Band weaving with 13 pattern threads

Using a Sunna double slotted heddle with 13 pattern threads.

This is the heddle that I use most frequently.  Bands with 11 or 13 pattern threads can be woven comfortably.

Sunna heddle, Gehpa shuttle, band lock and G-clamp

Here is a heart motif. The thirteen pattern threads are red. The pattern and background threads are 6/2 cotton.  The red pattern threads are doubled. There are 12 picks for the pattern repeat.

The pattern chart shows only the coloured pattern threads when they appear on the surface.

The coloured squares show the pattern threads that should appear on the surface of the woven band. There are 12 picks for the pattern repeat.  When you reach pick 12, start again at pick 1.

The pattern draft only shows the 13 red pattern threads. It is a guide to which pattern threads should appear on the surface of the woven band. Raise the heddle on the odd numbered picks and lower the heddle on the even numbered picks.

All the pattern threads remain in a line in the centre of the shed when the heddle is raised or lowered.  This makes it easy to pick up the pattern threads that you need to show on the surface of the band. The tip of the shuttle is used to pick up the correct pattern threads to appear on the surface of the band.

Weaving at the Weave Fair, 2014
Depending upon the thickness of thread that you use, this would make a useful bookmark, with five or six pattern repeats.

I wove this pattern at the Weave Fair in Umea in 2014

The Sunna Double Slotted Heddle.

Here is the threading for a Sunna double slotted heddle with 13 shorter pattern slots.

Threading for the double slotted heddle.
To see the weaving process with a Sunna double slotted heddle, look at this YouTube video: Weaving a Sámi patterned band 

The Standard heddle or inkle loom.

The Heart heddle: perfect for weaving this band.

This beautifully carved wooden heddle is made by Åke Erlandsson, who is eighty years old. It can be purchased from Vav Kompaniet who ship worldwide.

For an inkle loom, the heddled threads are indicated by the hole and the unheddled threads by the slot. Note that the centre pattern thread is always threaded through the centre hole in the heddle. When push down the unheddled threads, the pattern threads 1,3,5,7,9, 11 and 13 will appear on the surface.  When using the pattern draft, you may have to bring up a pattern thread from the bottom layer or push down a pattern thread from the top layer to weave the pattern.

For hints about weaving, see my YouTube video: Weaving narrow warp faced bands.

Threading for a standard heddle or inkle loom.

For a standard heddle, look at the pattern draft.  You will see that some squares have dots.  This indicates which pattern threads will normally be on the surface when you raise or lower the heddle.

For pick 1, when you raise the standard heddle, pattern threads numbered 1,3,5,7,9,11 and 13 appear on the top.  You will need to drop down pattern threads 3, 5, 9 and 11.

For pick 2, when you lower the heddle, pattern threads numbered 2,4,6,8, 10 and 12 appear on the surface. You will need to pick up 7 and drop down 4 and 10.

The dots on the weaving chart show which patterns threads appear on the surface when you raise or lower the heddle and are also a guide for designing your own patterns.  Look at the pattern draft. A pattern thread which is raised over three picks, always starts and ends on a dotted square. Any single pattern thread will always be on a dotted square.

Starting to weave using a backstrap.

First make sure you find a comfortable weaving position. The far end of the warp is attached to a G-clamp or other post.  The weaving end of the warp needs to be tied around your backstrap.

1.  Divide the warp into two and take the ends around the backstrap or band lock.

Take each bunch of warp ends over the backstrap or band lock.  

2.  Adjust the tension on the warp ends.  If you pull one way and then the other you will find that the heddle rocks from side to side.  The heddle should lie straight on the warp. If it leans then the warp is unevenly tensioned.

The heddle leans to one side if the tension is not even.

The heddle lies straight on the warp.  

3.  Insert a thicker thread or some sticks into the first three sheds of the warp.  This helps to provide a firm base on which to start the weaving. It also spread the warp at the weaving end.

Adding some sticks to the first three sheds. 
4.  Now start to weave the first pick.  Leave a long length of weft thread at one side.

Leave a tail of weft thread at the side of the first pick.

5.  On the second pick, take the shuttle and weft through and also take the length of weft from the  first pick through as well.  There are now two weft threads in the same shed.

Two wefts in the same shed.
6.  Now pull on the shuttle and the loose weft end.  the warp ends will pull together and the weft is secure.  I usually put the weft end through the next pick as well to secure it.

The warp is now ready for weaving.

Happy weaving

Durham Weaver  2017

1 comment:

  1. Susan, I am enjoying weaving the heart band you linked to here. I am finding something interesting. I wove a 12" sample using the Sunna heddle, then cut the sample off and threaded my double hole heddle to continue weaving. The hearts on the sample woven with the Sunna heddle are crisper, slightly more compact, although I tried my best to beat the weft in on the second samplers hard as I could. Have you seen any differences in how a band looks, depending on the type of heddle used to weave it?


All comments are moderated before being posted. There will be a slight delay before your message appears.