Rigid Heddle Weaving

I’ve been working in a local school. Younger children have been learning about three-strand or four-strand braiding. For those in grade 4 and 5 I brought along rigid heddles and had them weave strips or “sashes”.
Here are some patterns you can make with a rigid heddle loom.
Now, if you have all threads of the same color, you get a solid colored cloth.
A single thread of a contrasting color makes a broken line.

single thread

single thread makes a broken line


OK, I had blue threads and a single white thread in the warp and then used white in the weft.

What happens when I use two contrasting threads on that blue background?

Two contrasting threads

Two contrasting threads


Two contrasting threads makes a solid vertical line.

What happens when I use three contrasting threads?

Three contrasting threads

Three contrasting threads


Three contrasting threads make a line that is fat-skinny-fat-skinny.

Now for four threads.

Four contrasting threads

Four contrasting threads


Four threads of a contrasting color make a solid line, a bit fatter solid line than the two threads.

What happens when I use five contrasting threads?

Five threads of contrasting color

Five threads of contrasting color


OK this was really two white, one yellow, and two white.
Since 2+1+2=5 this is five contrasting threads on a field of blue.
It makes kind of an interesting pattern.

Many more patterns possible with a rigid heddle:

Patterns possible

Another pattern


All right, here I started with four green threads.
Then I put greens in the slits and yellows in the holes for four threads, two of each color.
Then I put yellow threads in both slits and holes.
Then I put yellow threads in the slits and greens in the holes for four threads.
On the other edge I place four greens (slits and holes).

When you keep one color in the slits and another in the holes it gives you a horizontal line.

Switching colors every four or six threads will give you a checkerboard pattern.

checkered pattern

checkered pattern


Here are some of the strips woven by fifth graders.
rigid heddle strips

strips woven on a rigid heddle

<< >>