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When I release the tension the warp doesn’t loosen

I have had a 12 shaft Louet Spring loom for just over two years and over the last few months have done a significant amount of weaving using fine silk.  Gradually I have noticed that when I release the tension the warp doesn’t loosen and this has been getting worse.  Today I couldn’t wind on to the front beam either. It seems that I have a build up of something on both the back wooden bar and the floating breast beam and it is stopping the warp from moving.  If I lean on the threads it breaks the seal and the warp can move.  So I will need to do some cleaning when the scarves are off the loom. I wondered if you have experience of this problem with other users?  What should I use to remove the build up and then what should I apply to bring back the ‘slippyness’?  I wondered if some silicone would help?

It sounds like you have dirt on the disc that your friction brake wraps around.  You can take the tension off of the friction brake by loosening the whorled nut that is attached to the brake coil.  Clean the disc with a damp cloth and dry it well then rewind your brake band and re-tighten with the nut.  That should clear up the problem.