my treadle tie up. But finally like you said (after about doing it for the 8 time, undoing 64 cords over and over again) I decided to start at the top and yes that is where my mistake was the whole time. Thanks again for all your help and yes this is great information for everyone who owns a Glimakra. Happy weaving all.

    1. Hi Laura, The reason I know the solution to this problem is that I’ve done it myself -more than once. I’m super happy that your loom is now ready for weaving!

      All the best,

  2. Good morning Karen,
    Those hooks on the top of your harnesses are a great idea. Did your loom come like that? Or did Steve drill the holes?
    I got my loom in the early eighties, vertical countermarche, and I have to climb up to undo them at the top. I would be worried to drill a cup holder hook hole in my harnesses and crack them, but I sure would love to do it, so much simpler.
    Love the work that you do.

    1. Shaft Cords

      Hi Maureen, the Glimåkra Julia comes with the hooks on the shaft bars. Instead of adding hooks to your loom, there’s a simple way of attaching and detaching the shaft cords. I use a Texsolv heddle, folded in half. Loop the heddle under the shaft, and put the shaft cord through the top of the heddle and secure it with an arrow pin. Easy Peasy!

      Happy Weaving,

      1. Wow, the folded heddle trick will save me a lot of misery too. My Standard is also an oldie but goodie.

      2. Wow! Thank you Karen. Ingenious! I went out for a walk and came back to a new way of removing and replacing the harnesses. I won’t have to get the footstool out each time. Really, really appreciate this. Like Joanne, you have saved me a lot of misery.

  3. I stand amazed in His Presence!! I was done with the loom set-up but thought the shed should open a little wider. Both sheds (just doing a beginner’s two shaft) open high to the top of the reed but the lower part of each shed only goes to about one inch above the lower part of the reed. Shouldn’t it be lower?

    I will look through you message today about the cords and your pictures give me another answer about the cords and I like what you did with the countermarch as I am only using the first two, such as putting on the rest of the cords but wrapping the jacks not used around the back of the countermarch.

    I shedded a tear when I saw answers to my prayer. He is always faithful. Praise the Lord! Thank you, Karen!

    1. Hi Linda, Isn’t the Lord good to show us what we need when we need it?

      As far as where the warp is in your reed, try weaving a little bit. If everything works and nothing is obstructed, I would leave it. If the top of the shed is hitting the top of the reed, you could try lowering your shafts by one hole in the Texsolv and that should take care of it.

      Yes, I do wrap the unused cords around the back of the countermarch. Good catch!

      Happy weaving,

  4. Hi Karen,
    Thanks for your continued inspiration, helpful tips, and clear photos. The more I use my Glimakra Ideal, the more I love it. I noticed that you have 2 sets of lease sticks at your back beam. I use one set. Can you explain and enlighten us?
    Be well,

    1. Hi Martha, I commend your observation skills. Two sets of lease sticks is not my usual procedure. This is a project that is combining two warps. You can read more about it in Spreading Two Warps at Once. Thanks for your interest! It’s a pleasure to walk with like-minded friends.

      Happy Weaving,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *