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The difference between a Counter-Marche, a Jack and a Counter-Balance Loom

This is for anyone who doesn’t know the difference between a counter-marche loom, a jack loom and a counter-balance loom.

Jack Looms have 1 set of lamms….when you tie a lamm to a treadle… and then you step on that treadle…. the shafts rise. Only one part of the warp moves.

Counter-Balance looms have 1 set of lamms….when you tie a lamm to a treadle… and then you step on that treadle…. the shafts sink. (well they don’t just sink, what you tie-up moves down and what isn’t tied-up automatically goes up because the shafts move on counter-balanced rollers). Both parts of the warp move.

Counter-Marche looms have 2 sets of lamms…..one set (the upper ones) are like a Counter-Balance Loom..they sink. The other set of lamms (the lower ones) are like a Jack Loom….they rise. Both parts of the warp move.

When it comes to designing in Fiberworks you can select rising shed or sinking shed drawdowns. Click on Tie-up and see what has been selected. With a counter-marche it doesn’t matter which one you choose. What matters is how you interpret the draft when you tie-up your loom.

If you are designing using a rising shed drawdown then you take your tie-up straight from the draft and that is what you tie-up to your lower lamms (risers) and then everything else (all the white boxes) get tied to your upper lamms.

If you are using a sinking shed drawdown then you take the tie-up box from your draft and tie that up to your uppers lamms (sinkers) and then tie-up everything else (the white boxes) get tied to your lower lamms.

Now here is the really important tip to help you counter-march owners remember the difference:

When I am trying to keep it straight in my head….this helps. Lower lamms are risers because they are sitting on the floor and they have no place to go but UP Upper lamms are sinkers because they are up at the ceiling and they have no place to go but DOWN.