Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

I am done threading, but the warp didn’t let me off easily.  When I got to the last block, I discovered I needed 8 more heddles on shaft 2.  Huh?  I didn’t need them when I originally threaded this side?  Obviously, I have done some things differently. Did I make other mistakes in my first threading?  Or did I make mistakes this time?  It will be interesting to see what happens when I start weaving.

Also, irony of ironies, the first time I threaded this project, I discovered at the end of the threading that I had to add more heddles. You can read about this at my June 14th post, “Adding Heddles

Adding heddles to a loom is not all that hard.  When the loom is empty.  A warp on the loom makes it, at least for this loom, a much harder job. 
Heddlese at side of loomIn the photo at the left, I have tried to give an idea of how tight things are at the shafts on the left side of the loom. It’s not that there are heddles right up against the left side that is the problem.  The problem is the tiny space between the left side of the shafts themselves and the side of the upright.
Look at the top flat metal runner that slides through the tops of the heddles.  You can see that it ends on the left by slipping through a hole in the vertical piece connect the top and bottom of the shaft.  Just between that vertical piece and the loom upright, barely visible is the gray metal rod that gets clicked into the hole at the end of the vertical piece.  There is barely any room for my fingers to work!

I definitely was not going to remove heddles from an overloaded shaft and move them to shaft 2. I did not want to have to deal with more than one shaft.

So I pulled 8 heddles off a string of heddles that I had not used up earlier.  I pulled them onto two knitting needles, one needle inserted through the tops of the heddles, the others through the bottoms. That is what I normally do when I add heddles.  The knitting needles keeps them neatly in order.

But the space here is much too cramped for the knitting needles.  So I then cut another string and poked the string through the bottom and top of the heddles and tied the ends together in a bowknot.  Simple. 
Then came the hard part:  getting them on the shaft.

That involved getting the runners that the heddles slide onto unlocked from the top and bottom of the shaft and then pulled out of their slots.  A screwdriver for leverage helped quite a bit.  But putting on 8 heddles at a blow in a tiny space with little room for maneuvering was not easy.  One at a time would have been easier.  But I did get them on.  The runners are back in the slots but I could only lock the top one.  I doubt that the bottom will present a problem.

And I am done threading!

Adding Heddles - Take Two” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on September 3, 2010. ©2010 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina


Victoria said...

Hi! I am thinking about buying my first loom (a jack loom with 4 harnesses) and I was looking to see if I would be able to add more heddles to it if needed. It's a Herald loom and it says it comes with a 10 dent and a 15 dent. I know that it uses the metal heddles. Do you think that I would be able to add more to it for finer cloth? I would love to hear from you! :0) Thanks!

Peg in South Carolina said...

Victoria, I'm afraid I am not familiar with Herald looms. But all looms, to my knowledge, can have heddles and removed. And you can buy metal heddles from place that sells weaving equipment.