by Margie Gale
As my weaving teacher told me, even people with disabilities can weave on a rigid heddle loom. That is why she has introduced them to many folks at area senior centers.
Using one has enabled those who can no longer crochet or knit due to arthritis get back into fiber arts again.
The power of the rigid heddle is that threading warp through the slots and holes in its reed enables one to change the shed by lifting the heddle up then down. That makes it easier to use than a simple frame loom where you have to weave weft through the warp manually or by using string heddles and pickup sticks.
Because you can rest the Rigid Heddle in an up, down or natural position on the heddle block you can then get creative.
You can do more complex weaving by using string heddles and pickup sticks,
double or triple heddles,
or overshot (crazy shot).
You can also weave pieces longer than the size of the loom since warp is stored on the back beam and rolled up on the cloth beam as it is completed.
And some loom makers offer extension kits that make it possible to weave even longer cloth.
Another benefit is portability not only are they lightweight, easy to transport, some foldable, range in size from 4” to 48”, they are also affordable.
The Rigid Heddle SIG invites those interested in weaving to explore the vast world of possibilities with the rigid heddle loom.