It's been a long time, like a few years, since I described how I start a batch of cloth. Thanks for asking, Diane!
The sandpaper beam lets me just start weaving without any sort of tie on. Just lay the threads in place and start weaving.
Pretty soon the cloth is bunched up on my thighs.
When I stand up it drapes to the floor so I put it over the first roller and use clips to weight it down. That center clip lets me keep pulling the cloth up and off of my feet.
But eventually, that clip is on my feet and there's enough cloth to feed through to the back of the loom.
So I do that and use the clips to keep it feeding through until there's enough to reach the cloth takeup beam.
Then I pick a line in the sample blanket and use that to get it attached straight onto that beam. And by attached I mean that I unroll a little apron, lay the cloth on top, flip the apron over and roll it up for a couple of turns. Tension holds it in place with no tying.
Voilá! Now I can really put the petal to the metal and weave without managing the cloth by hand. Pretty cool, huh?
Yeah, this process requires very careful movement to keep from disturbing the warp tension, but with a little practice it becomes easy. And boy is it fast, especially compared to feeding through an apron, tying onto a rod, cutting it off, and all that rigmarole.