Below, you will find a response from Jane to the JST Online Guild to a concern about weaving with linen on a Jack Loom. We thought it might be helpful to others looking for information on weaving with linen.
I hope I haven’t caused any anxiety about using linen…I really want you to try using linen…so many weavers are scared of it, and there is a lot of hesitation around this fibre.
What I know for sure is this:
Looms that have an equal tension on both parts of the warp weave linen beautifully.
Many Jack looms do have a dip with the warp coming lower from the back beam into the heddles and then up again to the cloth beam (that is a great thing)…that is the equalizer for the warp so that the bottom part of the warp is dipping to counter the other part of the warp moving up….BUT, not all looms are created the same.
You have to know your loom.
There are so many different looms out there and I only know the ones I use.
Any counter-balance loom has both parts of the warp in action as do counter-marche looms.
The only Jack looms I have are Schacht and they have that beautiful dip which I’ve talked about in other episodes.
The Louet David loom is a sinking Jack but if you look at the warp it comes out of the reed at the top therefore when you step on a treadle those threads moving down have an equal tension to those that are up.
The same thing is happening on the Megado and Octado because while the harnesses just rise, the entire back beam of the loom rises up to create a counter-marche shed.
Don’t be afraid, make a small warp and try it out…you have nothing to lose just so much to gain when you are learning about a new yarn and you are learning about your equipment.
What would be awful is you not trying this magnificent yarn. Be adventurous and give it a whirl…you will most likely discover that you love love love linen.