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Weaving with mohair in a Turned Twill

I’ve been searching on the web for tips re a sticky mohair warp which is driving me nuts! You look like an expert on this.  The loom is threaded up with a turned twill draft on 16 shafts at 8epi so there is just enough space between ends to allow the beater to move!  Unfortunately I can’t get to a seminar as I’m probably nearly 12,000 miles away – New Zealand – but I’m hoping you may be able to throw some cyber tips my way?  

We have always woven our mohair throws in plain weave because we lose less mohair in the finished product if the interlacement has the least number of floats.  Because we weave them in plain weave we are able to use a skeletal tie-up to make our sheds. We tie a treadle to harness 1, a treadle to 2, a treadle to 3 and a treadle to 4 and then when we make a shed we step on treadle 1 and then 3 to complete one plain weave shed. We throw the shuttle, beat (leave the beater against the fell of the cloth) and then change the shed stepping on 2 and then 4.  After we have changed the shed we return the beater ready for the next pick.  When the beater goes back after we change the shed it clears all stickiness and leaves a very clean shed.

However, I have never woven a mohair blankie in turned twill.  One part of my head tells me that you have a float over 3 threads so it shouldn’t make it that much harder, however you can’t use a skeletal tie-up for a 8 shaft loom without growing a couple of extra legs. Have you tried the beating method that I describe above?  Throw, beat (leave it), change shed, beater back.

Thanks so much for your reply Jane.  I found your description of the beat was just what was needed.  I’m weaving on a compudobby l6 shaft loom so could have in fact programmed the lifts to operate as you suggest – ie, 1 followed by 13 etc. etc. in liftplan for a plainweave.  But actually being a 1/3 3/1 turned twill the liftings worked OK with the right use of beater – with some additional clearing of shed I have to say.  I [rather optimistically] wanted a large textural block design – or to see what would happen really! hence turned twill……it works ……and is a lovely lofty texture.  However probably its wiser to let the lovely mohair characteristics dominate with structure being kept to simplest – ie plainweave.  But a great learning curve and many thanks again.