Does anyone have any comments on tying-up and threading a Gilmore loom.
After my first experience with putting on a warp and retying the treadles I
feel that there might be some better/more comfortable way.
Specifically I found the long reach from the front beam to the heddles a bit
of a stretch for threading.
For the tie-up the confined space under the loom was difficult to work in
(more so than in other looms)-an auto repair shop hydraulic lift would help.
The tie-up system uses cord loops in the treadle and the lamm snitched(?)
together with a larks head knot. Is this truly the most efficient system? It
seems to be a simple, and infinitely adjustable system but I was all fingers
and thumbs - will I become more adept or would a texsolv system be better?
I have checked the list archives and found generally good reports on this
Any tips or advice in dealing with it's idiosyncrasies would be truly
Joanne Hall <jah@...>
I have a friend who has a Gilmore loom and I help her warp it, and I weave
on it each Thanksgiving. I have suggested some changes she can make to the loom
to make it more comfortable, but like many, she is not interested in changing
the loom. Yes it is uncomfortable to warp.
1. Yes, you can change the tie up of the treadles by purchasing Texsolv
cord and arrow pegs. That makes the tie up a bit easier.
2. I would take the breast beam off and redesign it so that it is
removeable for threading. I like looms this size to also have the cloth beam
removeable, but I don't remember if this is possible with this loom.
3. There is a horizontal piece of wood, about a foot long, that holds the
back beam to the center of the loom. I would make a longer piece to replace
it. The depth of the loom in the back is too short. A greater depth would make
the treadling a lot easier. I have to take frequent breaks when I weave at this
Does anyone have any comments on tying-up and threading a Gilmore loom.--
Elkhorn Mountains Weaving Studio
Clancy, MT 59634
Ruth Blau <ruthblau@...>
1. Yes, you can change the tie up of the treadles by purchasing TexsolvAt the risk of a me-too post, I want to second what Joanne has written. I don't know about the other changes she suggests for Gilmore looms (my only Gilmore is the small workshop loom, and it doesn't have the problems that the larger Gilmores have), but I would change the tie-up system to Texsolv *immediately*. You'll need to buy a spool of loop cord and at least one extra packet of arrow pegs. I think a packet of each type of pegs (I've never figured out what to do w/ the non-arrow pegs) comes with the spool of loop cord. When I bought mine (from Unicorn), it also came w/ a booklet that shows different ways of using the cord, including using it as tie-up cord. For maximum convenience, you need to create a cord for each possible tie-up position. For example, if you have an 8-shaft loom w/ ten treadles, you need 80 cords and 80 arrow pegs. Attach the cords to the lamms (as shown in the booklet), then let them drop all the way to the floor. Cut the cord & put an arrow in the lowest loop. That way, you can keep the arrows in the cord w/ the cord threaded through the treadle, and you won't have to thread it through each time you tie up the treadle. I also burn each end of the cord (in a candle flame) as I cut it. The cord is nylon and will melt. Doing this protects the cord from raveling.
I tied up one & only one warp on my Gilmore when it was new, then said, "Never Again!!" and ordered the Texsolv cord.
i dont have something useful to add to this thread. but i decided years ago never to buy a gilmore because the sheds were so shallow i got terrible hang nails that required almost medical attention. so, when you modify for the other comforts you may wish to address the issue of very shallow sheds.....toggle quoted messageShow quoted text
At 12:43 PM 11/4/2001 -0500, you wrote:
Joanne wrote:1. Yes, you can change the tie up of the treadles by purchasingTexsolvcord and arrow pegs. That makes the tie up a bit easier.At the risk of a me-too post, I want to second what Joanne has written. I
Joanne Hall <jah@...>
I think it would be very easy to make the loom deeper as I suggested. And that
would make the treadling easier, and perhaps the sheds would also be larger. If
anyone else has problems with their jack loom, I have a paper on jack looms on my
webpage with suggestions for improving sheds.
Nancy Biggins wrote: i decided years ago never to buy a gilmore
Elkhorn Mountains Weaving Studio
Clancy, MT 59634
Anne Paxton Wagley <wagley@...>
I switched the tie-ups on my Gilmore from the string/larks head to texsolv,
which is a lot easier. The space below is still small!
For threading, I lift all the shafts up, supported by a few thick books
underneath the harnesses. I lean over a pillow across the breast beam while
threading,... and take lots of breaks to stretch out my back.
Not the most comfortable, but I love my loom!
Anne in Berkeley, CA
Since we have several Gilmore's in the weaving lab (along with Leclercs,
Schachts, Pendletons, and AVLs), some suggestions. The ones we have are
older looms without the lift off front and back beams and with the old
1. These looms have good wide sheds unless the treadles are tied up
wrong. If the shed is narrow, the angle for the treadles is either too
high (most frequent) or too low. It should be about 45 degrees. This
gives the treadles a chance to move without hitting lams. So that
problem is fixable.
2. Comfort in threading -- well -- some things that help.
Putting the books or a box under the shafts to raise them help. Sitting
at the back of the loom to thread helps. The warp beam will come off
pretty easy on the ones we have.
