Rigid Heddle Weaving
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.
Now, 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.
OK, I had blue threads and a single white thread in the warp and then used white in the weft.
What happens when I use two contrasting threads on that blue background?
Two contrasting threads makes a solid vertical line.
What happens when I use three contrasting threads?
Three contrasting threads make a line that is fat-skinny-fat-skinny.
Now for four threads.
Four threads of a contrasting color make a solid line, a bit fatter solid line than the two threads.
What happens when I use five contrasting threads?
OK this was really two white, one yellow, and two white.
Since 2+1+2=5 this is five contrasting threads on a field of blue.
It makes kind of an interesting pattern.
Many more patterns possible with a rigid heddle:
All right, here I started with four green threads.
Then I put greens in the slits and yellows in the holes for four threads, two of each color.
Then I put yellow threads in both slits and holes.
Then I put yellow threads in the slits and greens in the holes for four threads.
On the other edge I place four greens (slits and holes).
When you keep one color in the slits and another in the holes it gives you a horizontal line.
Switching colors every four or six threads will give you a checkerboard pattern.
Here are some of the strips woven by fifth graders.
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Carol acknowledges that we are on Treaty 1 territory, the traditional gathering place of the Anishinaabe, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota and Dene people and the traditional homeland of the Métis people. Carol also acknowledges that sprang is part of many indigenous traditions and found in various forms all over the world. Let us re-discover this technique together.
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