Friday, March 16, 2012

The Harnesses to Sidesticks Tie-Up

Finally a post about the harness to sidestick tie-up, as a reminder for everyone who might find this confusing to remember from set-up to set-up...begin by setting up the sidesticks so that the ties are between the lease sticks and the harnesses. The lease sticks should be between the ties and the warp beam. These photographs are all taken from the right side of the loom, so the warp beam is on my right and the beater and breast beam are on my left. This will demonstrate the tie-up on the right side. To tie up the left side of the harnesses, simply perform the same process heading in the the opposite direction.

The first movement is to bring up a loop of the tie on the inside of the sidestick with the tail of the tie hanging down towards the left.

Next, pull the loop towards you, across the top of the sidestick, and slip the loop underneath the end of the No.4 harness, taking care not to twist the loop, and keeping the tail end on the left side of the loop, right next to the harness.

The next movement is to lift the end of the harness slightly and slip the tail end of the loop underneath the harness, so the tail is now between the No.3 and the No.4 harnesses, with the loop now going over the top of the No.4 on the inside of the sidestick.

Now, pulling on the tail of the tie, just cinch up the slack in the loop, so the tie is snug over the top of the No.4 harness, on the inside of the sidestick. Pull the tail of the tie underneath the sidestick towards you, and towards the right of the No.4.

The next movement is to make another loop with the tie that begins coming up on the outside of the sidestick to the right of the No.4 harness, goes over the top of the No.4, and has the tail hanging down between the No.3 and the No.4.

Then just cinch up the loop over the outside of the top of the No.4 by pulling the tail of the tie.

Now you'll just be repeating the same sequence of movements for each of the remaining harnesses, and to abbreviate this list of photographs I'll only do the next two movements in the sequence and leave the rest for you to work out the logic of on your own. So bring the tie under the sidestick to the inside and bring up another loop with the tail hanging towards the left (or the front of the loom).

And then once again, draw that loop over the top of the sidestick towards you, keeping the tail end next to the No.3 harness. And repeat all the steps to tie down the No.3.

Now we've come to the end of the tie-downs, so how to neatly and effectively finish this off without making a rat's nest?
We'll be finishing it off with a Clove Hitch in a Bight. So bring up another loop on the inside of the sidestick with the tail hanging to the front of the loom (just to keep in the habit of doing that).

Bring the loop over the top of the side stick towards you, but open up that last loop you made on the outside of the No.1 and feed the loop through that. You can pull out a length of loop, because you'll need it to execute the rest of the clove hitch. What you've just tied is a Half Hitch, which is half of a Clove Hitch. The bight is the loop you are tieing it with, which, like the slip knot we use in so many places, makes this whole thing easy to take out when you go to untie it.

The photo above shows how I've make another Half Hitch, to complete the Clove Hitch.

Cinch it up, and...

...VOILA! I'm done.

To tie up the other side of the harnesses, simply repeat this sequence, but go in the opposite direction.
Good luck!


  1. Thanks, Allison, for this posting - it is very helpful! I have a guild member who manages the barn frame loom at Virginia Tech's Historic plantation and she had just asked for help with the tie-up of the loom. I directed her to your previous posting on tying up the treadles, which she found very helpful and she now has this one! She would appreciate a posting on the tie up of the harnesses to the pulley system - could we hope that will be coming soon? Thanks again! Patricia (annual fall student along with Netra).

  2. yup. that will be coming along, when i get the chance.
    it's on my to-do list, patricia.
    {and hello!}