Revamping an old loom

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!



April 2018 – Weaving with a loom

This meeting focused on weaving with a loom. Members brought in many different types of loom to discuss and try out. We had inkle looms, tapestry looms,  rigid heddles, table looms, a Saori Piccolo 2 shaft folding floor loom, and a loom set up for tablet weaving, all set up and ready to play with. The for sale table was popular with members and visitors alike, and all the linen yarn there was rescued from the tip!

Show and tell featured a year’s work in the form of a wonderful hand knotted rug, two beautiful Saori pieces, and a sample showing ten different twill patterns all from the same threading.



Get into the habit of labelling everything, however small! It can save you hours. Try having a bundle of labels close to your weaving, spinning or dyeing (and a pen/pencil) – it will make a difference. It is always useful to record the Date and the type of Fibre. Other information might include the Dye used, the Loom used, the Sett, the Weight of the finished piece. For Spinning, you might add the Method of preparation (combed, carded, etc.), type of Fleece, and Wraps per inch (WPI).


Loose or broken warp threads

If you find you have a loose warp thread, fill a 35mm film canister with baking beans and tie it to the warp thread to act as a weight. To weight a floating selvedge, wrap the thread around the canister then trap it under the lid to stop it unravelling.

A pair of hemostats can be used in the same way; they just clip right on.