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Threading Heddles

Boy, we are moving right along! In this 7-part series showing a weaving project, we are already at step 4 – threading heddles.

This step of “dressing the loom” is significant for a few reasons. First of all, this is the first time the yarn is added to the loom. And secondly, this is the step where we begin making choices that will effect our weaving pattern.

How we thread the heddles will help determine what the finished fabric will look like. It’s all connected! Check it out!


If you haven’t seen the process from the beginning, here’s a quick link to take you there –

Show Notes –

Warp – The yarns that are in the loom and under tension.

Planning  – The 1st step of a weaving project, which includes 3 goals – deciding the length of the warp yarns, counting how many warp yarns will be in the project, and determining what order they will be in.

Warping a project – The 2nd step of a weaving project, measuring each warp yarn to the same length, and in the correct order.

Sleying the reed – The 3rd step of a weaving project where each warp yarn is assigned to a slot (dent) in a reed. The reed’s job is to keep the project at a consistent width in the loom, which is key.

Threading heddles – The 4th step of a weaving project, moving each warp yarn into a heddle on a shaft in the loom.

Heddle – A tall, thin metal piece with an eye in the middle (they do come in other materials besides metal, but metal is pretty common). Each heddle lives on a shaft in the loom and slides on top & bottom rails to stay upright.

Shaft – A frame in the loom that lifts and lowers, separating yarns which will then create the weaving pattern. (“Shaft” is the current word, but they used to be called “harnesses”. Matter of fact, you will still see a loom described as a “4H or 8H” loom – a 4 or 8 harness loom.)

Beater bar – A large piece at the front of the loom that moves forward and back. It is important because it serves 2 purposes – to hold the reed and to tighten the yarns in the fabric.

Lease sticks – A pair of wooden dowels that hold the weaving cross in place.

Weaving cross – Intersecting yarns showcasing the correct order, which is determined at the warping board.



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