Weaving on an Old Loom – Problem no. 1

I weave once a week at a workshop class. There I don’t use my new Ashford Table Loom (now on the stand), but an old 24″ Leclerc Nilus. I spent the first class with it doing loom repairs.

This is not a bad thing (just like putting together my Ashford was not a bad thing) as it forces you to understand your loom a bit more. I thought I was “good to go” and finally started weaving officially this week (the last class of the session).

Here’s what happened. I was beating and finding that the front brake kept slipping off. I had tried to repair it day one, but the screw has been fixed so many times, it’s damaged the wood frame. So short of moving the holder around, it’s a bit stuck at the moment the way it is.

This meant I had to be delicate. But I was also finding that my fabric was moving forward and loose. I was constantly tightening and shifting things. It took me a while to figure out what was going on.

(I also had a draw-in issue but that’s a lesson learned in using a 24″ loom I’ve never used before and finding the apron rod was actually closer to 22″ so it could get past the brake…so next time I won’t be so free with my width in loom).

Here’s the difference I was seeing in the fabric:

Error in Beating to Loose
Cloth on the Leclerc Nilus with Brake Slippage (Advancing Twill)

The black is the header, but the next section you can see how spread out the pattern is compared to the top section (both sections are the same number of picks). I finally realized that my brake on the back was also slipping. Every time I was beating, the fabric was moving forward as well.

Because my brakes kept slipping on the front and back, it was resulting in a very stretched pattern that was impossible to correct. The more forcefully I beat the fabric, the more it moved.


A pair of needle nose pliers and a wrench were found, and the back spring on the back brake was shortened. This tightened it up so it stopped slipping (took off about six spring coils, it didn’t take a lot). Then the front brake was secured with a pipe cleaner (it was on hand).

The result is the new top section of the pattern.

I didn’t go back as I’m using this as fabric for a small purse and I can work around it for what I need. (Although I’m debating that now that I look at it, and may remove it on Saturday when I return to the workshop).

The good news out of this is that this is an advancing twill that had a VERY complicated threading pattern (78 threading pattern repeat). I was very pleased to see that despite my issues with the brake slipping, the threading looks correct. Very happy about that as it was not easy to stay focused while threading and make sure I got it right.

I’ll hopefully take a picture when it’s finished and off the loom so you can see the full effect.

This entry was posted in Leclerc Nilus Loom, Weaving and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Weaving on an Old Loom – Problem no. 1

  1. Pingback: Weaving on an Old Loom – Saved » W.L. Doornik

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