The studio is always buzzing with new ideas and projects. There is always something being woven, spun or felted. One hazy afternoon, post-lunch, when we were admiring the beauty of the sun and the plants outside the studio, we noticed that our 24-inch Ashford Rigid heddle loom was empty, idle - nothing being woven on it. The sight of an empty loom made us gloomy in the lovely weather and we had to do something about it. But what do we make? Like the plants glistening in the sun outside, what would make this loom catch our eyes?
We challenged ourselves to create something new, something we have not worked on before. Our eyes drifted to the Silk yarn collection- so silk it was. Yarn selected, that’s one part done. Now, what about the weave? A yarn like silk deserves something unique and exquisite to showcase its beauty. We went to our library and started looking at the books. The book ‘Double with a twist’ by Marian Stubenitsky caught our attention. It had an in-depth explanation about the beauty of deflected double weave and how to weave them. The simplest of it was a four-shaft deflected double weave. But how do we weave a four-shaft pattern on a Rigid heddle loom?
That’s where we went crazy, we knew the rigid heddle could have a second heddle. So we just needed one more, so we took a pick-up stick and got to work. We needed to somehow make the Rigid heddle loom into a four-shaft loom and weave a deflected double weave- it was our only goal.
After many scribbles and papers, we arrived at this drafting. With two heddles and a pick-up stick, our dream became a reality.
To insert the pick-up stick, keep heddle 1 and heddle 2 down and insert it through the Colour 1 yarns. (Yarns in the slot of the first heddle )
The weaving sequence of the deflected double weave is as follows,
Colour 1 sequence
1- heddle 2 up, pick up stick up
2- heddle 1 up
3- heddle 2 up, pick up stick up
4- heddle 1 up
5- heddle 2 up, pick up stick up
Colour 2 sequence
1- heddle 1 down, heddle 2 down
2- heddle 1 up, heddle 2 up, pick up stick up
3- heddle 1 down, heddle 2 down
4- heddle 1 up, heddle 2 up, pick up stick up
5- heddle 1 down, heddle 2 down
Weaving the deflected double weave was the easiest task. The major chunk of the puzzle was already solved. After every 5 ends of the warp, the colour changed. Similarly, after every 5 picks of a sequence, the weft changed.
The glistening beauty of the silk, the easy yet elegant deflected double weave, combined into a rich and glamorous fabric, adorns our Rigid heddle loom now. Creating this project was like baking a cake, the cherry on top is taking it off the loom. We had fun baking, oh sorry, I mean making a deflected double weave on a simple Rigid heddle loom.
We want you to join us on this journey of decoding and weaving more 4 shaft pattern weaves on a Rigid Heddle loom. It is fun.