How To Avoid Shaft Envy

There is far more weaving literature written for the floor or table loom weaver than the rigid-heddle weaver. This leaves many rigid-heddle weavers wanting to know if those tempting patterns they see in magazines and books are something they can make on a rigid-heddle loom and if so, how do you make heads or tails of them?

I recently posted a new video on my YouTube channel, where lay out the relationships between shafts, drafts, and rigid heddles in broad brush strokes.

This study of shafts and drafts opens up all kinds of new possibilities for rigid-heddle weavers. As you begin to explore the world of weave structures, you may go down the rabbit hole of shaft envy. Keep in mind, a tool’s greatest strength is often its greatest weakness. A floor loom may be able to create a greater number of structures, perhaps more easily than a rigid-heddle loom. However, the rigid heddle is gentler on yarns so you have a wider range of yarns to choose from, and there is less loom waste. Add to these fine attributes, that the rigid-heddle loom is portable, a fraction of the cost, and much easier to set up, and you may not feel so envious anymore.

Regardless of the cleverness of your structure, you still need to sett your yarn well and pick the best application for the structure. One thing is for sure, you will never get bored with the endless variations of the weaver’s equation: yarn + sett + structure = beautiful cloth.

Heddles up!

Liz

P.S. A warm thank you to everyone who has signed up as a patron. Your support gives me great courage. First goal of 100 patrons was achieved in less than twelve days! I’m a little ways into my stretch goal of 150 patrons to make a rigid-heddle weaving school and reality. Join us!