Pamela, a member of the Kennet Valley Guild, kindly gave me six rigid heddle looms when I started teaching. I have acquired three more old style ones and have bought a modern one. I also have 4 four shaft looms and an eight shaft one which I use for teaching,
Have a go at weaving Friday 13th March 2020
Weave samples on a rigid heddle loom and a four shaft loom
Rigid Heddle Weaving Wednesday 20th May
Weave two samples on rigid heddle looms and find out how to put on a warp
Weaving Workshops Wednesday 12th and Thursday 13th August
Students can enrol for either day or both. The workshops are suitable for beginners and those who have done some weaving. You can weave samples on rigid heddle and four shaft looms.
On the Wednesday you will also have the opportunity to try textured weaves such as Leno which can be woven on either type of loom and will be involved in putting a warp on a rigid heddle loom.
On the Thursday you will be able to practice techniques for weaving pictures and be involved in putting a warp on a 4 shaft loom
During one day courses either at home or at Ardington, students normally weave two samples. One is weft faced and the other balanced.
For weft faced weaving the warp (the threads on the loom) is spaced at about five threads an inch so the weft (which is put in place during weaving) completely covers the warp. This type of weaving is suitable for rugs or tapestries.
For balanced weave, the warp is closer together and the spacing is the same as the weft. The warp shows and contributes to the design. The colours of the warp and weft form the patterns in the blue and turquoise sample. This pattern can be woven on a rigid heddle loom as it is plain weave (Over one warp thread - under the next)
The dark blue and white sample has been woven on a 4 shaft loom.The twill patterns are formed by the way the warp was threaded and the order in which the shafts were lifted
With a rigid heddle loom every other warp thread goes through heddles which are fixed in a frame called a reed. These threads move up and down when the reed is moved. The other warp threads are in gaps between the heddles and do not move with the reed. The reed is also used to put the weft threads in place.
With a four shaft loom the warp threads are all threaded through heddles which are placed on the shafts. One, two or three shafts are raised before putting the weft in place. The warp is also threaded through a reed which spaces it and puts the weft in place.
Apart from price, the biggest advantage of the rigid heddle loom is that it is easier to put the warp on it as the threads only have to go through the reed. However a four shaft loom allows many patterns to be woven.