Experiences With a Temple (So Far)

Still weaving away here in the northwoods, now working on a cottolin twill plaid towel. I had never used a Glimakra temple until this warp and, at the moment, have mixed feelings about them. They do keep the warp threads out the same distance as threads in the reed. I am still experiencing draw-in when the temple is removed, but it is nice not to be so concerned with draw-in as when weaving without a temple.

On the last towel, I believe I had readjusted the width of the temple and had it pulling the fabric just a bit wider than the threads in the reed, so have put it back where I had originally set it for this width of warp.

The sharp points on these temples do leave holes in the weaving, though most disappear as weaving continues.


On one towel I found the far right selvedge thread torn through, and on the last towel, a weft thread was torn through (above).

A little earlier today I set up the homemade temple as found on The Woolgatherers website. With the weight I had on it, the weaving width was not being kept out quite as far as the warp threads in the reed, but I am using cottolin, not wool. Wool would stretch and give more than the cottolin, and that could be what is making a difference. I will be looking at the homemade temple again, but partway through a towel is probably not the time to change.

I know there is much more to be learned about using a temple, and who knows, may reach the day when I wonder how I ever wove without one. Another learning experience,…

The two colors for the drawcord warp have arrived, and I’ll be ordering the two reeds needed for the drawloom, having spoken with three or four sources. Meanwhile, additional long-eye heddles have been tied for the opphampta attachment, I am now up to 1,200, and soon will begin the pattern heddles.

Residents of the Northwoods continue to hope for spring, but we know there will likely be a few snowstorms ahead yet. Still, I am looking forward to setting my washtubs out on the lakeside porch and washing raw fleece, sitting out there and spinning, and having all the windows open while weaving. It will be so nice to hear birdsong again, watching for fawns, and keeping an eye out for the odd black bear. There is hope, I spotted two bald eagles sitting in a tree yesterday.

5 thoughts on “Experiences With a Temple (So Far)”

  1. Hi Janice,I use a temple pretty much all the time and have a couple of tips that may help. When you measure the temple width, turn the temple upside down against the reed, the tips of the hooks should just be as wide as your weaving, not the base of the hooks. When you place the temple on the weaving the hooks should only engage about 1/16 into the selvedge. A doubled selvedge/tape selvedge or crammed selvedge will also help. When you move the temple (about every 1/2 inch or so) rub your fingers over the holes and they should all but disappear, washing will remove them entirely. If when you insert the temple you get a lot of tension, your temple width is too great, better too small than too large. Hope this helps a bit.

  2. Thanks for the tips, Lynette, especially about measuring the temple at the reed. I’ve been wishing the temple could be fine-tuned a bit more. May have to take width into account more when designing warps. I have washed a few pieces and yes, the “holes” do disappear. I am slowly learning to weave with a temple and liking it more and more. Love the name of your blog, and noticed today I need to vacuum again under the loom, I do have some small dust bunnies collecting under there again.

  3. Thanks for the temple report, and extra info in the comments! I’m still contemplating getting one. For now, I’m satisfied with how weaving is going without one, but I want to try one at some point.I could barely read your list of things to look forward to about spring….I’m trying to enjoy winter and not wish March and April away. (But I’m ready for winter to be over really!) Fortunately, today is sunny and in the 50’s – so that should make a dent in the 12 inches of snow still left in our yard!!!Thanks for sharing your temple experience! (The towel looks great – love the design of it!)Sue

  4. oh, my, I’m not wishing March and April away, I’ve got too much to do and that would really put me behind! I enjoy all four seasons, four,… not the fifth, which is mud season and that is coming. We have snow coming again tomorrow so that is good.I was noticing while weaving yesterday that my blocks, under tension are not square, but a bit taller, plus adding in that extra row, but I also know the cottolin loses several inches lengthwise, in finishing, which is why I’m doing it this way. If I have them square on the loom, they might be flattened out after wet-finishing and pressing. I’ll check on that when this piece is off the loom. I expect things like this are why it is good to sample, all the way through the finishing. Even though I’ve woven with cottolin many times before, the first thing I did with this warp was sample my different wefts and combinations, then cut it of the loom, measure, toss it in the washer and dryer, and measure again. It also let me see what would happen when putting tabby and twill next to each other, and the change at the selvedges when changing weft from the cottolin to the linen/cotton slub and flake yarns. That enabled me to adjust my ideas so no unpleasant surprises.

  5. A temple is not for preventing draw-in. It is for preventing draw-in only at the spot where you are weaving in order to allow the weft thread to go across more evenly and so distribute the draw in a little more across to the weft so that the warp ends do not close up so tightly at the selvedges. This is especially helpful at high epi and ppi. Using a temple is often the only way you can get ppi to match epi. At the other extreme, that is precisely why rug weavers use temples, so they can pack as much weft into an inch as they can. Once the temple is removed, the cloth snaps back, as you have seen, but the draw-in should be more evenly spaced with not quite such closely placed warps at the selvedge. Still, having selvedge warps spaced a little closely does help prevent wear and tear–not a bad thing.

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