Heddles

Ask Madelyn
Hi, Madelyn!

Somewhere I read that it is important to have all the heddles on my loom well organized, so a while back I matched up all the zigs-zags and flat spaces at the top and bottom of my heddles, as well as the direction of the eyes on my Baby Wolf.  This week I decided it was time to do the same for my Mighty Wolf.  I had also gotten some new heddles to add to the harnesses.  When I looked at the new heddles, I noticed they were alternating at the top, a zig-zag heddle with a straight heddle across the harness, so I did this to all of the heddles on that loom.

So why are heddles made this way, and what is the importance of having them organized this way on a loom?  As I go back and redo eight harnesses on my Baby Wolf, I’d like to know that the reason I’m doing this is not just my obsessive-compulsive nature.

Thanx,

––Leslie Megill

Hi to you, Leslie.

True confession: It is good to have them organized, but most of mine aren’t!

The deal is that the heddle eye is slightly slanted in relation to the shaft itself. The most convenient threading position for that slant is a certain direction if you are left-handed or the other direction if you are right-handed; this direction is the opposite depending on whether you thread the heddles from front to back or back to front. It also changes if you turn the heddle “upside down.”

So in theory, all your heddle eyes should be slanted in the direction best for you when you thread the loom using your method. That can mean that that zigzag part of the heddle can be on either the top or bottom depending on how the eye is slanting with that orientation.

I hope this makes sense. What I’m trying to say is: figure out which way the eye works best for you and then place all your heddles that way. Or, do as I do and not as I say and just let them be however they are right now.

––Madelyn

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