counter-action table loom

Kati Meek

Thanks again to responders, but Lithuanian weavers of the past did not use a draw-loom, rather a 4-shaft counterbalance loom. Hand-tied heddles were always made with with about 2"  eyes, This made their looms function for plain-weave, twills, threaded-in patterns (what we call 'overshot'), etc, so that, along with a cloth woven in any manner on any warp, supplemental pattern sheds were made/saved for borders or more.  Very simple.  Very economical of time and space.  Yes, some of the more advanced weavers rigged up 'pattern shafts' to accommodate complex patterns that drop some warps, but the most cloth was woven with patterns picked up in front, then transferred to 2.25" flat sticks behind the shafts where the sticks rested near the back beam until turned on edge close behind the shafts to make extra pattern shed(s) for the shuttle.        
      Considering the expense and time to set-up and weave with a bona fide draw-loom,  the 'primitive' Lithuanian (and Scandinavian) country method is far-far easier, and the cloth is just as beautiful.
       Oh, this makes me wish I were still traveling to teach!  For anyone interested in learning more: Reflections from a Flaxen Past: for love of Lithuanian Weaving is still available from Vav .  As written in chapter 2, I learned to weave on an cobbled up 4-shaft counterbalance loom that I sold when I thought I had "graduated" to a jack loom - (that I had to sell because treadling was damaging my hip joints).
Treadle with Joy, Kati


Katy, what you have described as a scandinavian pick up method is exactly what some Chinese draw looms are; a precursor to the barrel or basket.  I think that's the reason that people have been talking about drawlooms, even if you didn't mention it as a drawloom.  Long eyed heddles are usually considered a drawloom technique, whether the pattern is my saved on sticks, on a cylinder, or in separate shafts.

Sara von Tresckow

Actually "double harness" is a better descriptive term. It describes any
loom that has a basic ground harness to weave the fabric and some other
device, not always another full harness, to create free form patterning.

Sara von Tresckow, Fond du Lac, WI
Author of “When a Single Harness Simply Isn’t Enough” Dutch Master Loom/Spinning Chairs/Öxabäck
Looms, visit us in Fond du Lac or contact us about your weaving/spinning


I agree with Sara. There are a lot of different types of equipment
using this technique. The Roots of Asian Weaving, by Buodot and
Buckley, shows a lot of these different approaches in China. It's not
easy to use from a weaver's perspective, as it is arranged by region,
not technology.