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Topic: Newbie Heddle Q  (Read 1839 times)
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jelly
« on: September 10, 2008 08:22:31 AM »

I just got a used Rigid Heddle Loom that looks like it probably wasn't that expensive to start with.  The instructions are pretty hokey and don't say anything about the yarn that the heddle is meant for.  So my question is: how can I find out what kind of yarn to use for the warp?  Is there a formula I can use with the measurements of the heddle?

The holes are pretty small, so I assume that the yarn would need to be quite small, but I'm not sure HOW small I need to go!
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henofthewoods
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2008 12:30:56 PM »

Heddles are measured by dents per inch, which is the slot in between spokes and the hole in the spoke both. Most that you see commonly are 8, 10 or 12. If you look at a specific project that gives a fabric you like (more like a rug, a towel, a scarf, etc.) you can see what yarn they use and try the same. Yarn.com (webs) sells weaving yarn and is pretty good about making it plain what you use the yarn for.
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nicolassa
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« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2008 07:45:24 AM »

Henofthewoods is right; the first step is to determine what kind of reed you have (8, 10, 12, etc.). 

Next is to pick a yarn.  You want something that is strong and will hold up under the pressure of being warped.  For example, a singles or 1 ply yarn would not be the best choice.  If you are in a yarn shop, you can sometimes find yarn that has been labeled by the shop with a specific e.p.i. (ends per inch), which means it is a good weaving yarn.  If nothing is labelled this way, take a couple inches of the yarn between your fingers and give it a sharp pull.  If it doesn't break and gives a "ping", it's a good warping yarn.

After you have chosen a warp yarn, the next step is to determine it's e.p.i., which is easy if it is already labelled for you.  If not, wrap the yarn around a ruler until you have an inch.  This is the "wraps per inch".  Divide this number by two.  This number is the "ends per inch", which is how many warping ends you will have per inch in your loom.

Now you "thread the heddles".  For example, if you have an 8 dent reed, and you have a good warping yarn with an e.p.i. of 8, you will thread one end of yarn per heddle.  Make sense?  If the reed and the e.p.i. don't match up as nicely as that example, you can skip dents or add ends in each dent so that things match up.  For example, 8-dent reed with e.p.i of 10, thread like this:  1,1,1,2,1,1,1,2.  Or 8-dent reed with e.p.i. of 6: 1,1,1,0,1,1,1,0  (the "0" is the skipped heddle). 

Any kind of yarn can be used as weft...the only real rule is that if the weft yarn is quite a bit thicker than the warp, the weft will cover the warp and give a "weft-faced" project.  If the weft is much thinner than the warp, you will end up only seeing the warp, so it is a "warp-faced" project.  If the two are balanced, you will see both and have a balanced weave. 
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I have no idea what you're talking about, so here's me with some yarn on my head.

Etsyness:  http://WhirligigYarns.etsy.com

Bloggity:  http://whirligigyarns.blogspot.com
mullerslanefarm
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« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2008 08:34:53 AM »

Great explanation, nicolassa !
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Cyndi

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Belladune
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« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2010 08:39:36 PM »

this is an old thread, but I'm finding it useful!  Here i am thinking you just stick whatever yarn through that will fit every hole and space....  I guess i'm wrong... perhaps I should get a book  at the same time as a rigid heddle loom.... Thank you Nicolassa for explaining that!
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« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2010 07:30:02 AM »

Bella,
You don't need a book for the specific RH you have.  The concept of weaving is the same for all looms, the difference is the number of harnesses you have.  With a RH (rigid heddle), all your heddles are permanently placed in the harness.  With 2-4-6-8 harness looms, the heddles move freely so you can set up more complicated weaving patterns.

Couple of books I recommend:

Hands On Rigid Heddle Weaving - Betty Linn Davenport
Learning to Weave - Deborah Chandler
The Joy of Handweaving - Osma Gallinger Tod
Hand Weaving for Pleasure and Profit - Harriette J. Brown
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Cyndi

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« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2010 02:20:12 PM »

Thanks for the recomendations Cyndi!  I've yet to get a loom, but am hoping to get a beka... Almost won a kromski harp, but yeah that didn't happen... still looking for a good deal before I cave into a brand new one...
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« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2010 02:52:45 PM »

The last 2 books may be out of print, but good books just the same.

For grins and yuks, have you thought about weaving without a loom?  My first book on weaving was just that.  How to weave without a loom!
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Cyndi

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francorios
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2010 07:42:22 PM »

Also check out your public library. I can find most of those titles in our system.

You don't have to wait for a loom to start weaving.
My first woven piece was done on a loom made from a picture frame.

For information about weaving, try the links on my webpage
http://www.rabbitgeek.com/links_fiber.html

I have some links with frame loom weaving and other do it yourself weaving styles.

Also check out backstrap weaving.
http://backstrapweaving.wordpress.com/

You can check out some of my weaving and braiding adventures on my blog
Franco's Fiber Adventure
http://francosfiberadventure.blogspot.com/

Have a good day!
Franco Rios
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« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2010 07:52:46 PM »

great stuff Franco!  thank you!  I find back strap weaving terribly awkward, which is why I was going to go with a  RH loom...  If I can't find a deal, I just might try a frame loom Smiley
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