So, the reed is sleyed and ready to go into the loom. There’s a moving piece in the loom called the “beater bar” where the reed is housed. The reed fits into a set of grooves and is tightened down so everything moves together. When placing it into the loom, the long side with all the yarn (yards and yards!) is located such that the lengths hang off the front, leaving the short side with the knots, to face the back.
This method of setting up the loom (or “dressing” as it’s called) is the front to back method. You can also dress a loom the other direction – back to front. And when you ask a weaver their thoughts on which is better, it is much like asking a Chicagoan which baseball team they prefer – the Sox or the Cubs. Typically, they are very passionate about their favorite! Logically, there are strengths to both approaches. But, it’s seem to me that it’s rare to find a weaver who doesn’t have a strong opinion on the topic!
Check out the photos below of the reed going in! The first picture is a bird’s eye view of the loom. I use a 36″ Schacht 4-shaft loom, which I love! Hopefully, future photos will give you a better idea what it looks like! Next up, we’ll chat about heddles… and really, who doesn’t love a good heddle!