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Reeds for your Weaving Loom

Selecting a Reed

Collecting reeds is often found in the committed weaver. Although it is possible to sley a reed with a wide mix of ends through adjacent dents, to achieve the desired pattern of ends across the width, the call for a new reed is often irresistible. The notes below are a guide in measuring up for a reed, and to ensure that it meets the weavers’ requirements on arrival. Our reeds are purchased from a specialist Swedish manufacturer using traditional methods.

Reed Material

Stainless steel reeds or Mild steel reeds? A mild steel reed left in a damp place will rust but it is possible to recover from this unfortunate situation. A local engineering shop can bead blast a badly rusted reed, or it can be wiped with a rust treatment. Apply with a stiff brush, and then carefully wash and dry the reed. A light spray with ‘WD40’, is also a great help. We have a selection of ready cut mild steel reeds in stock, please telephone us on 01483 565800 if you would like to check availability.

If you live within 5 miles of the sea or spray your warp with water, it is advisable to buy stainless steel.

Reed Height

Most weaving looms have a reasonable degree of flexibility in the height of reed they can accept in the beater. The main limitation is set by the shed which the loom can create. Countermarch looms normally give the greatest shed, though a correctly set Jack loom also gives a good warp separation.

The beater is first set with the lowered warps resting firmly against it so that the passing shuttle does not lift any stray threads. The height of the inside reed measurement is then determined by the position of the upper warps. On a counterbalance loom this should be measured with a balanced set-up.

The final reed is 1.25cm (half inch) higher than the warp separation. It is most unusual for the answer to be other than around 10cm or 12.5cm. This is the measurement we need to know.

Reed Length

The reed length includes the end caps. To measure the reed, take the full width of the working area, and then add 2.5cm to get the final overall dimension. The reed must not catch on the loom frame, check by moving the beater through its whole working range.

Ordering Reeds

We can normally supply stainless steel reeds in both 10cm and 12cm height and up to 65 dents per 10cm (approx. equivalent 16.51 dpi) and 3m in length from stock. Please specify the total height, the weaving length or the total length of the reed, and the dentage required. The overall length of a reed, including the end caps is about 2.5cm (1”) greater than the weaving length listed. It is important to indicate clearly whether the size required is the weaving or the overall length.


Reeds are cut to order, so if you are calling to collect one, please let us know beforehand, as it takes around fifteen minutes to make.

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