Making a heddle

Making heddles is a great skill to have. You may need to make all your heddles which will save you having to buy them (although this would be time consuming) or make additional ones when you don’t have enough to complete threading. They can also be added on to a shaft while setting up to correct a threading mistake which could mean you don’t need to rethread.

To make a heddle:

  • Choose a strong, smooth yarn. A medium weight, smooth cotton yarn works well.
  • Cut a length of the yarn which is double the height of the shaft plus 10cm.
  • Fold the middle of the yarn over the top of the shaft (1).
  • Move it near an adjacent heddle on the same shaft to use to compare the position of the eye.
  • Tie an overhand knot where the top of the heddle eye should be (2).
  • Tie another overhand knot where the bottom of the eye should be (3)
  • Bring the bottom of the down each side of the shaft and tie underneath with a reef knot to secure in place (4). It should be taught but still able to move along the shaft.
  • Cut the excess loose ends off (5) so they will not get caught while weaving.

It doesn’t really matter how you tie the heddle. As long as the yarn is secure around the shaft and the eye in the right place the heddle will do the job.