I teach at Ardington School of Crafts as well as my home in East Hendred.
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
Six students had a busy day weaving samples on both a rigid heddle loom and a four shaft loom This course will run again on 17th March 2021.
Weaving Workshop Wednesday 12th August (full)
The school is opening in August with social distancing measures in place (see the school's Website for details), I have reduced my maximum number from 6 to 5 to minimise sharing of looms.
. Students will either spend the day weaving on a rigid heddle loom or spend at least half the day weaving on a four shaft loom. They will have the opportunity to try textured weaves such as Leno (see below) which can be woven on either type of loom and find out how to put a warp on a rigid heddle loom.
Rigid Heddle Weaving Tuesday 20th October (postponed from May)
Weave two samples on rigid heddle looms and find out how to put on a warp.
(2 places remaining)
During one day courses either at home or at Ardington, students usually weave two samples. They can be weft faced or 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.
Interesting patterns can be woven on the rigid heddle using a stick at the back of the loom so that either one thread is up and three down or vice versa. (see above).
You can also manipulate the warp by wrapping the weft round a group of threads (known as Brookes Bouquet - below top). Alternatively, you can twist the warp (Leno below bottom).