Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Sweet Spot

The Leclerc Fanny has quite a large sweet spot - that is, the area where mechanically everything works at optimum performance in terms of the shed opening and the weft being beaten in.

In this photo the fell (the last weft pick) is approximately half way between the breast beam and the reed.   It may come as a surprise to some people that, imho, it is now time to advance the warp.   

The temptation to keep weaving needs to be overcome because from this point on the shed geometry will begin to change in ways that are going to adversely affect the quality of cloth.

The warp will have to open at a greater angle putting increasing strain on the threads.  If weaving continues much beyond this point, the weft will not seat properly around the selvedge threads and loops can develop which may not become apparent until the fell is moved forward towards the breast beam.  The angle of attack of the beater will change and the weft may beat in differently.  If the weaving continues even further, the shed will reduce to the point where the shuttle may not fit easily through the shed.  A tender warp will be under too much strain and the additional abrasion of the shuttle may damage the warp.  

This photo is immediately after advancing.  The fell is about two inches from the inside of the breast beam.  

It is much better to stop and advance more frequently than to try and force the loom to work beyond its mechanical ability.  Truly a case where stopping more frequently will get better results faster. 

1 comment:

the Mighty M said...

Many beginning weavers don't understand this idea. Every loom has a "sweet spot". If you'd look at a particular loom's geometry you'd see where the fell line should be. For laziness or whatever manty inexperienced weavers will not advance the warp until they cannot get enough of a shed to pass the shuttle. If they are having selvedge problems weaving closer to the heddles, where the warp tension can be higher, gives the illusion of good warp tension. Having said that, depending on the loom, there are many looms with bad engineering and the "sweet spot" is in an absurd location.