Process Review: Heddles and Bands

Band weaving is a simple activity that helps you notice the little things. You see how each thread falls into place. How the thread turns the selvedge corner just so. How the pattern threads stand proud in floats or hide in subtle patterns. I enjoy practicing my skills as a band weaver. And more so, now that Steve has turned his attention to making band heddles for me.

Workshop at Contemporary Handweavers of Texas Conference 2019 got me started with weaving patterned bands on a rigid heddle.
First heddle by Steve is made from Soft Maple. Band has 21 ends (with 5 pattern threads, doubled). 8/2 cotton and 22/2 cottolin.
Heddle made from Spanish Cedar. Wood-burned top represents the Texas Hill Country hills that we enjoy. Band has 45 ends (with 5 pattern threads, doubled), using the heddle’s full width. 8/2 cotton and 22/2 cottolin.
Walnut band heddle in the making.
Torgenrud, H. (2015). Norwegian pick-up bandweaving. Schiffer Publishing; Foulkes, S. (2018). Weaving Patterned Bands. How to Create and Design with 5, 7, and 9 Pattern Threads. Schiffer Publishing; Neumüller, K. (2021). Simple Weave. (Language: Swedish). Natur & Kultur, Stockholm.

Pictures in the following slideshow video tell more of the story.

Edited: Steve has compiled photo documentation of how he made my Spanish Cedar and Walnut heddles. Click HERE to send me an email requesting a PDF copy of Making a Band Heddle.

May you take time to notice the little things.


8 thoughts on “Process Review: Heddles and Bands

  1. Good morning Karen,

    Another weaving technique to explore. Is band weaving an extension of backstrap weaving?

    Love you color choices.

    Beautiful woodworking by Steve.

    The last of the snow shouldbe gone this week. Basis the weather radar… the south is receiving some violent storms.

    Take care.


    1. Hi Nannette, This band weaving is indeed a kind of backstrap weaving. I have a soft belt (woven on my inkle loom) around my waist, and the weaving end of the band is attached to my belt. The other end of the band warp is tied to a fixed object, such as a piece of furniture, or, as seen in some of the pictures, a brace under the kitchen bar counter.

      Some parts of Texas had storms, but we only had some light rain and moderate wind. Spring is bursting out in the trees and plantings and bird songs.


  2. .I also enjoy making bands with a rigid heddle and have purchased several plastic ones from a company in Sweden.
    The wooden ones that Steve makes are beautiful! The process of making them appears painstaking which makes me appreciate their beauty even more. They are a joy to look at while weaving, I am sure.

    Although I don’t always comment on your posts, I read and enjoy them tremendously, Karen.
    Thank you for keeping me posted.

    1. Hi Annie, It’s good to hear from you!

      I agree, the wood heddles Steve has made are little pieces of art in themselves, which only adds to the pleasure of band weaving.

      Happy weaving,

  3. Hi Karen,
    I only have one question… do you ever sleep, cook, eat, shop etc.? You are prolific and an inspiration to all. I often wonder how you do it.

    1. Hi Maureen, Haha – I do sleep and eat, but do as little cooking as possible. Shopping only if I have to, unless it’s yarn, of course (but that’s online). I do try to weave every day. Most days I get in an hour or so of weaving. Over time, it adds up. (We eat pretty good and healthy, despite my minimal approach. 🙂


  4. Karen and Steve,
    What wonderful arts you are both practicing and what a blessing that you compliment each others strengths. Once again you inspire me to pull out some things I haven’t worked on recently. Love the Texas Hill Country hills and now I am wondering if I can find someone to craft a band heddle with the Beartooth Mountains on it for me. 😉 Thank you and blessings,

    1. Hi Ruth, I am very happy to hear you are inspired to pull out some hidden treasures. In case you do know someone who would make you a band heddle, I have added a link at the bottom of the post to send me an email requesting Steve’s photo documentation of how he made my heddles. Beartooth Mountains would be a nice touch!

      Happy weaving,

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