I would like to make dish towels using my rigid heddle. The only patterns I can find are for at least a 4-shaft loom. Anyone have any ideas?
You may need to use 2 heddles to get the sett you need - 2 10 dent rigid heddles gives you 20 ends per inch and you can use 10/2 and 8/2 cottons. Look for log cabin and color and weave patterns. Stripes and plaids, window pane checks. Look for anything Betty Davenport has written - Textures and Patterns for Rigid Heddle Loom. Stephany
It is perfectly possible to use 8/2 unmercerized cotton in one 12-dent rigid heddle--if you use two strands as one in each slot and hole. If you weave the doubled warps in plain weave order (heddle up/heddle down) with a single strand of 8/2 for weft, you get half-basketweave, ; if you use two strands of weft, you get a balanced structure known as basketweave. In the March/April 1983 issue of Handwoven, Betty Davenport used doubled 8/2 cotton in a 12-dent rigid heddle to weave a striped half-basketweave fabric for a Guatemalan-inspired shirt. I'm (hopefully) attaching a scan of the sample I wove for this project. The red stripe is a doubled strand of 3/2 pearl cotton and the little pattern is embroidery floss inlaid as the fabric is woven. While the floats of the inlay are too long to be practical in a dishtowel, the weight of the fabric seems like it would be fine. And of course, you can choose whatever colors you want.
If you want to weave a thicker, thirstier fabric than 8/2, you might look into KnitPicks "Dishie," a worsted weight cotton yarn described as tightly spun with with high absorbency suitable for home decor projects like towels and dishcloths. I haven't tried it, but it looks like it could be sett at 10 ends per inch, and maybe even 8 ends per inch, and it comes in 15 colors. It could be used with any of the plain weave color-and-weave patterns like stripes, plaids or log cabin, and even with the shorter float patterns in Jane Patrick's The Weaver's Idea Book. With yarn as heavy as worsted weight, you need to keep floats in dishtowels pretty short to avoid snagging them when you use the towels.
Hope this helps,Lynn Tedder
Thanks to your both for your ideas. I am going to give it a try and will report back :-)
Well, here it is! I used Lynn's idea of two threads with 12.5 dpi. Not bad for a beginner! And I learned a lot in the process.
Thanks again for your ideas. cj
Thanks to your both for your ideas. I am going to give =)
Your towel looks great! I'll have to out this one my list of things to try.
Nice job, CJ!
I'm very new at this. Does it matter if it is a plastic heedle or metal?
It shouldn't matter. Most rigid heddles are plastic, and that works just fine.
Yes! You can make lots of towels using rigid heddle. I just made waffle weave towels using my 2 shaft loom and 1 pick up stick! I love making towels whether it be stripes, plaids, checks and now waffle weave! There are so may ways to use a rigid heddle loom.
Woud 6/2 cotton need to be doubled as well in a 12 dent reed on a rigid heddle for dishcloths?
Hi, Liv. It would depend some on your weave structure. The recommended sett for 6/2 cotton for plain weave is 18 ends per inch, so if you're doing plain weave, you could try doubling every other thread (which could also create a nice texture in your towel fabricl). If you're doing a twill, perhaps with a pickup stick on the rigid-heddle loom, the recommended sett is 24 ends per inch, so you would double all the threads. Good luck, and please post a picture of your towel when it's done.
Actually, I am helping a friend plan and warp a towel on her rigid heddle, and she has some 6/2 to use. I am going to find out if she has a 10 dent reed, then suggest she try doubling her 6/2 to give her 20 epi, which should make a decent plain weave towel. What do you think? I think doubling all in a bigger reed will be easier for her as opposed to doubling every other in a 12 dent, since she has not yet really warped the loom by herself.
That makes a lot of sense, especially if she's going to use the direct-warping method. I've used it for doubled warps, but you have to know what you're doing.