K. FAQ 11 – How do I stop my shed rod from moving around?

If my shed rod is slipping and sliding about a lot when the shed is open, I secure it by tying it to a second stick in a second cross behind it. This is also what I do when I want to use the ”twisty sticks” as an aid for opening heddle sheds on wide warps. Those who have taken my workshops or who have bought my video class Operating a Backstrap Loom will know what I am talking about when I say ”twisty sticks”.

Many weavers provide for a second cross as they wind their warp.  All the Guatemalan weavers I saw do so. However I have not seen anyone here in Bolivia use one. I put the second cross in once the warp is on the loom as I believe the fewer the twists and turns on the warping board, the better able you are to wind a warp with consistent tension.

Here is how I install the second cross (or twisty sticks). Note that will need to make your heddles, as you can see in the photo, before you do this. You will need one extra thin dowel for this:

Here is my warp set up with my string heddles made and a shed rod in place. First I open the shed rod shed, draw the warps down to the weaving line and place my sword within the shed to save it as you can see above.

Now that the shed rod shed has been saved on the sword, I can remove the shed rod.

Now I open the heddle shed and place the extra dowel within the shed beyond the heddles as shown.

I use the sword to re-open the shed rod shed and pass it up beyond the heddles. I then put the original shed rod within.

Join the two sticks with tape, string or elastic bands. You can see the second cross that has been formed. Your shed rod will now stay put and you can open that shed by inserting your sword in front of the rod and tilting it. If you know about the “twisty sticks”, these are the two sticks that you grasp and twist when you want to open the heddle shed.

Here is a video I also made to  show the process of securing the shed stick/insertion of twisty sticks…..


  1. Thanks Lavern for making this video. I have not attempted to do this yet because I just wasn’t getting it from the pictures and step directions. You tried to make this clearer for me, but I was still having a problem. Now that I see this, it all fell in to place. Why didn’t I get it before? DUH LOL

  2. Danke für dieses Video 🙂
    Ich war echt schon am Verzweifeln, weil der Stab immer weggerutscht ist.
    Nachdem ich aber immer wieder hier nachlese, kurz bevor ich alles in die Ecke schmeiße, hab ich bis jetzt noch nicht aufgegeben und es funktioniert immer besser.

    LG, Martina

    • You are welcome Martina and thank you Google translator!

  3. Thank you for showing me the second cross! I didn’t quite understand how to create it but your video solved the mystery for me!

  4. Great idea but there is no video now, please direct me to the video.

    • It might be a problem with the device you are using as I can see the video. I have a pc and use Google chrome.

      • Great idea but there is no video now, please direct me to the video.
        I am on an Ipad with Safari

      • This particular video is hosted on my Flickr page. You could try watching it there. If you can’t see it there, then I am sorry, I can’t help you. You might have to try another device. Here’s the link to the flickr vid….

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