What is a temple and do I need one?
This is a question I am commonly asked by weavers. Temples sit on top of your woven fabric, holding the fabric at the width where your threads come through the reed. A temple helps to prevent draw-in and the issues this can cause with breaking salvages.
A weaving temple, also known as a weaving stretcher or a temple stake, is a device used in handloom weaving to maintain the tension and width of the woven fabric. The primary purpose of a weaving temple is to prevent the edges of the fabric from drawing in or becoming uneven during the weaving process. When the fabric is under tension on the loom, the warp threads tend to pull inwards, causing the fabric to narrow as it progresses. This natural tendency can result in uneven edges, making it difficult to achieve a straight and consistent selvedge.
By using a weaving temple, weavers can counteract this inward pull of the warp threads and maintain the desired width of the fabric. Weaving temples also aid in keeping the selvedges even. The temple's points are carefully positioned along the selvage, and as the weaver progresses, the temple is moved along with the weaving, guiding the threads and preventing any irregularities. This ensures that the edges of the fabric remain straight and parallel, resulting in a clean and professional finish.
Temples are not something you need to use regularly, but they are great to have on hand for when you find you are having draw-in issues.