Spiraling Notions

Rigid Heddle Weaving

Title: Rigid Heddle Weaving
Instructor: Betty Davenport

I got a loom for the holidays accompanied by this DVD. It should be noted that this DVD is a conversion from a 1980’s VHS video course. Much of the styles are obviously dated but the overall information is still applicable.

Betty Davenport talks about two different types of rigid heddle looms one with a dowel/bar on the warp beams and one with ridges or teeth along the warp beams each which require a different way of tying on and securing the warp threads. It is interesting because at the filming of the video there seems to be only two styles of rigid heddle loom without any bells or whistles. The information still applies as all the newer looms still use the same type of systems.

There are two projects in the video, one is a scarf and the second a set of placemats. This video assumes you know the basics of weaving e.g., what a loom is, how to pass a shuttle and most terms used. This still makes a very good beginner DVD. There are several “problems” that you run into when watching the video, which are very useful. A broken warp is mended and tension becomes a problem once weaving is started. It is not clear to me if these are intentional or accidental but they are corrected in the video showing you the steps needed for your own work.

Key things I found useful as a new weaver: Warping the loom. Different methods of tying on to the warp beam and adjusting tension. Pick up stick techniques. Mending warp and tension mistakes. Examples in hemstitching, taking your project off the loom and how to deal with fringe.

Pros: Projects are simple and use two types of yarn (cotton & wool) showing the differences of each choice. The items made are useful and style can be modernized easily. Explanations are clear and demonstrations are very good. Tips and tricks are offered throughout the video which are very useful.

Cons: No definition of weaving terminology. No detail on size of yarn vs. dent/eye size. The video present itself as though you have woven on a loom before, just not a rigid heddle loom. No information on warp/weft calculation as it pertains to the rigid heddle.

Overall Impression: This is definitely worth the price. I would have loved to see more information packed into it, but that may be simply because I am hungry for the knowledge.
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