We have just taken delivery of a large order of Toika Stainless Steel Reeds including some new dent sizes in metric and imperial measurements as well as some new lengths we have been asked to stock. The website should now be up to date with stock that is now available. We are pretty confident that you will find a Toika reed to fit your loom even if it isn’t a Toika! Toika reeds are still made in the traditional way and in our opinion offer high quality and excellent value for money. If you aren’t sure if a Toika reed will fit your loom please drop us an email or give us a ring and we can advise you. As we now very well stocked with reeds, it seems like good time to offer some information on substituting a reed.
Reed Substitution Charts
If you only have one or two reeds you will probably need a reed substitution chart. This is the easiest way of finding out how to thread the reed if the sett you have decided upon doesn’t fit easily into your reed in equal numbers. There’s lots of choice for imperial measurements, but less choice when it comes to metric. If you have reeds in several different sizes you may well be able to find a better solution to those offered in the substitution charts. Don’t forget that if your beater is open ended you can fit a longer size in than if it is closed at the sides. It is almost always possible to use a narrower reed than your loom requires as long as it is wide enough for your project. You may be able to borrow a reed better suited for your chosen sett from a weaving pal or your local Guild.
Ashford have a downloadable pdf reed substitution chart.
Just remember that sett recommendations are fairly arbitrary and should only be used as a starting point. Thinking about the use for the cloth, how it will change when taken off the loom, what effect wet finishing are just a few considerations we need to take into account when planning a project. Even when following a pattern from a book or magazine you may be making adjustments to suit your loom, the yarn you are using or the final use of the cloth. Setts are not set in stone, and sampling often yields the best outcomes.
Jane Stafford – whose subscription weaving course draws universal acclaim – also has a chart which includes 5dpi and 18dpi reeds.
While US weavers almost exclusively use imperial units, If you have European weaving books or magazines they will almost certainly only use metric reed numbers. The other important thing to remember with metric reeds is that the dent size is expressed as dents per 10cm, approximately 4 inches, something that I remember not understanding when I first read a Vav magazine!
Karen Eisenhower however has kindly worked out the conversions for us. You can find it on her website Warped for Good. Karen gives us accurate conversions, not approximations and her advice on choosing and using metric reeds over imperial has given me a great deal of thought. Many of us of a certain age muddle along using a hybrid of imperial and metric measurements. Karen also points out that “the math is much easier” in metric so I am going to give it a go on my next project for all of the calculations and measurements, and use metric reed in the process.
Karen also has a brilliant weaving glossary, another source of excellent information as well as lots of weaving information and beautiful weaving to admire and inspire. You can sign up for updates if you like what you see.