Question: Bamboo Cage Loom (Mechanism)


anatcheva
 

I have been reading about, and sampling, techniques for pickup pattern storage. Below are references (many thanks to the authors). I recently came across bamboo cage looms (reading ‘A World of Looms: Weaving Technology and Textile Arts Edited by Zhao Feng, Sandra Sardjono and Christopher Buckley, Zhejiang University Press, 2019’) and have set up an initial implementation but would love to learn more. In particular the mechanics, and order, of shed selection and initial transfer from pickup to storage. I’ve found the article below as well as a fascinating series (also below) on the evolution of looms but nothing showing the mechanics. As always I greatly appreciate any insights.

Vertical Pattern Storage:
Kay Faulkner: https://kayfaulkner.wordpress.com/category/pattern-storage-systems/
Deb McClintock: https://simplelooms.com/category/pattern-storage/
Deb McClintock, Complex Weavers, Storing Pattern Above the Warp Line: https://simplelooms.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/mcclintock-june-2013-high-quality-v3.pdf
Wendy Garrity: https://textiletrails.com.au/2015/05/22/laos-making-a-new-pattern-heddle/

Bamboo Cage Loom:
Tracing Intricate Thread Control Systems: The Bamboo Drum or Swine Basket Loom to the TC-l: https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1212&context=tsaconf

Evolution of Looms:
Tracing Patterns Foundation - Cultural Evolution Series: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLcnycA8BqKrvTTR1RHXCPidl42-wIo5Cu
Royal Society Open Science - Evolution of an Ancient Technology: https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsos.170208


Sara von Tresckow
 

That mechanical transfer of the picked up pattern shed is something that has
also baffled me - I sometimes see a quick movement, but nothing slow and
deliberate - to date I spend a long time cleaning each pattern row before
storing it.

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


bettes silver-schack
 

You should contact Deb McClintock when she is back in the USA after a vacation. I'm sure she will read this post and make herself available.
She actually has a bamboo cage loom which I helped her disassemble for shipping many years ago. She is also very knowledgeable about 
various pattern storage devices used in Laos and Vietnam. A few of her articles have been published by Complex Weavers.


Deb Mc
 

I am assuming you want to know how to transfer your initial pickup to the storage dills or pattern storage device. Please tell me if you need more clarification. This is the Lao method below.
1. Use pick up stick to pick up initial pickup. Lay in your pattern threads. You could be doing a supplementary continuous warp or discontinous warp.
2. Flip your pick up stick opposite the warp line to an open shed.
3. Using rods or other pickup sticks tap the pattern dills “above and below” the warp line in opposite directions. The fact that your original pickup stick is flipped with create different tension above and below and the dills will drift opposite and create the necessary pattern v into which to place your storage thread.
4. Clear the storage shed and secure your storage loop above the warp line.
5. Move your initial pickup stick to behind the shafts.
6. Once pick up stick is behind shafts, treadle tabby A, your first tie down thread.
7. Now test your pattern transfer, pull the pattern loop down and clear the pattern storage shed.
8. Place the storage loop below the warp line.
9. Now use the front dills to lift the warp threads and place them on top of your pick up stick. Flip it and lay your pattern threads in place. Should match your first pick up. Correct your stored loop as needed.
10. Once you are satisfied with your stored pickup throw Tabby B and proceed to step 1.


Deb Mc
 

Also did you watch the videos in my article about how the mechanics in the Vietnamese cage loom? This is different from the Lao method. This divides the process into two functions:
1. The pattern sticks are pulled down to create the pattern V in order to put transient sticks into the warp line using a weaving sword.
2. The bamboo cage storage sticks are placed back in the storage loops on the opposite side of the cage for future use.
Watch the videos on my simplelooms.com


Deb Mc
 

This is the article with the bamboo cage pattern transfer videos. Very simple visual. 


anatcheva
 

Thank you for the detailed response Deb. Does the Vietnamese Tay Dam loom (in your Complex Weaver's article) use clasped heddles? I am using open heddles (continuous string heddle) one for each warp end (which is my pattern unit). Perhaps that's something I need to correct.

On the question of shed mechanics I'm trying to figure out how the loom is set up and used relative to the two harnesses. Below are images from 'The Journal of the Siam Society: Connecting Tai, Kam and Li Peoples Through Weaving Techniques' and 'Evolution of an Ancient Technology' of a bamboo basket looms; I understand (and have a version working) of the basket + storage sticks but am unclear on how the rods below the basket are used. Both sources are the same author; so perhaps there are other variations I don't clearly see similar rods in the image from 'Tracing Intricate Thread Control Systems: The Bamboo Drum or Swine Basket Loom to the TC-l' also below.


LeslieA
 

I like these pictures, I think this is the Lao weaving you are talking about?  Not a cage loom, but pattern strings.

On Aug 29, 2022, at 2:18 PM, anatcheva <anatcheva@...> wrote:

Thank you for the detailed response Deb. Does the Vietnamese Tay Dam loom (in your Complex Weaver's article) use clasped heddles? I am using open heddles (continuous string heddle) one for each warp end (which is my pattern unit). Perhaps that's something I need to correct.

On the question of shed mechanics I'm trying to figure out how the loom is set up and used relative to the two harnesses. Below are images from 'The Journal of the Siam Society: Connecting Tai, Kam and Li Peoples Through Weaving Techniques' and 'Evolution of an Ancient Technology' of a bamboo basket looms; I understand (and have a version working) of the basket + storage sticks but am unclear on how the rods below the basket are used. Both sources are the same author; so perhaps there are other variations I don't clearly see similar rods in the image from 'Tracing Intricate Thread Control Systems: The Bamboo Drum or Swine Basket Loom to the TC-l' also below.

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Deb Mc
 

I am traveling now and cannot answer you well without a full keyboard and a bigger screen. I’ll be back in touch after 9/2


Deb Mc
 

I do see one of your questions I can answer. Each dill holds two threads which is your smallest pattern unit. That allows you to weave pattern thread 1 and a tabby A plus pattern thread 2 and tabby B, 4 warp shots make up your pattern unit. Hence there are two threads per reed dent. Much easier to see for your pattern pick up at the reed. 


Deb Mc
 

I forgot to say, yes, clasped heddles work best. Look for this book, commercially or via library loan. Page 90 gives additional information on the loom. Book is a treasure. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13552186-spiritual-fabric


anatcheva
 

Thank you again for the information. I hope you have a good trip and I look forward to continuing the conversation. As a reference, for then, below are photos of my current setup (for warp pattern floats).


Deb Mc
 

Your set up looks good. Nice V Shed. You did the same as I, pulled the pattern device in front of the shafts. Remind me to show you the device I saw in a refugee video to save the pickup for the second pattern warp so you can treadle the tie down sheds easily. Two dowels and Velcro. 


anatcheva
 

Look forward to it (I love seeing the ingenuity of makers).