Putting on the tension

The double flyer wheel is now dusted, and the wheel that drives the flyers can be taken out. So far I haven't been able to get off the bent nail that holds the other wheel in place. Of course that nail sits on the treadle-side of the axle... It looks like I may have to saw it off.

The dead leather bearings for the left flyer are out (and some of the paint with them, but that couldn't be helped). I think I probably will have to change the other (painted) bearings, too.

The left flyer is now tied in place with cords, to make trying out different placements of the (probable) tensioner possible.

There are two possible ways that I can think of.

Either the tensioner was correctly mounted as it was (coming up through the frame). As it can't be raised enough to lift the drive band, the drive band has to be threaded through the "tensioner" before knotting, and as the tensioner has only one pulley, this is the one possible path:

Or it wasn't correctly mountetd. If the tensioner is mounted the other way. It can then depress the drive band to create tension - but both turns of the band have to go under the pulley, which doesn't look right, either:

Any suggestions?

I have also found that the right-hand distaff is not original. The right-hand finial (the non-threaded one) is "clumsier" than the other (see pics in the first post), the distaff arm is slightly thicker and the distaff istself has too many knife marks (it has been carved after the turning).
I have, of course, tried to find pictures of DFWs.
On those which have included distaffs, all of them have had only one. Why is that? To me, it made good sense to have two: even on the most perfectly dressed distaff it could happen that the spinner got hold of "both ends" of a fibre?


The last about double pulleys

For now, anyway :-)

First of all: I now own one double pulley! It was there, just beside the double flyer spinning wheel - it rather seemed like a "double" day. Until I asked for the other pulley... the dealer didn't even understand the question: why should he have a pair?
Anyway, it followed me home (even though the pulleys won't turn):

In the last post about double pulleys I wondered about Grenander's sentence "[...]with two pulleys on two axles on the same level [...]"
Jean graciously sent me a picture of this kind of double pulley(s):

Thanks, Jean - I had never seen such pulleys before, but apparently they existed even here.

Anyway, when I unearthed my folding CB to ready it for a demo, I decided to try to rig a "double pulley" simulation, to see if it would work with the crossed cord tie-up.
I thought I would just tie four cords over the castle, like this:

Half an hour later I decided I wasn't very interested, after all. (IOW, I couldn't get it to balance/work...) The horses went back on, and the demo went considerably better that it would have with the crossed cords...

Conclusion: hooray for countermarches!


It was a nice and sunny day...

and we decided to take a little trip. Once we reached the destination, it was much colder and windier than at home, so the walking was cut much shorter than we had thought.
When we saw the sign to a flea market we hadn't been to, we went there instead.

On top of a shelf I spotted something

It lacked one of the flyers, the paint job was sloppy and it was too expensive for a decrepit, albeit interesting, spinning wheel. Then I spotted the other flyer, found that the bobbin turned freely and the drive pulley screw was not rusted - and it was threaded for spinning S.
So I took it down.
Everything that should turn, turned. Some things not supposed to move, moved a bit too much, but on the whole, it seemed to be (nearly) in working order.
It came home with me.

On further examination, the paint job was more than sloppy, and also consisted of at least two different paints. The outer white flakes, under that there is another (whiter) white. In some places the inner white has flaked, too - there seems to be a reddish paint under that.
At least the outer white was painted on without disassembling, but I managed to unscrew the flyer assembly with patience and some grease.

The missing left flyer's what's-it-called (the leather pieces) will take some fiddling to replace, as they, too, are "painted in".
Also the drive wheels will not come off, because they are secured in place with nails in the back, and one of the, hm, "stops" on the front is missing, too.

The "accelerating" drive wheels are interesting. I have seen something like this many years ago in Ångermanland (which, perhaps, tallies with the "prime linens"... Grenander wrote some about double-flyer wheels, but of course I have returned the book now. Maybe I have to borrow it again...). If I measured correctly, the fast wheel has a ratio of 2,5 compared to the slow.

