Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Summer & Winter: Tie-Up

By Leigh

I started this Summer & Winter series with a basic definition, and then discussed threading and profile drafts. Next comes the treadle tie-up.

Tie-ups determine which shafts are lifted to create various sheds. For a project or pattern from a book or magazine, we tie-up the treadles as the draft indicates. But what if we want to explore all treadling possibilities?

Summer & winter weaves a pattern tied to a plain weave ground. This means that two treadles must be tied up for plain weave, which are used for the tabby picks between the pattern picks. The rest of the treadles are free for any combination.

A complete tie-up gives the weaver all possible sheds for the given threading. For S&W it must:

  • allow for plain weave and tabby treadling*
  • allow for pattern treadling
  • combine every pattern or combination of pattern shafts, with first one and then the other tie-down shaft
For a 4-shaft, 2-block S&W, a complete tie-up would look like this:

The tie-down shafts are tied to treadles 1 and 2. The pattern sheds are tied to treadles 3 though 8, and the tabby sheds are tied to treadles 9 and 10. With this tie-up, all possible sheds are available to the weaver.

This is fine if we have ten treadles, but what if we don't!??! Does that mean that the only way to explore all the treadling possibilities for a 2-block S&W is to periodically change the tie-up?

No, it means we need to use a skeleton tie-up to accommodate the number of treadles actually available.

What is a skeleton tie-up? Click here to find out.

[*I'm using the terms plain weave and tabby in a modern sense, where plain weave usually refers to a structure itself (over one, under one, etc), and tabby being the use of plain weave shots alternated with pattern shots, such as in summer & winter, crackle, or overshot. ]

Posted 15 Oct. 2008 at

Related Posts:
Summer & Winter: A Basic Definition
Summer & Winter: Threading
Summer & Winter: Treadling
Summer & Winter: Structure and Theory
Skeleton Tie-Ups for Jack Looms
Skeleton Tie-Ups for Countermarche Looms


Peg in South Carolina said...

Oh, Leigh, I wish this 8-blocks on 4-shafts crackle were so simple to explain/understand.......sob! Relatively speaking of course! You do a beautiful job.

Leigh said...

Thanks Peg, I'm not always so sure. But I figure that if at least I understand what I'm saying, then that's a step in the right direction!

I am understanding your crackle posts! It's just difficult to explain something so complex.