Warping a loom is the single biggest hassle of having and using a loom. Measuring out all the thread, threading it through the heddles and beater, it's just a big pain. No wonder so many looms get used only a couple of times and then donated to thrift stores.
So, to take out some of the hassle and
get to the fun part: sell warp thread in reels, each reel available in width increments of, for instance, a half inch.
Let's say there's 12 threads to the inch on this loom. That half inch is made up of six threads all running parallel, wound onto the reel at the same time. The last foot or so of the reel is backed with adhesive tape to keep the threads in place and aligned. When threading, remove one thread at a time from the backing tape, feed it through the loom, and repeat as necessary.
Don't need the whole half inch? No sweat, the tape is perforated at each thread; peel off the threads you need and leave the rest attached and taped down. They'll idle around and around as you weave and not interfere. Wider widths are available, and more reels can be added, no problem.
The axle the reels run on is simply a stout steel square bar, and the square axle holes in the reels key snugly onto that to maintain tension. Different ratchet wheels and bearing ends are available to adapt the axle to your loom.
I couldn't find a category that seemed appropriate for this. I considered putting it under Nuclear Physics for irony's sake.-- elhigh,
Jun 27 2006
That's a bit harsh, [phlish].-- 5th Earth,
Jun 27 2006
Seems like a very sensible idea, and its
relevance to the halfbakery is therefore
what? Could the rewinding or whatever,
not be done by trained hamsters?-- xenzag,
Jun 27 2006
an illustration would be great for folk unfamilar with looms.-- xaviergisz,
Jun 28 2006
What's a matter [phlish]? Should [elhigh] hook this up to a stirling engine somehow?-- Galbinus_Caeli,
Jun 28 2006
[Galb], you've missed the point - if people are using home looms, then they're going to want to hook this up to a windmill. The Stirling engine is far too gimmicky.
It's very simple, really...-- elhigh,
Jul 03 2006
What about a giant hampster wheel with a dog inside?-- Galbinus_Caeli,
Jul 04 2006
Only if the dog is fed certified vegan dogfood. Or giant vegan hamsters. (sp?)-- elhigh,
Jul 07 2006
I like the idea generally, but threadding the heddles and beater still seems like too much work. I would suggest that with proper design, it should be possible to have the heddles and beater threaded almost automatically. The beater would be constructed with a removable top; with the top removed, it would resemble a comb, allowing the taped section of the warp to be slid down upon it. The treadles and heddles would have somewhat similar construction, but would feature both upward-facing and downward-facing combs. Maybe I need to draw a picture. Setting things up that way would make things a lot easier.
For people who want to use existing lombs with the new easy-load thread, I would suggest offering a device with a large number of parallel hooks (spaced to match the thread spacing on the loom). Not as handy as being able to slip the tape-supported warp over a comb, but better than having to thread everything by hand.-- supercat,
Jul 08 2006
[supercat], you're on to something. Your beater idea would also work with the heddles if the heddles were made the same way as the beater. In order to make it work as a heddle, I would provide block-off plates that slide into the spaces, above and below the thread. Now that slot is acting as a heddle. No plates, the thread idles for this slot and can be acted on by other heddles.
With this modification, then you certainly could string up the loom by pulling the threads through in a unit. In fact, you could thread up the entire loom, then insert heddle plates where necessary.
Also, this would permit changing the weaving pattern at any time without restringing the loom. All it would require would be to change where the heddle plates are installed. You could even take a thread out of its current slot and move it several spaces to one side.-- elhigh,
Jul 10 2006