How to Read a Tie-up Plan?

Tie-up format is prepared if you are working on a floor loom having multiple treadles. This article walks you through the basics of this format and stepwise drafting procedure with the help of a simple example. 
Let us consider a draft plan for a floor loom. In the example below, the threading pattern is inserted across the top and basic twill tie-up is done for a rising shaft loom, as shown in figure 1. We have gold warp yarns and white weft yarns. 
Threading in weaving fabric
Figure 1: Note that, the primary information that can be extracted from the draft below is that there are 4 shafts and 6 treadles in the loom. Out of 6 treadles only 4 are being used to make the desired pattern, however, all 6 could have been used (depending on the pattern requirement). Also, note how treadles are linked with threading shafts (T1 is tied up with shaft 1 and 2 and so on).

Figure 2: Now suppose, T1 is pressed on the loom with this setup. This will lift up both shafts (SH.1, SH.2) containing warp threads. As we look across the threading line in the figure, warp (gold thread) is above weft (white thread).
Figure 3: T2 is pressed after that. Note that the corresponding shafts (SH.2, SH.3) are lifted and the warp yarns are again positioned on top.
Figure 4: T3 is pressed after that. Note that the corresponding shafts (SH.3, SH.4) are lifted and the warp yarns are again positioned on top. 

Figure 5: In a similar manner, the treadles are pushed in the above shown order to get a final diamond pattern on the fabric. 

A Word about Notations

Notations vary from book to book. The example illustrated in this article uses numbers for threading, colour coding for tie-up and treadling for easier explanation. There are many standard books using their own notations for representational purposes. 

For example, The Hand Weaver’s Pattern Directory by Anne Dixon, a famous must have for weavers working on 4 shaft looms, has used colour-coding the boxes for representing threading, tie-up and treadling (■□). All the patterns in this book are for a rising shaft loom. Another well-noted book- A weaver’s book of 8 shaft Patterns by Carol Strickler- uses numbers for representing threading sequence (as done in the example). However, circles are drawn to represent tie-ups for a rising shaft loom. 
You can follow any standard notation or create one of your own. However, do remember to write down the interpretations of the symbols clearly. Afterall, the purpose of these drafts is to communicate your design to a wider weaver audience!

Hand Weaver’s Pattern Directory by Anne Dixon

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