Monday, November 25, 2013

Building the Dobby Chain

My smaller loom, the 40" folding dobby, does not have a Compu-Dobby. It has the original arrangement, the dobby chain. I have dobby chains which are made up of dobby bars that are shaped to go over the dobby box roller. I am fat on dobby bars right now because I must have acquired over 200 that are in excellent condition when I bought the big loom. Some of those bars are organized into chains and labeled. I have the "work book" of the previous weaver and maybe I can figure out what she used those chains for. In addition I have about 100 dobby bars for the smaller loom. When a dobby chain gets so long it drags on the floor, the weight of the chain makes the dobby jam or skip. A lead pipe at the bottom of the chain loop can help but there is a limit. Each pass of the shuttle requires a pegged bar. For complicated weaving sequences a chain might have to be very long. My mentor Lillian Whipple has designs that would require a chain 800 bars long hence the need for a computerized system. I finished pegging the chain, 44 bars with blank bars as a spacer to mark half-way on the pattern and two bars for tabby. You can also easily change the direction of the chain to go in reverse. That can, depending on the weaving sequence, can give you more design possibilities. Significant changes require a different chain.  To build the chain I used a weaving program on my IPad, WeaveIt. It has a convenient module that lets you tap and advance the treadling sequence in my case the dobby bar sequence. I did this while watching the "Red Violin" on Netflix, a movie that does not require any concentration. Today I 'll see how she weaves.

Dobby Chain "Building"

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