Our drawer in the studio labeled "shaft bras" always elicits curiosity from our students.
These elastic hangers serve several useful purposes. Any counterbalance tie-up involving a narrow warp may have its shed enhanced by suspending the end of each shaft bar in one of these elastic loops. The cord hangs from the counterbalance beam on each side of the loom, and the elastic loops keep the shafts straight and even, ensuring a clean shed.
If you are having trouble with "baggy heddle" syndrome on a countermarch loom, these can be helpful as well, since they will hold the shafts in their upper home position, rather than letting the shafts sag. Slack heddles can sometimes result in broken warp threads, as the slack heddles wiggle their way inside the shed before you change to a new shed.
These "shaft bras" are often a requirement tying up the drawloom unless you have a weighted shaft return system. In a drawloom tie up, you are often lowering one shaft, raising one shaft, and leaving the other shafts in their home position. These elastic loops are what keep the shafts in their "home position". Learn the details of tying up your drawloom in our DVD Dress Your Swedish Drawloom.