Have you “sleyed your reed” today?

Have you “sleyed your reed” today?

Ah, it’s my favorite! Time to sley the reed! It sounds cool and is very fun to do – what more could you want? So far, I have yarn that has been measured for my Mini bag fabric. The yarn is then transferred over to the table where I can comfortably begin sleying.

Yarn, yarn, nothing but yarn!

Weavers fall into one of two camps, depending upon how they set up (or “dress”) the loom. Either front to back, or the opposite. And when weavers talk about their particular method, it’s very similar to asking if they cheer for the Chicago Bears or the Green Bay Packers. They are passionate about their method and want nothing to do with the other! I’m sure, on an intellectual level, there are merits to both ways… sure, that’s what we’ll go with! Me? I dress the loom front to back. Which means that this step of the process is much more comfortable! Instead of threading each yarn through the reed once it’s been locked into the loom, I can sit in a comfy chair, at the table, and do the work. So much better! (But, I’m not biased!)

Reed and Lease Sticks

At the table, I have the reed and the lease sticks ready to go. The lease sticks will go through the yarn, keeping the cross and therefore maintaining the order of the project. The yarn will then be threaded one at a time through the reed. The reed I’m using is called a 12 dent reed – meaning there are 12 slots per inch. For this project each yarn will get it’s own dent.

Lease sticks keeping the order

Each yarn gets a dent

I planned the project so that I would use every dent in the reed. So, I have a reed 36″ long, with 12 slots per inch, equalling… well, a lot! (You don’t have to love the math. But you have to be comfortable with it – since there’s plenty of it when you’re weaving!)

I’m sleying!

View from the red side

Once every yarn has a home, the reed will be moved into the loom and I’ll begin threading the heddles. The fun never stops….

All done!

By |2012-07-04T15:08:31+00:00July 4th, 2012|Art|4 Comments

About the Author:

Chris Acton is the President, Chief Weaver, and Jack-of-all-Trades for Acton Creative, based in NW Indiana. When she isn't weaving away, you can find her absorbed in a book while slurping gallons of hot tea.


  1. fondantfibre July 5, 2012 at 4:56 am - Reply

    Wow, what a fantastic idea! this is the way forward (so to speak) for me! Thankyou for posting and making it look so “achievable”.

    • Chris July 9, 2012 at 5:58 pm - Reply

      Thank you! I appreciate the comment!

  2. JoAnn Deck July 9, 2012 at 10:59 am - Reply

    gee, even I could learn to do this !! great photos & explanation.

    • Chris July 9, 2012 at 6:00 pm - Reply

      Hi JoAnn! Thank you for the kind words! I have a hunch that if you were interested in sleying a reed, there may be a fabulous resource close at hand for you!

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