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'Rigid Heddle' ribbon weaving?

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  • katherinejsanders
    Hello I just returnd from Copenhagen and had a wonderful time: I only got about five hours in the National Museum but it was still worth sneaking in and nearly
    Message 1 of 12 , May 26 1:03 AM
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      Hello
      I just returnd from Copenhagen and had a wonderful time: I only got
      about five hours in the National Museum but it was still worth
      sneaking in and nearly missing the plane...

      One of the things I saw a lot in the Frilands museum were
      rectangular wooden boards, often with carving at the top and bottom
      and up to 20 or so narrow 'poles' carved out of the centre, with one
      hole pierced in the centre. Behind them all the threads had been
      tied into a knot and the threads came out of the front before having
      been woven into what I would regard as 'traditional' (perhaps 'folk'
      is more accurate) patterns - one had a wooden shuttle with thread
      wrapped around it.

      There was no explanation of its origin or function but in the
      national museum they called it a 'rigid heddle' loom. Searching
      google for 'rigid heddle' didn't show anything similar and I'd
      really like to know a) what time were these types of weaving tool
      used and b) how to do it - it looks really cool! (plus you can
      obviously leave it and it won't go weird like fingerlooping.)

      Yours, in curiosity,
      Katherine, who will sort out the poor photos she took inside of the
      Hjerfolnes clothes (kopi) and decide whether to post them here for a
      while.
    • Alexis
      It does sound like a rigid heddle. You would get a tabby weave from one. Given the narrowness, you would be weaving bands, sashes, trim. Helene Bress shows
      Message 2 of 12 , May 26 2:51 AM
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        It does sound like a rigid heddle. You would get a tabby weave from
        one. Given the narrowness, you would be weaving bands, sashes,
        trim. Helene Bress shows a picture of one in her Inkle Weaving book.
        You still need to tension the yarn to weave it.

        If you want technical details, write me off list. I don't want to
        put everyone into a coma :)

        Yis,
        THL Cassandra of Glastonbury

        --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, "katherinejsanders"
        <katherinejsanders@y...> wrote:
        > Hello
        > I just returnd from Copenhagen and had a wonderful time: I only got
        > about five hours in the National Museum but it was still worth
        > sneaking in and nearly missing the plane...
        >
        > One of the things I saw a lot in the Frilands museum were
        > rectangular wooden boards, often with carving at the top and bottom
        > and up to 20 or so narrow 'poles' carved out of the centre, with
        one
        > hole pierced in the centre. Behind them all the threads had been
        > tied into a knot and the threads came out of the front before
        having
        > been woven into what I would regard as 'traditional'
        (perhaps 'folk'
        > is more accurate) patterns - one had a wooden shuttle with thread
        > wrapped around it.
        >
        > There was no explanation of its origin or function but in the
        > national museum they called it a 'rigid heddle' loom. Searching
        > google for 'rigid heddle' didn't show anything similar and I'd
        > really like to know a) what time were these types of weaving tool
        > used and b) how to do it - it looks really cool! (plus you can
        > obviously leave it and it won't go weird like fingerlooping.)
        >
        > Yours, in curiosity,
        > Katherine, who will sort out the poor photos she took inside of the
        > Hjerfolnes clothes (kopi) and decide whether to post them here for
        a
        > while.
      • cschutrick
        ... That s a rigid heddle, all right. The idea is that half the threads are free to slide up and down, while the other half are held in a reasonably
        Message 3 of 12 , May 26 5:28 AM
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          > One of the things I saw a lot in the Frilands museum were
          > rectangular wooden boards, often with carving at the top and
          > bottom and up to 20 or so narrow 'poles' carved out of the centre,
          > with one hole pierced in the centre. Behind them all the threads
          > had been tied into a knot and the threads came out of the front
          > before having been woven into what I would regard as 'traditional'
          > (perhaps 'folk' is more accurate) patterns - one had a wooden
          > shuttle with thread wrapped around it.

          That's a rigid heddle, all right. The idea is that half the threads
          are free to slide up and down, while the other half are held in a
          reasonably stationary position by being poked through the holes.
          This means that, when weaving, you just move the heddle up or down
          to get your shed (the division the shuttle goes through) rather than
          having to go over-under-over-under for every single thread. Makes
          it much faster. If it's only got 20 poles, it's for weaving narrow
          bands of some sort.

          I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest it may have been for
          leg wrappings, as the current theory appears to be that they were
          tabby woven (regular over-under), rather than card woven (which is
          very different), and woven at the width needed rather than cut out
          of larger pieces.

          --Jeannette
        • faena0216
          ... May I ask: How wide were leg wrappings? With only 20 poles as they are being referred to, and assuming, then, 21 spaces , that s 41 possible warp
          Message 4 of 12 , May 26 5:47 AM
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            > I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest it may have been for
            > leg wrappings, as the current theory appears to be that they were
            > tabby woven (regular over-under), rather than card woven (which is
            > very different), and woven at the width needed rather than cut out
            > of larger pieces.
            >
            > --Jeannette

            May I ask: How wide were leg wrappings?

            With only 20 'poles' as they are being referred to, and assuming,
            then, 21 'spaces', that's 41 possible warp threads. At the average of
            15 threads per cm from cloth in Textiles and Clothing, that'd mean a
            tape no wider than an inch could be made on this loom.

