Friday, 24 March 2017

RIGID HEDDLE WEAVING

PREPARING TO WARP YOUR LOOM

Gather your equipment.
You will need:-
a surface long enough for your required length of warp - eg. 2 metres.
G clamp or warping post that clamps to the end of your 'table'.
Scissors
Yarns, probably centre pull balls, and a container to control them, large plastic or cardboard box.
Threading hooks.
Brown paper, or something similar, for winding with your warp. (Corrugated card is an alternative, as are bamboo place mats/table runners.)

The loom I am setting up is a very old Dryad one, given to me by a school I worked at in the 70's. It has a metalex rigid heddle (the only ones available then) with a total of 12 slots and holes, 6 slots and six holes, to the inch. I find a 4ply yarn just right for this heddle.

Most new looms seem to be supplied with a 10 thread per inch heddle and this may be all you have. To create a balanced/evenly woven fabric you will need to use a yarn that wraps 20 threads, touching side by side, over one inch of ruler.

First, choose the yarn you want to use.

If you are using the same yarn warp and weft - Warp yarn the yarn you put on your loom. Weft, the yarn you weave with.
I have used both colours of  the same warp thread so they can be easily counted. As you can tell there is still a little room but I have no option but to thread 12 threads per inch with the only heddle I have!
You can see that there are 24 thicknesses of my yarn covering 1" of the ruler.
Half that number is the number of warp threads I will have for each inch of the width of my project - 12. This means the gap between the warp threads on my loom is wide enough for the weaving thread to fit between them.
The wraps sample below is DK yarn which wraps 16 thread to the inch, so an 8 dent rigid heddle would be needed.


I recommend marking your RH in the centre slot and either side to show where your warp threading will begin and end. Here I have marked six inches either side of centre because that is the width I want to weave. I leave my centre marking in permanently.
Now, with heddle marked and the loom and yarns in place, you can begin to thread/warp up your loom.
My G clamp is centred at the opposite end of the table to my loom and yarns. The back 'legs' of the loom are hanging over the edge of the table, this keeps it in place while warping, it also ensures all threads are the same length. - picture above on the left.
Right hand picture above:
Put your warp yarn into the 'control' container and then tie the end to the back warping stick of your loom level with the right hand side marker on your heddle. 
1. Put your threading hook through the slot in the rigid heddle and loop the yarn onto it so it can be threaded through your Rigid Heddle and the looped end placed over the G clamp.
Working from Right to left.
2. Pass the warp thread under the warp stick and then:-
The next length of warp thread is then threaded in the same way through the next slot along and 'hung' on the G clamp. 
3. The yarn from your ball will now be under your warp stick so, 
pass it over the stick and with the threading hook through the slot of the heddle, hook the yarn onto it. 4.Now pull the double thread and hook it onto the G clamp.
Repeat this threading sequence until you have your warp the width you want.
Tie the end of your warp thread onto the warp stick in line with the left edge of your warp.