Su Butler <apbutler@...>
I found the long reach from the front beam to the heddles aHI Barbara....I have seen a lot of replies to your post, including a mention
by Ruth of one from Joanne, which I have not yet seen, so perhaps this will
be repeated info....
Perhaps you are aware that Gilmore looms were designed to be dressed from
F2B.....this is the reason on some models for the folding back beam. The
reed is sleyed and the back beam folded out of the way to make easy access
to the heddles for very comfortable threading. I once talked to Everett
Gilmore about some of the differences in his looms designs.....the oldest
designs were of his choosing and have the lift off breast and back beams,
mentioned, I think, by Judie....these were his favorite because he preferred
to warp back to front. When his wife began weaving, she preferred F2B to
prepare her looms, and thus was the folding back beam born. So it may
depend on the age and style of your loom as to which works best.
I own a Gilmore and a Loomcraft (essentially a Gilmore knock-off) and both
came with the snitch knot tie ups....I converted both to arrow pegs and
Texsolv cord and can do tie ups with relative ease and speed.....I still
have to climb under the loom, but the ties are accurate and secure, so I
only have to do so once.
I read someone had problems with small shed on Gilmore looms, but I
suspect it was weaver error and not the loom...if you try to weave with
tension too high, the shed size decreases.....and if you don't have the
treadles tied to the proper height the shed size suffers as well......if you
can pass your shuttle cleanly through the shed, any more is waste.
I think you likely have a very good loom and simply need to use it a bit
to find the best ways to work for your body and tastes.
Su Butler :-) firstname.lastname@example.org
"The way to develop self-confidence is to do the thing you fear and get a
record of successful experiences behind you." - William Jennings Bryan
Bill Koepp <bgkoe@...>
I notice that raising four shafts is quite heavy even without a warp on it.Yes it would make the treadling easier but it might start " floating" the
shafts, which would be a real pain in the shed ! If it's a Jack loom, heavy
shafts are normal, as usually only gravity holds down the lower part of the
Use candle wax or paraffin in the castle grooves ( if any ) and that'll
help; part of the effort is plain old friction.
Happy Shuttling ! - Bill Koepp in Central California
Thank you Joanne, Ruth, Anne and Judie for all your most helpful suggestions.
I will immediately order texsolv tie-ups.
I have just checked out the loom with your all you other comments in mind.
It is a 40" 8-shaft with sectional beam made in 1989. It has a folding
X-frame. The breast beam and the back beam are at the ends of the X. The
breast beam is removable by unscrewing a bolt at each end - this makes access
to the treadles and heddles much easier. To get more distance between the
back beam and the shafts would be difficult as the the back beam is part of
the structure of the loom. But maybe......
I notice that raising four shafts is quite heavy even without a warp on it.
So the next question is whether texsolv heddles in place of the metal would
make much difference to ease of treadling.
I have just woven off the narrow warp that came with the loom on four shafts.
The weaving was very easy with a very generous shed, although I had trouble
adapting to a ratchet brake. I imagine I have to wait until I have all shafts
threaded before I find out about any problems with the shed. The narrow shed
that Nancy had trouble with might be related to the short back beam-to-shaft
I will be warping and threading on 8 shafts- with breast beam removed- and
tying up with texsolv cords as soon as they arrive. Your comments have saved
me a lot of grief and cut the "messing around" time needed to get to this
Ruth, thank you for explaining the background to the design it provides a
good insight into its character.
Again thank you all so much for your help -
Barbara in Napa, CA
I am not familiar with this loom so I am in purely theoretical territory
here, but I wonder if others could comment: since this is a jack loom,
and the heddle eyes will rest below the cloth plane when at rest, won't
the warp tension tend to counteract a little of the harness weight?
Don't forget to let physics of levers work for you. Place your foot as
far forward on the treadle as you can.
just FWIW on a thread that I confess I have not been following closely -
apologies if I am off-base with these comments.
Ruth Blau <ruthblau@...>
It has a foldingI believe users of the Schacht "Wolf" looms fold the loom to gain closer access to the heddles. This is very old knowledge on my part (read: maybe not reliable), and based on F2B threading: w/ loom open, place lease sticks on front beam. Sley the reed. Close the loom. Go to the back of the loom, and (sitting on a low stool) thread the heddles from behind. Open the loom. Tie onto the back apron. Wind on.
I'm late with this, but here's my contribution on Gilmore tie-ups...
Specifically I found the long reach from the front beam to the heddlesI had an extra-long heddle hook made for me...there's a normal
wooden handle with about 14" of metal length before you get to the
hook. LOVE IT...Spent hours among the vendors at MAFA 99
looking for the longest heddle hook anyone had, all too short, so
had one custom made and mailed to me. Vendor in northern PA,
sorry I can't remember the name...
I've replaced snitch knot cords with texsolv...still crowded under
there, but fewer ups and downs and no slipping for me. I really got
pretty good at the snitch knots, but on long warps they'd inevitably
Any tips or advice in dealing with it's idiosyncrasiesIf you have problems with a spinning back beam when you release
the brake...loosen the tension FIRST at the front a couple of
notches. THEN release the brake pedal and wind forward.
Hope this helps!
I LOVE my Gilmore...
2. I would take the breast beam off and redesign it so that it isMy Gilmore's breast beam is removable...not an issue