Tools Day: Rubber Bands

At the risk of telling you something you already know, I am going to show two ways I use rubber bands in my weaving studio. Yes, rubber bands. Simple, to the point of being simplistic. But I sheepishly admit, I didn’t know to do these things until I saw someone else do them; and then I expanded (pun intended) their practices to suit the way I like to work.

1. While it is common to put a rubber band on one treadle to act as a marker for your feet, I find it helpful to put rubber bands on two treadles for even greater efficiency. I put one rubber band on the first pattern treadle, and a second rubber band on the third pattern treadle. My feet never have to guess where to step. (With the rosepath tie-up for the rag rugs on the Glimakra Ideal loom, there are two plain weave treadles on the right, and then four pattern treadles. The rya weaving on the Glimakra Standard loom has one treadle on the right that lifts the warp ends for the rya knots, and four pattern treadles.)

Treadles marked with rubber bands for efficiency.

Plain weave, like the solid blue section, and the band of brown, uses the two treadles on the right on this Glimakra Ideal loom. The rosepath pattern, in orchid, and the dots and dashes, in dark pink and blue/black, uses the remaining four treadles.

Treadles with rubber bands for easy treadling.

Five treadles are used for this rya weaving on the Glimakra Standard loom. The treadle on the right lifts the warp ends on the second shaft, onto which the rya strands are tied. The remaining four treadles are used to weave a rosepath pattern in the cloth.

2. Rubber band the thread label around the tube of thread. This is the simplest way to keep track of fiber information–fiber content, weight, color number, brand. I also cut a short length of the thread and stick it to the sticky side of the label. This helps me get the labels back on the correct tubes, especially when using several threads of different colors.

One way to keep thread labels from getting mixed up.

With similar colors, like these two tubes of 12/6 cotton rug warp, it helps to keep an identifying strand attached to the label. I always try to put the label back on its tube as soon as possible to prevent mix-ups.

May you find simple solutions to do what you do better.

(Have you checked out my new Etsy shop yet?)

Happy Weaving,
Karen

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