Rigid Heddle Loom

Loom on a stand - If you want, store the loom in folded position. The 3 wing nuts on each side must be loosened and the front beam lifted to set the loom up in weaving position (then re-tighten the wing nuts).

Weaving Directions:

  1. Lift the heddle (rest on top of the support block) UP to separate the warp threads (up/down in alternation) to provide the space to pass the weaving (weft) yarn through the space from one side to the other (pass the "weft" through the "shed")
  2. Lower the rigid heddle to neutral position and use it to comb the weft yarn forward. ("beating" or "pressing")
  3. Lower the heddle (below the support blocks) to create an opposite up/down thread alternation which is the reverse of #1. Send the yarn through the other direction.
  4. Repeat #2

Weaving Notes:

  1. Occasionally: Advance the weaving by loosening the warp beam (right bottom ratchet) & cranking forward with the right top ratchet (crank on the cloth beam). If you feel like you have advanced too far, adjust backward by reversing this process.
  2. Keeping the warp thread tension fairly tight has the advantage of preventing the lifted threads from drooping & getting snagged by the weft stick as you pass it through the shed.
  3. This warp may be too wide for these size children to weave with comfortably (arm length?). One solution might be to clip some of the warp threads on each side to make the weaving narrower (feel free). Another solution might be for 2 children (one on each side) to work cooperatively by passing the weaving stick to each other. They could take turns beating.
  4. Weaving has the smallest number of "rules" of any craft I know (other than painting).
  5. Make your own assessment as to whether the loom fits into your lesson plan. I have another smaller narrower rigid heddle loom that could also be put to use. I did not want to waste the warp on this loom BUT a potentially more interesting project might be to warp both looms with bright variegated cotton (12-14 inches wide) and allow the kids to attempt placemats.