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Double Hole Rigid Heddle Weaving - part 2

translated by Ingrid K. Hanssen

An 84 year old woman, Margit Nymoen, started the whole research of band weaving in Nord-Österdalen in 1978. She donated a cushion case to a museum in Tolga, Norway. She was afraid it would otherwise get "lost". More women saw this cushion case and related that they had similar ones at home, so the Husflid advisor Torbjörg Gauslaa was inspired to start a research. It turned out that a rich tradition of band weaving with rigid heddles with double and triple holes had existed in Nord-Österdalen. As a part of this research, expositions and classes of rigid heddle weaving were held, and the yearbook of Nord-Österdalen 1985 published several articles about it. This article is one of them.

Anne Grete Stuksrud, with help from Torbjörg Gauslaa of Norway and Barbro Gardberg of Finland, wove these three bands using the traditional double-hole and triple-hole rigid heddles. Complete instructions for these bands are given below.

Belt One: Rigid heddle with slots


Here is part of a different kind of rigid heddle, one with 9 center slots for 9 pattern threads, 8 ground threads (the holes and slots on each side of the center slots), and 14 threads at each border.

Roros billedvevgarn (wool) 12/2 for the borders, linen 16/2 for the ground weave, Roros billedvevgarn 12/2 for pattern. Use either wool yarn for the weft threads.

Using the back of a chair for tension, start by winding the 9 pattern threads only. Leave the holes and slots for the ground threads and the border threads empty. Next, wind and thread these threads. By passing the ground threads around the chair back and threading each side simultaneously, you will balance the number of ground and border threads.

1 wool 12/2 dark, 1 wool 12/2 light } x 7 = border
1 wool 12/2 dark
2 linen 16/2 } x 8
1 wool 12/2 dark
1 wool 12/2 light, 1 wool 12/2 dark } x 7 = border

Warp threads

The dark (pattern) thread at the top of the drawing is the center of the warp, one of each of the ground and pattern threads in the drawing will go on either side of these pattern threads.

Lowered heddle - insert the picks from the right side Raised heddle - insert the picks from the left side. The pattern threads will then emerge out of the ground weave.

By lowering and raising the heddle, the shed will leave the pattern threads, because they are threaded in the slots, laying in the middle of the shed. This will make the picking-up more easy. The weaving will be fast.

When weaving, the warp should not be quite tightened, when you beat the pick - keep the warp together with one hand - straighten your back a little, and the warp will be released a little extra - and beat with the other hand. The finished band will give the pattern threads an accentuated effect in the surface.

Belt Two: Double-hole rigid heddle

Rep ground weave with loose pattern threads. Pattern threads in the upper row of holes. Ground threads in the spaces/slots and in the ordinary holes. The rep band has one ground thread between the pattern threads.


Since the pattern threads are placed in the upper holes, they can be easily picked up or down after what is needed. The pattern threads are threaded in groups; they will be picked up or down following the pattern. This example will look the same on both sides. The band can be woven and varied as required.

Two rows

Upper row of holes: 16 pattern threads in the center, (3 blue, 4 rose, 2 orange, 4 rose, 3 blue). Lower row of holes: 16 empty holes in center, 4 white on each side 24 threads in the slots (3 rose, 16 white, 3 rose)
B = blue, R=rose, O=orange, H=white

Two row design pick-up

1 white, 1 rose } x 3
2 white
1 blue, 1 white} x3
1 rose, 1 white} x 4
1 orange, 1 white } x 2 (= center)
1 rose, 1 white } x 4
1 blue, 1 white } x 3
1 white
1 rose, 1 white} x 3

Warp: wool - Kunstvevgarn white, orange, rose and blue.

Weft: Wool - white


Belt Three: Triple-hole rigid heddle

Plain weave with loose pattern threads. Ground weave threads are threaded in the center row of holes and slots throughout the whole band. Side pattern threads are threaded in the lower row of holes. Center pattern threads are threaded in the upper row of holes.

Three rows

B = blue linen, G = green linen, H = white wool

Three rows design Three row pickup
Design with no pick-up. Design using string heddles for pick-up

Three rows - cross section

String heddles around the pattern threads in the upper row of holes and down through the warp threads provides the possibility of lowering these pattern threads down under the warp. String heddles around the pattern threads in the lower row of holes up through the warp gives the possibility of raising these pattern threads over the warp.


About the Author
I started weaving about 15 years ago when I thought I needed a recreational activity different from my job in the social services at that time. We moved to Sweden a year later - I am Norwegian - and weaving soon became a full time job.

Due to health reasons, I have not been able to continue with production weaving, so I am now weaving for my own pleasure. I still have about 15 looms of different kinds from rigid heddles to jacquards, but I usually use my Glimåkra countermarche loom. The last couple of years I have been concentrating on pick-up double-weaves (finnweave). I use traditional Norwegian designs from the 1850s in dark brown and red wool, or dark brown, yellow, and red wool. The design is often pomegranates, double hearts, or other antique patterns scattered all over the surface.

My WebPages are about weaving software, since I am also interested in more modern ways of weaving.

Ingrid K Hanssen    This extra step helps prevents spam

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

Part One