Re: 16 Harness table loom?

Sally O

I am a fan of demonstrations, table looms, fine threads, and complex structures.

For demonstrations, I would keep things simple. Most weavers cannot do a complicated treadling and talk to visitors at the same time. Tempo Treadle certainly helps, but if you are working on a "real" project, you might find the finished cloth is not your best effort when woven during a demo.

I would keep a loom you plan to travel with light in weight. Most 16-shaft looms are heavy, even table looms. Longer dimensions make they awkward, too.

I have a 12-shaft (Voyager 15") but only 10 fingers. So most treadlings take two motions to engage, and two more to reset. Twice the effort for the time to throw a single pick. Yes, the weaving is slow, and even slower on a front-lever table loom vs. the side lever type, or a loom like the Purrington, with a shaft release.

Because the castle of a more-than-8-shaft loom is wide and the distance front to back on table looms is typically smaller than floor looms, I have noticed "warp drooping" of the last few shafts, especially after the first yard. This could also be dependent on particular treadling patterns – if those last shafts are regularly engaged in the web or have a lot of floats.

In round robins (of which I am also a fan), most weavers think a 12-shaft is too intimidating. They prefer floor looms for faster weaving that leads to more samples. As a result, I go home with nearly all of the workshop warp on my 12-shaft loom - no matter how enticing the pattern. This is oftentimes true even if I have the loom threaded for just 4 or 8 shafts! (I have taken to taping off the other levers to indicate they are not being used.)

If you can try one out first, I highly recommend it. My guildmate has a 16-shaft Louet Klik table loom that I was able to try.

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