We have a few bits and pieces of old rigid heddle looms in our store. Unfortunately neither of the looms had heddle blocks to hold the heddle in position while the shed was open, and the heddles we had were 16″ wide, while the loom was 22″ wide.
The loom was perfectly useable like this, just not especially user friendly.
With a couple of bits of plywood and some blocks, it was a simple task to make something to hold the heddle in a neutral position, as well as up and down. The important thing to be aware of was to get it all lined up so the holes of the heddle were level with the path the warp takes between the beams while the heddle was in the neutral position.
With this done, a couple of elastic bands to hold the heddle in place, and a couple of spare warping pegs to stop the loom from slipping, direct warping was possible.
The loom is now warped and ready to be woven on. We will be taking it to the Royal Norfolk Show on the 27th and 28th of June, so if you want to have a go at weaving for yourself, the RBST are kindly hosting us in their tent. We will also be doing spinning demonstrations and crafts for children. Hope to see you there!