Since you don’t see looms everyday, there is a lot of curiosity about how they work. This post will show and describe what I do when I get ready for rigid heddle weaving on my loom.
Let me start by saying that rigid heddle looms are very simple, yet versatile. They consist of a body that has rollers on each end, and a straight stick that has spaces and holes for the yarn called the heddle. They also come with a stick that you wrap your yarn around called a shuttle.
They are more reasonably priced than table or floor looms, so a beginner can get one and have lots of fun for a long time. That’s me : )
Anyway, here are the early steps for how to warp a rigid heddle loom.
I first decide what the warp will be (yarn you thread onto the loom) and what will be the weft (the yarn you wrap on the shuttle and weave back & forth creating the project).
I can spend hours thinking about what goes with what in my stash.
There is a bit more commitment up front when starting a weaving project than starting a knitting or crochet project. Here are the colors I chose.
I used the solid colors for the warp and the multi color tweed for the weft.
Next I tied them onto the back warp stick (literally, a stick attached to the back roller bar) and strung them through the heddle, around a warping peg (a stick attached to something a few yards away) and back to the warp stick. After I finished all that, the loom looked like this.
The loom is attached to my coffee table and the warping peg is attached to a storage cabinet. This is up in my craft room affectionately called my Realm. Ahh, it is a heavenly place. I digress…
Anyway, another good place to warp the loom is on a dining room table.
Next the yarn is tied near the warping peg with a bow – just to hold it for a short time while the yarn is wound onto the back roller.
I reuse this little piece of teal yarn over and over!
Then I take some pieces of wrapping paper that have been cut the width of the loom and about a yard long each and begin to roll the yarn onto the back roller.
This placement keeps the yarn layers around the roller separated so they don’t tangle once wrapped.
Here is what that looks like in process.
In the instruction manual that came with my loom it says to have a friend hold the yarn that was wrapped around the warp peg and walk towards the loom as the roller bar takes up the yarn.
Well, I don’t always have a friend, husband or child available to help. So I leave the yarn wrapped on the warp peg, put the loom on the floor, and roller the bar and draw the loom towards the warp peg. Works for me!
Next I put the loom back on the coffee table and cut the warp yarn in half so I have all ends. The next part is probably the most tedious of the whole endeavor. But it goes quickly once I get into a rhythm.
In between each slot on the heddle (sometimes called a reed) there are 2 strands of yarn. Look at the top picture closely and you will see this. One of those strands has to be threaded through the hole on the bars of the heddle. So for each set of threads, on lays in the slot, and the other goes through the hole.
In the next post, I will show this step more clearly – with another color of yarn on the loom. I got so into enjoying the process of the project that I forgot to take more pictures!
Stay tuned for the next part of Weaving on a Rigid Heddle Loom – and let me know if this is helpful or if your eyes are glazing over : )