DIY Pattern Heddles for Drawloom

Now that there are an another 1,000 long-eye heddles on the drawloom ground shafts, it’s time to get back to making more pattern heddles.

Months ago I ordered 400 or so plastic maillons from Sara von Tresckow, The Woolgatherers, in Fond du Lac, WI. Each maillon has six small holes and a slightly larger hole on each end. The smaller holes are for fine warp threads, the larger holes are for assembling the pattern heddle. If you are working with 8 thread blocks, you can also use the larger holes on each end for warp threads.

Around 14 years ago I made some of these heddles using a fine, coated thread and as there is still plenty on the spool, it is what I am using again. There is no label in or on the tube as to what this thread is made of. It is not easily broken.

As I wove on this loom 13 years ago, so know these pattern heddles will work. I am using an old one as a guide, and cut the top and bottom threads (24″ each) tieing one thread to each end of a maillon. On the bottom, I add one lingo to each pattern heddle. The top of each pattern heddle is tied and hangs on the wood pattern heddle rods.

I have not yet been able to recall the adjustable knot Ken showed me, so am just tieing the top ends for now. A neighbor loaned me an older book of knots and I’m hoping to figure this out.

If I were to warp the drawloom at 60 epi x 36″ width = 2,160 threads (I’ll need to make a couple hundred more long-eye heddles, more if I go wider) divided by 6 threads per maillon = 360 pattern heddles needed. I’m using these figures as an example, and figuring this out as I go along. Now, I need to get busy and make about 250 more pattern heddles.

Then I’ll move on to replacing the drawcord warp. I have been researching and asking other drawloom weavers for advice/suggestions on this, and must go back and review their recommendations, make a decision, and place an order very soon. Unfortunately, the coated linen of the former drawcord warp is no longer available.

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