How to Use Your Table Loom As a 4 Harness Loom!!!
I wanted very badly to weave a twill fabric for practice because someday I want to weave blankets and maybe a wee bit of tweed cloth for sewing. I had already bought the second heddle kit for my loom, but was sent the wrong heddle and waited too long to send it back. Besides that, I discovered that 7.5dpi and 12.5dpi were very much to my liking.
I didn’t want to spend any kind of extra money, so I started researching what I wanted to do online, after I read “Learning to Weave” by Debbie Redding. This is a very nice and very thorough book. My research led me to Marla Mallet’s website and that’s what got me started doing something I can now truly do.
I’ve written all of this for people who already know how to warp a loom and have done some successful weaving. If you need more weaving practice, please do so before you attempt to experiment with string heddles.
First, go to this web site: http://www.marlamallett.com/loom.htm and scroll down the page for a bit of primitive weaving and loom building education!! It also provides lessons on how to build a picture frame loom; warping your loom; twining; how to make and use a shed stick; how to do weft-faced plain weave; how to make string heddles and construct a heddle bar; and how to make further refinements to your loom with foot pedals to operate your heddle bar(s). I highly recommend printing and/or saving all of the info.
Now that you’ve done some reading, let’s get started!!!
The following photos are of the string heddles I made.
Pound two nails about 5 inches apart (I know the site says 7″, but 5″ will do.), straight across from each other, into a piece of wood that’s at least 8″ long and 4″ wide. I tied 4 different colors because I don’t like using a shed stick.
You’re going to use your heddle as a reed. When you sley it, do not use the little holes in the center as this will make raising your other sheds very difficult. I’ve done that already, so consider yourself warned.
Now your warp is tied on. Slide a shed stick under every 1 of 4 warp threads. Basically you’re lifting the 1st thread onto the stick and skipping three, the lifting the next 1 onto the stick. When you’ve got them on the stick, tip it up sideways and follow the instructions (http://www.marlamallett.com/loom.htm at about the middle of the page) for looping the heddle around the warp thread and onto the harness. The picture below is the first harness (blue string heddles) finished and the number 2 warp threads raised up to have the pink heddles looped around them.
The following picture shows all of the heddles looped and on their respective harnesses.
You’re ready to begin weaving. What you do next is start with a plain weave by raising the blue and red heddles; pass the shuttle through, followed by the pink and yellow heddles; pass the shuttle through. Weave plain weave for about 1/2 inch of weaving.
It will be good if you can find a weaving chart for a 2 by 2 twill with what looks like a woven zigzag effect (I’ll reference one later). Otherwise, begin by raising the heddles for 1&2 (blue&pink), then 2&3 (pink&yellow), then 3&4 (yellow&red), then 1&4 (blue&red), 3&4 (yellow&red), then 2&3 (pink&yellow), then 1&2 (blue&pink) making sure to repeat the following until finished: 1&2, 2&3, 3&4, 1&4, 3&4, 2&3, 1&2, 2&3, 3&4, 1&4, 3&4, 2&3, 1&2, 2&3, 3&4, 1&4, 3&4, 2&3, 1&2 (I made a card of this repeat so I could just move a paperclip along until I got it right in my head.).
Here’s what it looks like so far:
This is what happens when someone tells me I can’t do something, without spending a lot of money, for ‘the right tools for the job’. Practice, practice, practice! Make your own tools! Create your own solutions!! That’s all I can say.
Weaving was originally done with primitive tools, made from whatever was at hand. When the more conventional looms were invented, we slowly dumped the old ways and forgot how to invent. The primitive tools have been around a lot longer than the modern, so I say all you can do is try. If you fail, try again until you get what you’re looking for.
originally posted on the FreakyFiberFanaticBlog: 10/08/2008 03:14 PM. Where’s yours??