I suppose this is the tensioner for the drive band. It moves freely, fastens with a wedge. (Hmm - wedge? Really?) But how it the drive band supposed to go - over or under? If it goes under, it is difficult to replace, as the pulley doesn't come out?

And, at the back there is this little thing, about 7-8 cm, pivoting not-quite-in-the-middle. What can it be?

The wheel has a couple of reparations done to it - one of the flyer uprights has a piece replaced, one of the flyer uprights has a new finial and the distaffs are slightly different.

And the flyers are painted, too. Even the hooks.


On double pulleys and no horses (warning, long)

(I should have been sewing, but the pins are too fiddly for the wrenched wrist. So I have been reading, instead.)

I started with Gertrud Grenander-Nyberg's Lanthemmens vävstolar (1974, ISBN 91-7108-076-7). On pages 287 f she writes about double pulleys (my translation; my comments in italics):

For plain weave, threaded on four shafts, there was a pulley type seldom used nowadays, namely two pulleys mounted on the same axle. The pulleys can be of different size. For the tying, the outer shafts were tied with the cord over the bigger pulley, which made the shaft tieup clearer (simpler?)

Important words here: CAN be of diff size. In most (all?) pictures I've seen they have been of the same (or so near the same as possible) size. (Had they been different size, they could have been called "horizontal dräll pulleys"? Has anyone seen an example of that (ie with more than two pulleys)? Edit: here.

The Finnish textile technician Helvi Pyysalo has showed that two pulleys on the same level can be used for four-shaft even-sided twill by connecting shafts one and three over one pulley and shafts two and four over the other pulley.
With this method follows that, when the shafts are lowered in pairs in four different combinations, the cords on both pulleys will move, which is (recommended, necessary? - "good") to get a clear shed.

I don't understand that: does she say that for EVERY shed on a CB loom "both cords should move"? If so: why?? Or what is it I don't understand here? With one pulley and horses that is not always the case, but sheds can be good anyway.

This can happen not only with two pulleys on two axles on the same level but also with the pulleys mounted on the same axle like on a double pulley.

Is there a difference in appearance in the two described above? (for "double pulley" she uses the Swedish "parblock", so in the text there is a distinction between the two types here.) ETA: see picture here.

It is likely that the double pulleys were used in this fashion in older times for weaving even-sided twill. With the pulleys on the same level the upper tieup was lower than if it was accomplished with several tools on different levels. Double pulleys were therefore an advantage when using the oldest looms which have low castles. This can be an explanation to the numerous double pulleys from the older times.
Nowadays, for four shafts, usually only one of the pulleys is used in combination with horses.

Same author, 25 years later, in Linnelärft i Ångermanland (2001, ISBN 91-7108-480-0), has slightly changed her ideas.

Background, about "premielärft" - roughly "prime quality linen cloth": in 18th century the "powers" divided the country and decided Ångermanland was the region to grow flax and (spin and) weave linen. To make the people more enthusiastic about it, certain standards were set, and those who fulfilled them got extra pay.

Anyway. According to Grenander, weavers of prime cloth were specialists, using special looms. Those looms were often shallower than "allround" looms - sources from the time state that an allround loom was usually about 2 1/2 aln (about 5 ft), while linen looms were only 2 aln (4 ft).

The reasoning behind that is (apart from the fact that German linen looms often were shallow) that the "free" warp is shorter, and therefore less exposed to wear (p 99).

Something I don't understand here: as linen is not elastic, shouldn't it benefit from a longer "free" warp, by distributing the stretch over a longer section?

(She goes on to say that plain weave needs less loom-depth than multi-shafted cloth, which is of course true.)

She also thinks that the double pulleys, at least those with short uprights, were used primarily by these specialist weavers.

(To me it is not clear exactly how she came to that conclusion.)

