Rigid Heddle Looms

Instructions for how to warp a rigid heddle loom.

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Jo posted these pictures and instructions on how to warp a Rigid Heddle loom, to our Forum.
WarpingARigidHeddle1.jpg, 25831 bytes

1. tie the end of your warp to the anchor (at a distance that is the length of the warp you want…..
NOTE: clamp loom to a stable surface….
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2. Sley the slots (only) in the reed – by looping the end of the thread. The slip that loop over the stick attached to the back roller……
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Repeat this till the warp is the width you require…..
wrap around your anchor and then unwind the yarn to the heddle and pull loop of yarn through the next slot and so on……..

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This is what your finished warp will look like…..

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Another view of finished warp….

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Now it is the time to cut the warp from your anchor…..
It may be best to have someone help you wind the warp as this can help keep even tention and makes it a lot easier for you……..
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I usually put paper between the layers of wound warp on the back beam……
When you get about 1 foot away from the “fixed” heddle (your heddle should be in the “fixed” position throughout warping)….
It is now time to sley the holes…..
take the top thread from the slot, starting on the left and put it in the hole to the right……

WarpingARigidHeddle8.jpg, 33040 bytes

Now it’s time to tie the warp to the front stick that is attched to the front roller/beam…..
Please be sure to tie with even tention…..
Here is what the warped loom looks like…..

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Now it is time to weave……
usually you need to weave what’s called a “heading”…..just a few wefts till the warp is even (notice the taping at the front – you just want to get past this). When you put in a weft thread into the warp angle it up toward the heddle at about 45 degree angle – this will help to prevent the weaving drawing in at the sides…….
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Now beat down that weft – not too hard – if you pack them down too hard your fabric may not drape as nicely.
Finally, always wet finish your piece. I wash my woolen item in the washing mashine with hot water but others prefer warm water or even hand washing – this can be an area to experiment as the wet finish can make or break a piece…..
Happy Weaving !!

Knee Rugs woven on a Rigid Heddle Loom
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Rigid Heddle Weaving Books
The Weaver’s Idea Book: Creative Cloth on a Rigid Heddle Loom
Handwoven Home: Weaving Techniques, Tips, and Projects for the Rigid-Heddle Loom
Color & Texture for the Rigid Heddle Loom: A Study in Yarn Selection for Weavers
Weaving Made Easy Revised and Updated: 17 Projects Using a Rigid-Heddle Loom
Weave•Knit•Wear: Simply Fabulous Clothing and Accessories for Rigid Heddle (and Other) Weavers

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Author: Paivi Suomi

I've had an interest in weaving, looms, yarns and textiles since I was a small child. I learned to knit, crochet, sew, do needlepoint at my mother's knee. My grandmother was a Saami from northern Norway. I am very interested in studying more about tradtional Saami and Finnish style weaving and handicrafts. Paivi Suomi