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Sleyer

posted Aug 2, 2010, 1:33 PM by Mary Powell
With the warp measured out, it must now be spread out, or sleyed,  so that it will wind on to the loom evenly.
So, I lay the two chains out side by side.

Then I slide two long, smooth sticks through the cross of both chains, one before the tie, one behind it. Once the sticks, called lease sticks, are securely tied, the string holding the cross can be removed.

To space the threads evenly apart, I use a reed. This is a metal comb with a set number of spaces, called dents, per inch. I want ten threads per inch, so I use a ten-dent reed. In the old days, reeds were made out of tiny wooded slats or split pieces of reed or cane. I don't have one, and I can't get the woodworker to make me one, so I'm using a metal reed.
I untie the cross, and separate one thread from its fellows. Since the threads were looped around the pegs, it is, for our purposes, actually two threads connected.

Using a small metal hook, called a sley hook, I pull the thread through the reed. It is then looped around a stick to hold it.

Then the next thread is pulled through the next dent.

And so on and so on.

And we're done.

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