On p 103 she writes that, because of the fineness of the prime cloth, the warps had to be distributed over four shafts, and therefore the double pulleys were "the most efficient". Thus looms with double pulleys were, together with very fine reeds, the most typical tools of a "prime" weaver.

I'm still unsure of why double pulleys are "the most efficient"...

Anyway, it is apparent that she has changed her mind over the 25 years between her thesis and her last book - from thinking that double pulleys were, in effect, "old-fashioned", to thinking they were the mark of a specialist.

Just for curiosity: "prime linens" came i 8 classes. They were (at least most of them) 1 1/2 aln (3 ft, or 88 cm) wide.
For class 1 there were 2720-2920 ends ( or 30-32 ends/cm); for class 8 (the finest) there were 4120-4 320 ends (or 45-48 ends/cm). (from Uppfinningarnas bok, band 6 from 1873.

And this, my friends, was all handspun singles!


More about horses

In Sweden, everybody knows how to tie the horses. They "must" be parallel, but opposite - like this:

(well, they can be the other way around,too)

Then I found a picture on the 'net - a picture that can't be copied, only linked to.
From what I can see, the horses are tied in a pattern I have never seen before:

Let's see if this gives the right photo:
Photos of Museo-Laboratorio di tessitura a mano Giuditta Brozzetti, Perugia
This photo of Museo-Laboratorio di tessitura a mano Giuditta Brozzetti is courtesy of TripAdvisor.

Or is she using just three shafts? I can't see the fourth, but it also does not look like the horses are tied two-to-one-shaft...
If they are, they still look like a "different" style.

This is how three shafts "should" be tied, according to Swe traditions:

Either tie one shaft to both ends of one horse, the other horse to the two other shafts (works best, IMO), or tie both horses to the middle shaft.


Styles of horses and pulleys

I wrote this post on Monday, and the instant I was going to click "publish" the electricity vanished. We were powerless for about 20 hours. Ironically, both "before" us (on the power line) and "after" us ("us", here, means some 25-39 houses along the road) did have electricity, except for 15 minutes. BUT: it is our part of the power lines that is buried, "to avoid power cuts in the future". Go figure!

The best laid plans can be wrecked in an instant - . More than a week ago, I fell and wrenched my right wrist and my left ankle (and got several sore spots in between). It could have been a lot worse, but I still can’t lift anything heavier than a coffee mug...

So I decided to trawl the 'net for different types of horses-and-pulleys. Simple as they are, there are a lot of different styles "out there".

A "horse" is, in principle, no more than a dowel with a hole in the middle and a slit, knob or something to stop the shaft-connectin cords from falling off.. A horse should be about the length of the heddles used – or longer. (On old looms the horses are often quite a bit longer.)

Some are quite ornate, some are strictly utilitarian.
These two styles are lifted from Blomqvist/Nordiska (made by Glimåkra) and AK:s snickeri (aka Öxabäck), respectively:

However, no horses function without a pulley, over which they are connected. Pulleys can be small(ish) and connected to the loom just by cords, or they can be bigger, having a hole through which the top cross-member of the loom can pass.
Glimåkra used to use the free-hanging pulleys – this picture is lifted from a for-sale ad on the 'net. I have no idea how old this loom is – in fact, I don’t know that it is a Glimåkra, but that’s what the seller says:

Some other examples, most of them lifted from ads:
A small "no-name", no age given (50-ies, 60-ies?)

Probavly a very old loom, which has some curious pulleys (they are double, both the same size. What is the other pulley for?). The shafts hanging every which-way is typical of CB looms without a warp. Unless they are stabilized with a shaft-holder, of course.

These pictures are from Madesjö museum (I have written about it before)

From the same trip, a five-shaft pulley used as if it were a "normal" one:
(To use it for 5 shafts, the fifth is generally placed at the back, with a cord from the shaft to the hole that I nearly point at. It can be tricky to get it balanced...)

This is just a pulley, again from an ad. The seller just calls it "a detail from an antique loom", and wants to sell them one by one. (Pulleys always come in pairs, horses always in, hm, "foursomes"(?))

