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Twill Troubleshooting
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21 Responses

  1. Chrispy

    It also maybe that you are breaking threads because the yarn is too softly spun to stand up to the stress and tension of it all. Instead of sagging a few are breaking. Oh and I would willingly trade you your 6 dent reed for a 15 dent reed (it came with my loom, shows how fine the yarn was worked in the mid to late 20th century) which is too fine for most of my preferred warp threads.

    A reed causes excessive damage if there are too many stitches per dent or the reed is too small for the warp threads.

    Another reason for breakage may be due to a twisting action of the warp as it is rolled onto the back beam. Depending on where they break lets you know why they are breaking.

    One thing to know that even though habu yarns are lovely and most are at weaving weights, some can be a bit persnickety about breaking. My only warps to have problems with breakage were my habu yarns.

  2. brooke

    Does the thread always break at the selvedge? I don’t know about wearing down the threads (strength? suggested epi?), but I gather that a reed that makes your warp (sett) tight/closer together would be better than one where they are spread out.

  3. Amber

    So cool to see you progressing with this! I did a few weaving projects as part of a fiber class in college but enjoyed the fabric dyeing way more so I concentrated on that. I love the different textures you can achieve though.

  4. Terri

    I don’t think that it is the reed – and agree with others that a finer reed is more likely to break threads.

    Some questions…
    – what are you using for your warp? How strong is it – does it easily break when you pull a strand with your hands?
    - do the threads in the warp go straight back to the back beam – without twists or a narrowing of the warp width (I’m thinking about this because it is just the edge threads that are breaking and so how they might have extra strain on them)
    - how is the tension on the threads? even all the way across? test this at the back of the loom, behind the heddles
    - it doesn’t look like you are drawing in the edges or pulling them tighter from the pictures – check the line from the edge of the woven part to the reed – is there an angle? There will always be some draw in and some angle….
    - do you notice the threads wearing before they break? and where is that happening – the heddles or the reed?

    Hope that this may help with the troubleshooting……

  5. Taueret

    I dunno about your problem, but I saw the twill on your flickr and thought I was losing my mind because you hadn’t blogged it :-)

  6. Lin

    That is so interesting, I never knew anything about weaving!

  7. woolcat

    You are so making me want to learn to weave. Well, you and Felicia from Sweet Georgia. I could go to Place des Arts just like she does!

    Thanks for talking us through the terms – it is really hard to make any sense of weaving info on the net when you have no idea really what a heddle or a reed are. You’re blazing a trail!

  8. Raina Vitanov

    That looks great! The last time I did any weaving what centuries ago in Grade 10. I can tell you it did not at all resemble your weaving.

  9. Moni

    wish I could answer your weaving question..hope you get and answer. I’m sure you will. It looks beautiful, though. I am really enjoying your weaving posts!

    Catching up on your blog posts and haven’t read your previous one. Am off to read it now :)

  10. Jenna

    Twill-licious! Each new project is teaching you more about the process of thsi craft. Enjoy it!

  11. rachel i

    man, i want to try weaving! it looks so cool.

  12. tina

    hmmmmmmmmmmmmm. First of all, lovely and so exciting to be doing a new weave!

    Are you certain that when you warped the loom, there was even tension on all? You’ve talked about the warp before so I am assuming that you are using something hefty enough.

    I know you will figure it out and move along. Pretty soon you will be a puredee pro!

  13. Hege

    You make it look so easy ;)
    I’ve finally got my little loom in the house! I just have to set it up, and then I’ll try to weave :) Can’t wait.

  14. WoolgirlClevelnd

    I had a reed break and/or wear warp threads — it turned out the reed had a small amount of rust startint to build up from lack of use before I bought it (it was supposedly a rust-free reed and you couldn’t actually see the rust but could feel the roughness if you pulled a smooth yarn thru slowly). Some reeds also have sharper edges than others.

  15. Mome-rath

    Thank you so much for the sweet comment on my post. You made my day! I’ve been thinking about your happiness post since then, and how having a positive attitude about whatever comes your way can change everything! Thank you!

    I need to get back into weaving. You’re making me drool over the possibility of having my own loom someday (the Tailor’s future colleague in Tacoma actually *made* one for his wife!). For now, though, I think I’ll start taking classes again. And I really need to read more on the subject, because the first thing I ever wove was a twill, and even after hours of studying the structure, I was still only vaguely aware of how it worked. I need to do some research on the subject. I think I’ve got my reading list cut out for me!

    Best of luck on your twill experiments—it seems like you’re progressing so quickly! I’m inspired!

  16. nova

    Stop it. You and Brooke with the tempting weaving forays. It is not helpful to me in the least…

  17. LC

    I just finished two woven pieces, both prayer shawls for my dd’s bat mitzvah. The first, I used a plain weave border, and an undulating twill interior portion. I had a MISERABLE time with broken warp threads!!! Like, 6 in about 6′ of length! ARgh!

    The second, I had a full width of the undulating twill, and had ZERO broken warp threads. I think the difference in the uptake of warp thread caused undue tension “issues”. The broken threads were all in the plainweave portion.

    Congrats, you’re doing great!

  18. say

    I agree with whoever said your threads would be more likely to break with dents packed more closely together. In fact, if you need a smaller sized reed (say a 12), you should be able to double-sley your dents and have that work just as well. I have From the look of your weaving, your twill is quite weft-faced – great if you wanted that! – but I imagine you will want more options in the fabric you can weave.

    The breakage problem may also be the tension strength of your particular yarn. The easiest test is a pull test – if you can break a piece of yarn with little effort in your bare hands, it will easily break under the tension of a warp.

    Still, having threads break along your selvage is very, very common, especially when weaving twill (especially when you are weaving twill and not throwing tabby in between.) To fix that, use floating threads at either selvage. Take a piece of yarn the same length as your warp and wind it around a bobbin, even a T-pin stuck into a spool of thread (anything to give it some weight). Then pass the thread up (from the back) through the reed, WITHOUT threading a heddle and tie it to your front beam. Leave the back spool to dangle over your back beam. When you throw your shuttle, always go over and under (or vice versa) this ‘floating’ thread. This helps to keep your selvages more even, and prevents the ‘pinch’ that develops.

  19. tiennie

    This is just gorgeous. I can’t believe how talented you are!

  20. Lolly Knitting Around » Minou Wrap

    [...] stayed steady throughout, and it gave me a boost of confidence considering some of the other “learning experiences” I have had with the loom of [...]

  21. andrew

    This might be your problem, though it may have allready been answered. I found that with my loom, which is from the 50′s, the heddles were actually what was breaking the yarn. If i were to push to hard on the treadles the heddles would spread to far apart. this would create a enormous amount of pressure on the warp and it would break. This was made worse by my heddles which are old and rusty.. they have perfect serrated edges that would cut through yarn with extreme ease.

    Also, question, how do u set up a twill on a four shaft loom if possible?

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