Friday, June 29, 2018


Someone asked me why I chose to use the Leclerc Fanny instead of the AVL for the place mat warp.

Looms, like cars, have different features - different advantages and disadvantages.

When I design a textile I generally do so with which loom it will be woven on in mind.

Let's take a look at the two looms and compare them.

The AVL is a 16 shaft loom, 60" weaving width, has a computer/dobby interface, four box fly shuttle, auto cloth advance and two beams, both of them sectional.

The Leclerc Fanny is a roller type counter balanced loom with four shafts, six treadles and 36" weaving width with a plain warp beam.

This line of place mats lends itself more to the Fanny than the AVL partly because it needs to be firmly beaten, partly because I wind warps 10.5 meters long, using two different hues/values in the warp.  I change things as I find appropriate, given my 'taste' on the day I'm winding warps, partly due to what has been selling.  Each warp produces one table runner and a dozen mats.  I change each warp colours at whim also based on what I have on hand when I'm making up the warps.

The weft is thick - four strands of 2/8 cotton plus two novelty yarns.  All six are wound at once on the bobbin and because the shed on the Fanny is large, I can wind really fat bobbins as long as they don't rub against the shuttle cavity.

On the AVL I tend to beam a minimum of 10 yards of warp, more usually (these days) 30 to 40 yards.  The width is generally wider (unless I'm doing scarves when I want more than four shafts) and threaded in some kind of 'fancy' 16 shaft weave structure.  With the computer assisted dobby I can change treadling/tie up as desired although sometimes I don't change anything but the weft colour in order to create a 'line' of, say, tea towels that are related through their design but different colourways.  Frequently the yarns are much finer, 2/16 cotton size, although I do use 2/8 at times.

I choose each loom for it's strengths.  Each one is 'better' at some things than others.

Currently reading Killers of the Flower Moon; the Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann

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