(There is a storm brewing outside - let's hope it will not fell too many trees and cut the power, like the one in '05. But the windows are starting to rattle...)


Some sightings

in chronological order:

(London usually gives one a good walk-out, but I have never seen a whole troop. Yet, that is.)

Two armholes of the inverted-T type:
(seen at the Congregation of the Burgon society)

and one recommendation (or should that be "urging"?):
(spotted on the wall of Robes of Distinction)

Morning over "The Vale", Malvern:
(in reality, it looked like a seashore at ebb tide - some clumps of seaweed (I mean trees), sticking up over the low water (I mean fog). I had a very nice visit with Pat of Purple donsu - we even saw some sunlight later in the day)

On the whole, I had a very wet but very interesting and informative week-end.
Unfortunately, my homeward flight was delayed, which meant I missed the last train. The next train was at 4.26 (in the morning). It was a long night...


"Not much to write home about"

is a Swedish saying.

I lost interest in the fan project, at least in its present incarnation, and turned it into a bigger sample. This is now properly wet finished and mangled. This colour turned out to be extremely difficult to photograph - or maybe I just don't understand how to handle the new-to-me picture-manipulating software.

I used three nuances from two manufacturers for the warp. This time all warp yarns are cotton 16/2, but they have different twists. For the "contrast" part I used a 16/2 with higher twist (thus apparently thinner), and for the "same" part I used one of the softer (thus apparently fatter) warp yarns. The "fatter" yarn gave a slightly wider result - something I had not anticipated.
On the whole, I think I like the "same" part better - that is, the use of one block only in the treadling. But maybe the contrasting weft was better...

I also pictured it hanging in the window - maybe this is the best use for fan fabric?

Now, what to do with the rest of the warp?
Hmmm... the warp is the same I used for the "leaves" scarves - maybe I could combine the two ideas... except I would go mad with such a treadling sequence. Or I would go mad trying to use the fan reed in the AVL. Maybe not a good idea, after all.


Fantastic fabrics

I came across a link the other day, to a book is called Textiles and clothing, by Kate Heintz Watson, published in Chicago 1907.

Here is the link to the fabric names section .

Some names that caught my eye:
Buckskin—A stout doe skin with a more defined twill. (oh yeah – a stout doe is the same as a buck, then?)
(OK, so doeskin appears, too: Doeskin—A compact twilled woolen, soft and pliable.
However, in this listing I could not find swansdown, which I’m sure I’ve seen somewhere else.)

Farmer Satin—A lining of cotton chain or warp and wool filling, finished with a high lustre, also called Italian cloth.

Kerseymere—A fine, twilled, woolen cloth of peculiar texture, one thread of warp and two of wool being always above. Hmm – "one thread of warp and two of wool"? Could it be ta scanner trick, perhaps – "one of warp and two fo woof"? Anyway, I like the "peculiar"...

Prunella—Lasting cloth. Lasting as in long-lasting/hard-wearing? I thought I had read about "lasting" as a quality, but if so, it has hid somewhere in the bookshelf.

What I have woven today? I wish I could have said "crash" ('cos it sounds fun), but alas, today’s "fanning" was all cotton...

Crash—A strong, course linen cloth of different widths, used for towels, suits, table linen, hangings, bed spreads; in fact, there is no end to the uses to which this textile can be adapted.


How many holes?

(sounds like a variant of "how long is a string", doesn’t it?)

On yesterday’s sample, I did notice a difference between the width of the max top position and the max bottom position. For some reason, I did not draw any conclusions from it.

Today, when I had started the "real" piece (maybe to become the next sample, who knows?) I payed more attention. Noticed I could make another hole – not quite high enough, but better than nothing, perhaps?

