If I have to double the threads per dent in my rigid heddle, do I need two heddles?

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sandyheddle wrote
on 11 Nov 2012 3:20 PM

I am a newbie, and now totally confused! It was recommended to me that I use my 3/5 cotton at two threads per dent in an 8 dent heddle. Do I start with four threads per slot, and then move two the the adjacent two holes? Or should I buy a second 8 dent reed (I own an 8, a 10, and a 12 dent reed) so that I have one thread in ach hole and slot?


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jacroyce wrote
on 14 Nov 2012 12:17 PM


I understand your confusion! I'll try to simplify.

If the 'generic' recommendation for the fiber is 2 threads-per-dent in an 8 dent reed, what they really mean is 1 thread-per-dent in a 16 dent reed—or, rather, 16 ends per inch. If you DON"T have a rigid heddle loom, you can evenly spread the number out in whatever reed you have, because each end will go through its OWN heddle on the way to the reed from the back beam.

With a rigid heddle loom, the reed dent is also the heddle, so you don't get this flexibility. If you want each of the 16 ends to work individually, you need a 16-dent reed. [You could sley this fiber at 2 ends per dents in an 8-dent reed for a cool basket-weave effect. Then each group of 2 threads works together as one.]

Anyhow: I would also recommend that you change your warping approach (although someone is BOUND to get crabby at me about this). There is no need to sley 2 ends through each slot and then go back and cut the ends and re-sley one of those ends into a hole. If you measure the warp in advance, just cut all the ends and sley each thread into its slot or hole as you go along, tie-on, wind-up, and GO. I warp from front-to-back, but this also works from back-to-front.

Hope this helps.


Jac Royce

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sandyheddle wrote
on 14 Nov 2012 6:13 PM

I have been using the peg method of warping, rather than warping board with the crosses and all that -- I learned that about two years ago, and I think I forgot everyhting I learned, so I just use that clamped peg. I like your suggestion. I guess I need to look up warping board again -- do I tie on to the back beam, or just loop over? Sorry for being a pest but you're a voice in the wilderness! Thank you! My loom thanks you too!

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CarolineA wrote
on 14 Nov 2012 7:34 PM

hi Sandy, Ashford have uploaded a video on direct warping on Youtube;


You can also do it thread by thread, in which case I would make each warp thread twice the length of your weaving, plus wastage (X 2,its important!) and do a larkshead knot over the back beam at the middle of each length so you have your warps pretty much the same length. That will hold it in order as you work along the heddle threading a slot and an eye as you go. It also gives you something firm to hold the warps under tension as you wind them on after the heddle is threaded. I use those plastic slats from blinds, other people swear by wallpaper or wooden slats, as a means of keeping the warp under control. It really depends on how much room you have to wind on.

I then tie on to the front beam. Because you have already tied the warps on firmly to the back beam you will have less trouble sorting out an even tension when you tackle the front beam. I like knotting about one inch at a time. It makes it easy for spacing the warp, and for adjusting it too, and there is not too large a knot on the front beam over which you will be winding your woven cloth.

I hope this makes sense!

Cheers, Caroline


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on 15 Nov 2012 10:29 AM

Hi, Sandy. If the two threads weave as one warp thread in the pattern, then you just dent them together in a hole or slot. If they weave separately (in other words, you're doubling the sett of the warp), then you would need a second reed or perhaps a 15-dent reed would work if there's one available for your loom.


Hope this helps,


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