Ask Madelyn: Using Tabletop Drafts on a Floor Loom

Learn from Madelyn how to adapt table-loom drafts to use with floor looms.

Madelyn van der Hoogt Nov 24, 2020 - 2 min read

Ask Madelyn: Using Tabletop Drafts on a Floor Loom Primary Image

Photo Credit: George Boe

Hi Madelyn!

Getting back to weaving after several years. Can drafts for small tabletop looms apply to a large 8-shaft Norwood loom?

Larry Allen

Hi, Larry!

Yes, you can use any draft for a table loom on your 8-shaft Norwood. There might be a situation in which you don’t have enough treadles, but in that case, you can often use what is called a skeleton tie-up.

Threading drafts for table looms can be used just as they are on a floor loom. You simply thread shaft 1 the way you would thread shaft 1 on the floor loom and continue.

Instead of weaving by pulling on levers, however, you will be stepping on treadles. You’ll need a separate treadle for every different combination of levers that are raised in the table-loom draft. For example, if tabby is 1-3-5-7 vs 2-4-6-8 on the table-loom draft, you will tie one treadle to make shafts 1-3-5-7 go up and a second treadle to make 2-4-6-8 go up. Then, you’ll use those treadles when the instructions for the table loom say 1-3-5-7 or 2-4-6-8.


For more complicated treadling orders, you’ll have to look through all of the combinations of shafts raised in the table-loom draft and tie up a treadle for each one (see example below). You’ll usually have enough treadles to do that, and you’ll experience the pleasure of having your hands free to operate the shuttle and beater and feel the mesmerizing rhythm of weaving in your whole body.


I hope you enjoy your loom!