Made the new hole. Yes, it made a difference:

Weaving is slow. After every 8 picks, I have to stand up to shift the beater height - . At some 10 picks per cm it means I have to get to my feet more than 200 times for a scarf length.
"Excercise is good for you", right?
(and I already would like to re-thread, to see what happens if... there is a stripe in the middle of one section, or maybe an assymetric stripe, or... Maybe I could start with making stripes like that in the weft, instead?)

To answer Jean's question: I just use the outer holes, so I'm using 7 positions. As for the "good shed" - well, it isn't. I help it along by wiggling (if that is the word) the warp by hand for the extreme positions.
I know that there are special fan-reed beaters out there, but I haven't seen one other that on a line drawing (which also had a price on it - no way I was going to pay that much for something I almost had, anyway).
Some people use elastics (instead of a regular beater), but I don't think I could conscentrate enough to have control over my "positions".
Sara of Woolgatheres use texsolv cord - she has a video on how she does. You can find it here.


Two-block turned twill sample

- this time woven with the fan reed.

First small sample, just cut off:

Still wet, sitting on a marble slab, after (what I thought was a very vigorous) hand wet finishing, in the hottest water I could manage. Obviously not vigorous enough, as all reed marks still are too visible. (And the flash making it blue, instead of the greener it "really" is)

Day two, dry and pressed (actually, pressed when still damp, left to dry), in natural light. Not quite as "reedy" as I thought - and some of it can come from the fact I had (of course!) three slightly different nuances in the warp.

I started with the idea of making 12 picks (or three "through-treadlings") between each moving of the reed. Very soon it became apparent I could not count to neither 12 nor 3, so I went down to 8 (or 2 "through-treadlings"). Much easier!

Now to decide if it is worth going on with a longer project, how/where to place the "turns" lenghtwise, whether to back down the contrast to give it a more traditional look...


Bling that isn't (quite)

This is not really "bling", I suppose - but is sure makes me shine!

To tell the truth, I did start this while still on the train. Drafted a few figures, contemplated the possibilities of detail (and how much patience I had, on the swaying train...) Cut out a couple, started appliqué-ing.
After a while I decided I did not need to do them all on the train...

But now I have "blinged" two coats and two jackets for me, two coats for my mother and two jackets for DH. I even made a few of them in the shape of my logo.
A small test:

In the middle picture, I am about 20 metres away, in the right-hand picture I am nearly 50 metres away. And remember: this is just what can be seen with the flash of my cheap camera! (Click to biggify)

(Yes, I'm sure a solid band might be more visible, but this is more fun! For elegance, it beats the neon-coloured banded vests any day - AND: I don't have to put on anything "extra".)

Being both a pedestrian and a driver, living in the country where the nearest street light is about 7 kms away, I feel strongly about reflecting gear.
Even if you think you are visible and don't care if you get hit or not - spare a thought for the driver that easily can have a heart attack (or something) when s/he suddenly sees a person in front of the car! (And get something for the dog, for the pram... too!)



(part 2 - or maybe Time travel, part 2)

The reason I went to Town was the Gaultier retrospective. There are many, many (better) pictures out there on the 'net, but these are the things that I will remember. (Again out of focus, but flash wasn't allowed. I, unlike some, respected that)

First impression: you can bling just about anything, crutches included:

Second came attention to detail:

(I like the Swedish text better - it says nothing about painted and printed)
Another fantastic detail - a tartan that is not (click to enlarge):

(There was also a leopard skin mantle that on closer inspection turned out to be embroidered of seed beads. I guess it would be way out of my budget, but also way gentler on the leopards...)

Another idea, possible (probably?) inspired by the London Pearlies

All (all!) the white blobs are m-o-p buttons, graded in size... (did I mention "attention to details"?)

An original upcycling idea: what you can do with all your old (analoguos) films, and all those old and worn measuring tapes:

At the exit, there was an opportunity to try on a Real Gaultier Outfit (I know I was there, so it must be me!):

Now I have may blinging ideas.... watch this space!
But before that: the water spout:

(Yes, you have seen it before, from another angle)