Archive for October, 2011

Rigid Heddle Weaving

October 30, 2011

I’ve been working in a local school. Younger children have been learning about three-strand or four-strand braiding. For those in grade 4 and 5 I brought along rigid heddles and had them weave strips or “sashes”.
Here are some patterns you can make with a rigid heddle loom.
Of course, if you have all threads of the same color, you get a solid colored cloth.
A single thread of a contrasting color makes a broken line.

Broken line

Single contrasting thread leaves a dotted line

Yes, I used mostly blue and a single white in the warp, and then I used white for the weft.
If you now try two white threads in that background of blue, you get a solid line.

Solid contrast line

Two threads make a solid line

Now I tried again, this time using three white threads.

Three threads

Three white threads on a background of blue

Three white threads on a blue background gives me a line that is fat-skinny-fat-skinny.
How about four threads?

Four white threads on a blue background

Four white threads on a blue background

Four threads makes a solid line.
How about five contrasting threads?

Five threads on a blue background

Five contrasting threads

OK, this really is two-one-two, that is two white, one yellow, and two white on a blue backgound, as 2+1+2=5.

Some other patterns involve combinations.


combination of dotted lines and solid

Threading one color in the holes and another in the slots gives this horizontal line effect.
And here’s yet another pattern.

checkerboard pattern

checkered pattern

Pairs of colors, one in the slits and the other color in the holes create horizontal lines. Reversing the order of colors every four threads gives a checkered pattern.

Here are some of the strips made by fifth graders.

Simple weaving project

Strips made on rigid heddles


Burlington Weavers Review

October 6, 2011

The Burlington Weavers and Spinners Guild’s most recent newsletter posted a review of Sprang Unsprung:
Carol James’ book, “Sprang Unsprung” is great for anyone wishing to learn Sprang from the basics through to more advanced pattern making and colour play. The step-by-step instructions are offered for both left and right-handed folks, and are always accompanied by helpful coloured illustrations and photographs of work in progress. Each page of the book is jam packed with project details interspersed with historic sprang woven pieces.
James’ experience with Sprang weaving is extensive, and it shows in her clear instructions and logical progression of technique. She even provides schematics for building several different types of frame looms for weaving. The projects build upon what the weaver has learned from the last chapter, and for further inspiration and learning, James has put together a thorough annotated bibliography.
This book is very user-friendly and would be a good resource for anyone wanting to learn Sprang from the ground up.