Once the end of the warp has been reached, this is signalled by the irons falling to the floor as the warp releases them and the chance to cry, ‘Glad iron!’ as generations of weavers have done before us. This is always a great moment after a lot of work to get to this stage and a very welcome sound indeed!
The cloth can now to be cut from the loom, rolled up and wrapped, ready for ‘finishing’. This is done at Schofield’s in Galashiels, the same town where our looms were made, and completes the circle very nicely. Here, it is washed, ‘fulled’ and shrunk to tighten the weave and remove the oils which in turn softens the cloth. A special treatment is applied which stabilises the cloth and prevents it from moving so that it retains it’s shape. This is a very important stage, and especially relevant for when the cloth is cut to be made into garments.