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Double Hole Rigid Heddle Weaving - part 1

translated by Ingrid K. Hanssen

1985 Yearbook - Nord-Österdalen Museum

The exposition at the museums in Nord-–¶sterdalen during "Nord-Österdalen week" in 1982 had bands as a theme. Torbjörg Gauslaa, the Husflid consultant, had discovered a rich but unknown tradition of band weaving in Nord-Österdalen. One of the purposes of the exposition was to collect more information about this kind of weaving. Another one was to find out how the rigid heddles with two and three rows of holes were used, and how common they were. They got help from the Finnish textile artist Barbro Gardberg who has worked with this for some years and who also knew weavers still using this technique.

The rigid heddles found so far, (one was found in America) are dated from 1740 to 1905. Ninety-four rigid heddles were registered in 1985, twenty-eight of them came from Nord-–¶sterdalen, and the Lappish department of Norsk Folkemuseum had seventeen.

A couple of descriptions of how to weave with double hole rigid heddles was published in the yearbook of the "Nord-Österdalen Årbok 1985" (Röros-trykk a.s., Norway ISSN 03333140). The book has photos of different types of looms and very nice photos of cushion covers made of bands sewn together. The articles in the yearbook are the results of the research up until 1985. The following images show some of the pieces of the museum collection.

Cushion Case All of the cushion covers in the collection are about 50 - 60 cm (17.5 - 19.5) x 90 - 100 cm (33.5 - 39.5).
Cushion case detailMany narrow bands were sewn together to make one cover. Here, one can see from the fringes that approximately ten bands were used to make one cover.
More Cushion CasesEach band would be from 10 to 15 cm (4 to 6 in.) wide.
More cushion casesThe fibers used include wool, linen and cotton, and vary from 1, 2, 3 and 4 ply yarn.
MoreThe same colors were usually used; lots of red, with some white, blue, green or brown.
CoverletThe bands were also sewn together to make coverlets, one is 127 x 170 cm (50 x 67 in.).
Coverlet detailThe coverlets are made of bands of different designs and different techniques; some are tablet-woven, for instance.

Part Two

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Copyright © 1999 by Ingrid K Hanssen. Please contact the author for permission to use any part of this article.

Part One