Let’s all “heddle” up!

Here I am, threading heddles…. won’t you join me?

Each yarn gets a heddle

Each yarn gets a heddle

So if you think back a week ago, I had moved the reed containing all my yarn over into the loom. From there, I had started threading the heddles. For this project, the plan is to fill every bit of the width of the loom. What that translates to is 36+” of yarn, set at 8 ends (yarns) per inch. (Doing the math, multiply by… add this guy… carry that dude…) Lots of yarn!!!

It's a jungle in there!

It’s a jungle in there!

My loom is a 4-shaft loom, meaning I have 4 frames that lift and lower – controlled by the pedals at the base. Each shaft holds a whole bunch of heddles, who in turn hold each of the yarns.

Profile shot

Profile shot

In the photo above, you can see the 4 rows of heddles – each row is connected to one of the shafts!

Bird's eye view!

Bird’s eye view!

All the good little soldiers!

All the good little soldiers!

Heddles come in a variety of styles and sizes. I use a flat metal heddle. But, there are also wire heddles that are a thinner style, plus a whole line of Texsolv heddles that are made from a lightweight polyester. I’m sure the heddles on my loom are louder than the others when the weaving begins. But, the noise has never bothered me! Just means progress…

If you stood behind the loom, this is what you'd see!

If you stood behind the loom, this is what you’d see!

I have a great weaving bench that adjusts down so I can sit at “heddle height”, if you will! Considering it typically takes me 3-ish hours for this part of the process, it’s good to be as comfortable and ergonomically positioned as possible! (To be honest, it doesn’t hurt that I’m only 5’3″! Easier to sit that close to the ground!)

Making progress!

Making progress!

All the lovely knots!

All the lovely knots!

For this pattern (plain weave), I’m using a consecutive sequence for the yarns. Meaning, the first yarn will go into a heddle on shaft 1, the next yarn will go into a heddle on shaft 2, etc.  So, when I am weaving and lift shaft 1 and 3, every other yarn will raise up. Then, 2 and 4 together. Back to 1 and 3, and repeat again and again! It’s really just pot-holder-making 101! Same thing! Over, under, over, under…

See the railings holding the heddles?

See the railings holding the heddles?

The space between the reed and the heddles

The space between the reed and the heddles

I’m wrapping it up! Next on the agenda, tie the yarns to the back of the loom and start winding them on! I know the excitement is killing you! Hang in there and I’ll talk to you soon!

Run 9 Heddles 29

0 thoughts on “Let’s all “heddle” up!

  1. Thanks for sharing. I’ll be threading heddles for the first time ever in my weaving class next week. It’s fun watching the warp progress and developing my skills at the same time. The process makes so much more sense when you actually do it. I’m so glad I’m learning from a teacher rather then from a book.

    • Here’s the remedy – open your journal to a page in the middle, paint/color all over it being sure to splatter some on the accompanying pages, the table and your hands/clothing. Rinse and repeat until the right brain is happy once more! If the experience leads you to other wildly creative things, you have my permission to loose track of time and go with it! chris

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