Take your weaving further with a Myrehed Draw Loom
A draw loom gives the weaver dramatically extended fabric design options using a traditional Countermarch floor loom. The draw loom controls individual warp threads to build up patterns on a ground weave. Think of adding pixelated images or lettering to your woven fabric.
That is the joy of the draw loom! Now read on for all the essential details to more creative weaving.
Draw Loom – the basics
The draw loom is added to a traditional countermarch floor loom. The draw loom structure and the tools which make up its working parts are described here to help you identify and better understand the terms used on this page.
The components of a draw loom:
- Draw Loom Bridge – attached to the loom and holds all the draw loom working parts
- First Harness – the set of shafts which provide the normal function of the loom in creating a repeating pattern structure within the fabric; four for turned twill, five for 5-shaft turned satin (damask), etc. The shafts carry one set of heddles and each shaft is operated by the treadles.
- Second Harness – the set of draw loom shafts operated separately to create the pattern throughout the fabric.
- Optional extra, the Draw Loom Combination Device
The single unit draw loom combination device combines the shaft draw with a single unit draft draw. The unit consists of a set of individual cords that each operate one unit of the weave. The image above (from Warped for Good) demonstrates how the wooden pulleys operate to lift the pattern shafts while the single unit draw cords are pulled to create a non-repeated pattern. This is how you can add free-form patterning, text or images to the regular and repetitive patterns of the shaft draw system.
Draw looms can’t produce every unit weave (typically a warp rep or a weft rep, for example). The key element of the resulting design is the difference between the draw loom created pattern and the woven background. The design simply requires more warp threads to show in either the pattern or the background and as a result more weft threads will then show in the other.
Draw Loom FAQs
A draw loom unit is an additional harness placed within a Countermarch floor loom, it adds the ability to weave complex patterns into the fabric which may not have a repeating pattern; a name on a place mat, flowers on a wall hanging or images which can be designed as for a tapestry.
The draw loom uses two distinct harnesses, the loom’s original weaving harness and the added Draw loom harness. The draw loom harness lies within an added bridge within a Countermarch floor loom. The second harness of draw loom pattern shafts are attached to the bridge which is placed inside the loom and behind the first harness. A separate loom extension is added to the back of the loom to increase the working depth of the loom. Adding the extension provides additional working space for the shafts and the increased warp length helps to reduce the warp tension on opening the shed.
Designs are made by pulling drawcords which raise individual units of heddles. The cords are held in place by wooden dowel pulls, located just above the beater. The draw loom is comfortable to use, with drawcords at eye level. You can see photos of the older styles of draw looms in Lillemor and Johanssons book, Damask and Opphamta (now only available second hand and very expensive).
The Myrehed draw looms are made by the Myrehed family in Varmland Sweden.
The draw loom supplied through George Weil in the UK can be fitted to the Swedish countermarch floor looms; the Glimakra Standard Countermarch looms. If you have another make of floor loom, we can determine if you can add a draw loom.
There are two types of countermarch looms available; horizontal, which has two horizontal jacks for each shaft, and vertical, which uses pulleys and one centre jack for each shaft.
The horizontal countermarch is more common and is less expensive to purchase. The horizontal countermarch has a cord running down through the centre of the warp to the lower lamms. This cord does not interfere with the weaving and it gives a very direct pull from the treadles. There is little friction on the cords.
The vertical countermarch is taller than the horizontal countermarch by about 20cm and 5cm taller than the beater on the loom. With the vertical countermarch the cords pass over pulleys to the shafts and on to the lamms. The cords to the lower lamms pass over pulleys and then down on the outside of the loom. This cord does not pass through the warp threads.
Access to all working parts of the loom is easy on the horizontal countermarch. The vertical countermarch may require a small stool to reach to the centre to tie up vertical jacks at the top of the loom. However, these cords can be attached to the countermarch before it is placed on top of the loom.
The draw loom can in most cases, be used with either style of countermarch loom.
The Myrehed Draw loom available from George Weil has been designed to best fit the Glimakra Standard Countermarch floor looms. A version is available for the Glimakra Julia Countermarch loom (please enquire 01483 565800). The smallest weaving width is 100cm. The other sizes are 120cm, 150cm and the largest is 160cm. The price list shows these four sizes only. If your loom has a discontinued weaving width not shown in the price list, please contact us to explore the options for a draw loom to fit your loom.
A draw loom can be added to a floor loom with only four shafts, but to weave satin, you will need 5 shafts. The 6-shaft satin is also very commonly used for damask weaving using finer threads. It is helpful to have 6 to 8 treadles.
The Glimakra Standard loom is 140cm deep. A draw loom with the first harness of 10 pattern shafts needs the loom to be extended by a minimum of 60cm to accommodate the second harness of draw loom shafts. Long eyed heddles which are used in the first harness also reduce the shed produced. The extension increases the warp length which improves the final shed depth.
The Myrehed draw loom extension is adjustable from a minimum additional depth of 20cm to over 100cm. It is easily adjustable and at it shortest the frame of the extension fits inside the original loom frame.
The maximum height of a draw loom is 195cm.
The loom can readily be returned to normal use after using it as a draw loom. The draw loom bridge is easy to remove or can stay on the loom. The only part that has to move out of the way is the second harness of pattern shafts. However, it is possible to move the shafts to the side of the loom. They are only in the way of the new warp when weaving the full width of the loom or where the number of pattern shafts in the loom is considerably increased.
The loom extension can be left on the loom and or its setting shortened.
Myrehed Draw Loom Bridge and a Myrehed Loom Extension
Box 1 is a view of the Draw Loom Bridge attached to the loom and box 2 demonstrates how the Loom Extension is attached to the Glimakra Standard Countermarch Loom.
The Draw Loom Bridge (1) and Loom Extension (2) do not depend on the loom width. They are added to a Glimakra Standard Countermarch floor loom with a minimum of 6 shafts and a maximum of 10 shafts. For a loom with more shafts it is strongly advised that the additional shafts are removed. Other floor loom maker options are available, please contact us for details.
Myrehed Draw Loom Set-up Packs
Start Packs are available for the 4 widths of Glimakra Standard Countermarch floor looms (100cm, 120cm, 150cm or 160cm) and include either the Draw Loom Bridge and the Extension, or the Draw Loom Bridge without the Extension plus the following items:
- 800 Ground heddles
- 800 Pattern heddles
- 200 Weights (Lingos)
- 130m Draw String
- 20m Texsolv Chain cord
- 12 Elastics with 6 pegs
- 2 Heddle bars
- Screw hooks for ground shafts
- 10 Pattern shafts with handles and screw hooks. The bridge has room for 50 shafts and more can be ordered with the starter pack in units of 10 shafts up to 50 shafts
- Set up instructions.
Adding more draw loom shafts will give you more pattern possibilities. Lillemor Johansson’s book Damask and Opphamta has patterns which show you what you can do with 10, 20 shafts and more. Whichever you choose, you can add to it. You can start with 10 shafts and draw cords, there are many patterns that you will find. You can later add shafts 10 at a time, up to 50. If you think you will someday want more than 50, order the larger bridge that can have up to 100 shafts on the widest looms.
We can provide an expected delivery time for the Myrehed Draw loom and accessories when you place your order. In the event that we don’t have your loom size draw loom in stock, we will let you know how long it will take to get that size. Delivery in the UK is through George Weil who take care of all the border customs documentation and payments and then forward the draw loom to the customer. All costs, including free UK delivery, are in the price shown on the George Weil web site.