Ask Madelyn: Is there a way to make tying up my loom easier?

Any tips for getting under the loom as we age?

Madelyn van der Hoogt Mar 20, 2024 - 4 min read

Ask Madelyn: Is there a way to make tying up my loom easier? Primary Image

Palaka-Inspired Canvas Weave runner by Kate Lange Mckibben. Photo by Matt Graves

Hi Madelyn,

I have been weaving for decades and still love it! But as the years have gone by, it is getting harder and harder for me to get under the loom to tie up the treadles. My hips and knees aren’t what they used to be! Any tips for making this task easier? I still see a lot of warps in my future, but tie-ups might keep me from weaving.


Hi Carol!

You are so not alone in this concern! Unfortunately, except for dobby and table looms, tying up treadles is a part of weaving. The treadles on some looms are easier to access than others and some systems allow easier connections than others, but getting down on the floor is usually part of the task. (It would be nice to have a hoist to put the loom on a table, or better yet, suspend it in air!)

dancing-with-your-loom-1If you like to weave the same structure, keeping your treadles tied in the same fashion is easy!

It’s a good idea to figure out the way to do it (to get up and down) that is best for your body, and to make sure that your tie-up cords and connectors are as easy to attach as possible. (And long warps with versatile treadling possibilities using the same tie-up are good!)

Your question reminds me of a poem one of my students wrote and shared with the class. We all loved it!


P.S.—Looking for more habits to change in your weaving to help physically? Check out this article From Cynthia Evetts and Tina Fletcher.

Tying up the treadles

by Ginny Gunther

I put my bathrobe on over my clothes in case I get chilly on the floor.

I go to the bathroom.

I get a glass of water or a soft drink in case I get thirsty.

I get a small snack in case I get hungry.

I get my cell phone and my landline in case of an emergency while I’m on the floor.

I get my pattern ready so that I can read it on the floor.

I turn on the floor lamp and point it toward the floor at the back of my loom. (It’s dark in Alaska in the winter!

I grab my iPad, just in case. (I keep books on it for recreational reading.)

I get my TV remote for background noise.

I put down my foam rubber pad to kneel or lay on while I work.

I go to the bathroom again.

Finally, with everything assembled, I get down on the floor and begin working on my treadling.

This way, I have all I need with me so I am comfortable until my husband gets home to help me back up.

If you have a weaving question we would love to hear from you! Please email Madelyn!