by Catherine Malichecq
Texsolv smooths are not very common in Quebec — probably because the vast majority of the crafts made there offer, by default, metal needles with one exception. Unknown, they do not always have good press and yet they have significant advantages. For some, they even outperform metal slicks; we tell you why.
Before we talk about the benefits, let's talk about these smooth ones, their history and their provenance.
Texsolv is a Swedish company. Founded in 1977 by Sune Ivarsson and now owned by her son Thomas, it offers the Texlov system: smooths, carnch rope and various types of brooches, a set of products specially designed for weaving. Currently, around the world, the number of trades manufacturers using these products is constantly growing, and for good reason, the Texsolv system is effective.
The slicks — "solve" in Swedish - are made of crocheted polyester without knots. This feature gives them extreme durability.
Their design makes it very easy to install them on the frames. Indeed, they come in batches (usually 100 units) and are linked to each other at the top and bottom by a thin cord. Opinions differ on the use of these cords: some manufacturers recommend cutting them before use, which makes it much easier to use, in my opinion, especially when unsured threads or on multi-frame trades.
Other advantages are worth noting about these smooth ones.
First, the noise, or rather the absence of noise: the vibration of the needles against the frames disappears completely thanks to these polyester slicks, which is, in my opinion, very pleasant.
Second, their design reduces friction and thereby preserves the chain wires. Another point in relation to the design, it allows an easy and fast thread that does not necessarily require the use of a passette. A simple movement with the fingers allows the wire to be caught and passed through the central part of the smooth. With the habit, the time saving is not negligible.
Third, excess smooths can remain on the frames because they easily settle on the sides, taking up little space and adding no unnecessary weight.
Finally, for those who wish, it is possible to dye them partially, which could help reduce errors, for example on multiframes.