Threaded Heddles Set the Stage

I love threading the heddles! It allows me to touch every single thread with my fingers. I guide each thread through a heddle on one of four shafts. Threaded heddles set the stage for the motion of cloth-making. Each thread has its own path, yet groups of threads function together as a unit. Kind of like a friendship network.

Threading Texsolv heddles for cotton hand towels.
With 36 threads in each grouping, the Texsolv heddles are threaded one-by-one, using only hands and fingers as tools.

I double-check my threading as I go. As I finish each section, I immediately go back through the bundle thread-by-thread to verify that each thread is inserted accurately. This effort on the front end is worth it. With every warp thread in its proper place, the design in the fabric is assured, even before the weaving begins. A friendship network is like that. Each person has their own path, and when those paths are aligned and given common purpose, the individuals form connections that make a friendship fabric.

Connection with our grand weaver gives us a friendship network with each other–a skillfully woven fabric. The beauty of this created fabric is that it reflects the heart of the maker. Each individual thread, aligned with the others in interesting patterns, becomes an essential part of the finished cloth.

May you glow in the fabric of friendship.

With you,

2 thoughts on “Threaded Heddles Set the Stage

  1. Your rag rugs are superb; I am quite jealous! Do you have a reliable sett for twill threading, Karen? I have read so many books, but can’t seem to find something that will catch both selvedges. (Using 2 shuttles works, but not always necessary.) Also, the sett you use for firmness?
    Joanne Hall lives about a day and a half south of me in Montana, so maybe I can get down there for an open day or two in her studio this summer; I can’t see to get past the learning stage so I can enjoy the process. Hope you don’t mind sharing, Cheers Fran

  2. Hi Fran, I’m glad you like the rag rugs. I sure do enjoy making them! I don’t mind sharing at all; I love sharing what little I know!

    The sett (ends per inch/cm) for twill threading will vary, depending on the size of the threads being used, and the desired density of the fabric. It does take some experimentation and record-keeping to find the sett that works best for what you want to produce. Joanne Hall has a small article about sett here:

    For rag rugs, my sett is 8 epi for plain weave and for twill. For the 16/2 cotton towel project in this post, I’m using a 22.5 dpi reed and my sett is 45 epi.

    The sett doesn’t affect whether the selvedge threads are caught or not. Sometimes, with a twill threading, a selvedge thread isn’t caught. Usually, I don’t worry about it. I consider it a design element, if it even shows at all.

    The sett for firmness would depend on: what threads are you using, what is the weave structure, and what is the intended use of the finished fabric. Usually, a closer sett will give you a firmer fabric.

    I hope you get to go to Joanne’s studio. I’ve been there twice. Both times in the snow! The whole experience was delightful, and I learned a lot. Joanne is an excellent and patient teacher.

    Hope that helps! Ask questions any time.

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