Hack Your Rigid-Heddle Weaving Studio

A weaver’s greatest resource is other weavers. Over the years, I have learned many tips from my fellow weavers that make my weaving more enjoyable and, in many cases, more successful. Here are some items you might not think of as weaving equipment that can help with rigid-heddle weaving. Some can be found at your local hardware, beauty, or discount store. Others are easy to find online.

Cell Phones

Cell phones are great for photographing inspirational patterns, textures, and color combinations, but they are also invaluable in the studio, and not just because they hold your playlist. Use your phone to record information about projects as you work:

  • Take a photo of your warp.
  • Place a ruler on your cloth and document your picks per inch.
  • Any time you make a pattern change, snap a photo.
  • Take a picture of how you start the project so you’ll know how to end it.
  • Document your finished work with close-ups and glamour shots to share with friends.

Clips

Attach twill tape or tape measures to your project with small clips such as quilting clips (affiliate link) or alligator clips. They are easier to move than pins and hold the tape securely along the edge.

Quick Clamps

The warping pegs that come with rigid-heddle looms work well—unless the peg clamps don’t fit on your furniture, or you want to weave at your kid’s soccer game. Find a clamp (affiliate link) that has a wide opening and a tall leg to use as a warping peg.

rigid-heddle weaving

Paper towel tubes are just the right size to protect fabric and keep knots from messing with your tension on the rigid-heddle loom.

Paper Towel Tube

Protect your fabric as it makes its way around the cloth beam by using the cardboard tube inside a paper towel roll that has been cut lengthwise. Before the knots on the cloth beam come around and distort your fabric, snap the cut tube onto the beam. It easily stays in place and has the added bonus of being free.

Fusible Thread

You don’t need to zigzag or use seam sealant to hold your weft in place. I learned this tip from a weaver who submitted a towel project to Handwoven: Weave 2 picks using fusible thread (affiliate link) between projects such as napkins or towels. Off the loom, fuse the thread to the weaving with a hot iron and then cut between the fusible thread picks to separate your projects. You can also use fusible thread for the first 2 picks and last 2 picks on projects that you plan on hemming.

—Susan

Want more tips and tricks for hacking your rigid-heddle studio with inexpensive and easy-to-find items? Check out Susan’s full article in the 2019 Easy Weaving with Little Looms to learn 10 more tips and tricks designed to make weaving more efficient and more fun. —Christina

Featured Image: Photos by George Boe


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