Stretchers or Temples as they are often called help keep your weaving width true, the draw-in consistent and protect the edge warp threads. They are widely used by Scandinavian Weavers on most warps but are considered vital for weaving linen or rugs.

Toika colour code the stretchers for ease of identification. With the exception of green each small stretcher has a larger counterpart in the same colour. A few years ago Toika added third green stretcher to the range. This means that there are small, medium and large green stretchers available

Toika stretchers are exceptionally strong as they are made from steel. Steel stretchers are  narrower and stronger than wooden stretchers; the narrower width means much less of your cloth is covered, making it easier to check your lift  and beat. The strength of steel allows the manufacturer to make more  holes in the stretcher, which allows much finer adjustments to match the width of your warp. The holes in Toika Stretchers are approximately 1cm apart. All stretchers are fully interchangeable to make a new size.

Set the width before you start weaving. Set the stretcher width at the reed, not at the fell of the cloth. You will need to weave a few centimetres of cloth so there is somewhere to attach the stretcher.  For the best results  keep the stretcher close to the fell of the cloth.  When you are ready to wind on remove the stretcher from the cloth before releasing the break, this will remind you to  move the stretcher regularly up the cloth the cloth each time you wind on.

There are many opinions on whether or not to leave the stretcher on the cloth when you finish weaving for the day. The  choice is yours, I almost always remove mine; except when weaving with 100% linen, but in all cases leave the width set.

Don’t weave too close to your beater; it’s always good practice to wind your weaving on regularly, whether using a stretcher or not.  If you forget the pins may scratch your beater! Be mindful of the pins when handling the stretcher both on and off the cloth, they  are VERY sharp! Don’t worry about the holes  the pins make, they will disappear as your cloth winds around the cloth beam and will also close up further during wet finishing.

If you lose the pin covers or ever wear out the pins replacements are available and kept in stock. I understand is also possible to make your own stretchers using the pin plates, but please don’t ask me how!

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