Thursday, June 10, 2010

Rigid Heddle Double Heddle Double Weave!

So here's my crazy double heddle doubleweave sampler!
Doubleweave Sampler
Did this on my Schacht Flip Rigid Heddle loom using double heddles
(Cascade 220 yarn and 10 dent reeds)
What is this crazy thing? How did I get here?

Started out by warping the loom with two heddles.
First, all the threads are pulled through the slots in heddle one (4 threads to a slot - two light and two dark) - warping from the front of the loom here!

then every other light thread is pulled through the hole in the reed/heddle
(OK, on a rigid heddle loom the heddle is the reed too, so when warping, heddle=reed).
two heddles!

Then heddle/reed number two gets sleyed (threaded) with all threads coming through the slots, and every other dark colored thread into the holes.
two heddles!

This dark/light thing is just so I can see what the heck I'm doing (having never done either double heddle or double weave before).

And here it is all warped up and ready to go, looking really too dense and packed with threads, but one set (light) will be woven as a bottom layer and one set (dark) will be the top layer!
two heddles!

So here's how it works:
I've used a pick-up stick to separate out every other light color thread, which then drops down into an extra lower shed when the pick-up stick is flipped up on end (this is looking from the back of the loom)
two heddles!

Then a simple front heddle down gives the second shed for the light color/lower level of the weave
two heddles!
I pushed the stick shuttle in there so you could see the shed - below all the other threads!

Then for the top layer, the first dark thread shed is created by the rear heddle rising up
two heddles!

and finally, another pick-up stick (every other dark thread) and an extra shed pops up
when the pick-up stick is flipped up on end (this is looking from the back of the loom again)
two heddles!
So they don't get done in that order necessarily, it depends on what your final product will be. Anyhow, you end up with 4 different sheds!

So this is what happens:
double wide on the loom
This is a section of double width doubleweave, and I've just pulled the bottom layer over to the side so you can see what's happening. With this technique, I can weave a 30 inch wide shawl on my 15 inch loom!

And here's the two layers woven with separate wefts and kept separate, followed by a bit where the separate wefts wrap around each other
at the edge so the two different pieces are joined.
top and bottom lavers seperate, and joined
(I switched the weft colors to show the join more clearly)

And then, using a single weft, joining on both sides to make a tube
big fat longwise tube

Then joining at both sides and in the middle to make two connected tubes (stuck my hand in the big tube and stuffed fingers into the small tubes so you could see that they are open inside)
longwise tubes

And then, by switching the top and bottom layers, making widthwise tubes
sideways tubes

Then a completely closed tube with a little slot opening in the middle of one side
closed tube with an opening
the patterned area on either side is both layers woven together into a single thick
dense layer.

and finally, back to the single weft double wide with a little hemstitching to finish.
doublewide double weave

And that's my sampler.
Some parts were a little confusing at first, but overall it just wasn't that hard - thanks to my source materials:

1. HandWoven magazine, March/April 2010, "Rigid-heddle doubleweave" by Jane Patrick

2. Textures and Patterns for the Rigid Heddle Loom by Betty Davenport, pgs. 58 - 60

And now I have something to share at my new rigid heddle study group on Sunday!


  1. Hi FarmNana! I came across your post on a Google search for doubleweave on a rigid heddle loom; thank you so much for writing this, with such clear pictures and your source materials! I'm off to find a back issue of the March/April 2010 HandWoven and to try this technique myself.

  2. Thanks! I love doubleweave and had a great time with this sampler. Have fun!

  3. Thank you. Huge help. I’m going to do it!