            Nancy
          • katherinejsanders
            Hi ... threads ... than ... narrow ... I ve just put the photograph into the Photos section (I think a message will arrive to announce which one - if not look
            Message 5 of 12 , May 26 10:54 AM
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              Hi
              > That's a rigid heddle, all right. The idea is that half the
              threads
              > are free to slide up and down, while the other half are held in a
              > reasonably stationary position by being poked through the holes.
              > This means that, when weaving, you just move the heddle up or down
              > to get your shed (the division the shuttle goes through) rather
              than
              > having to go over-under-over-under for every single thread. Makes
              > it much faster. If it's only got 20 poles, it's for weaving
              narrow
              > bands of some sort.

              I've just put the photograph into the Photos section (I think a
              message will arrive to announce which one - if not look in 'Kat
              Sanders'. This is the most simple model and shows a band in progress.

              > I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest it may have been
              for
              > leg wrappings, as the current theory appears to be that they were
              > tabby woven (regular over-under), rather than card woven (which is
              > very different), and woven at the width needed rather than cut out
              > of larger pieces.
              >

              I've no idea - the museum showed domestic rural life from around
              1600 - 1915 so I don't know how period this approach would be. It'd
              be great fun though!!
              Katherine
            • cschutrick
              ... Oddly enough, about an inch. :) The idea is that you get a long strip of fabric and wind it around and around your lower leg--like putting on an Ace
              Message 6 of 12 , May 26 11:20 AM
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                > May I ask: How wide were leg wrappings?

                Oddly enough, about an inch. :) The idea is that you get a long
                strip of fabric and wind it around and around your lower leg--like
                putting on an Ace bandage or WWI puttees.

                Now, I'm just guessing wildly; I have no real data other than a few
                recent conversations I've had with people who have Viking personas.

                --Jeannette
              • cschutrick
                ... Ah! Well, in that case I m much less likely to be right. :) Leg wraps were a Viking thing. --Jeanette
                Message 7 of 12 , May 26 11:22 AM
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                  > I've no idea - the museum showed domestic rural life from around
                  > 1600 - 1915 so I don't know how period this approach would be.
                  > It'd be great fun though!!

                  Ah! Well, in that case I'm much less likely to be right. :) Leg
                  wraps were a Viking thing.

                  --Jeanette
                • Albrecht von Arnsperg
                  faena0216 wrote: May I ask: How wide were leg wrappings? According to Peter Beatson s website
                  Message 8 of 12 , May 26 2:13 PM
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                    faena0216 <nancy.mckenna@...> wrote:

                    May I ask: How wide were leg wrappings?

                    According to Peter Beatson's website (http://users.bigpond.net.au/quarfwa/miklagard/Articles/legwraps3.htm), which seems to be well-researched, leg wrappings of the Viking Age averaged between 3 and 3 1/2 inches. The smallest he mentions are just under 2 1/2 inches wide.

                    Albrecht



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                  • Tiffany Brown / Lady Teffania Tukerton
                    ... As far as I am aware, rigid heddle is doccumented for late period. (ok, I ve no sources, but it was taught as period at a class at pennsic by mistress
                    Message 9 of 12 , May 26 7:30 PM
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                      --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, "cschutrick" <cschutrick@y...>
                      wrote:
                      > > I've no idea - the museum showed domestic rural life from around
                      > > 1600 - 1915 so I don't know how period this approach would be.
                      > > It'd be great fun though!!
                      >
                      > Ah! Well, in that case I'm much less likely to be right. :) Leg
                      > wraps were a Viking thing.
                      >
                      > --Jeanette

                      As far as I am aware, rigid heddle is doccumented for late period.
                      (ok, I've no sources, but it was taught as period at a class at
                      pennsic by mistress rhiannon, and I remember she listed sources).
                      It may have been used earlier, but doccumentation of many middle
                      periods is difficult. It may well date right back to viking periods,
                      or may just be a later invention - i'm not sure if we can prove when
                      it starts just by evidenceof absence).
                      I've been wanting to get a rigid heddle and start weaving ribbons for
                      myself. Much quicker than tabletweaving, although less pattern
                      flexibility.

                      For doccumentation, also try looking for narrow twill bands
                      (especially monochrome ones)- I know there are some in MOL "textiles
                      and clothing" edging garments. I can't prove they are rigid heddle,
                      but it seems the most practical way to make a quick twill band from
                      what I've heard.

                      Teffania
                    • Christina Krupp
                      Greetings! On the age of rigid heddles .... John Peter Wild, an early-period textile historian, includes an illustration of a bone and bronze rigid heddle
                      Message 10 of 12 , May 27 5:55 AM
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                        Greetings!

                        On the age of rigid heddles ....

                        John Peter Wild, an early-period textile historian, includes an
                        illustration of a bone and bronze rigid heddle found in Roman-age
                        Britain, in his book "Textiles in Archaeology", p. 39.

                        The heddle is made of thin bone strips, each pierced with a hole and
                        decorated with dot-in-circle inscribed patterns. The bone strips are
                        held together by a folded piece of bronze at top and bottom. It is
                        incomplete, and is only five slats wide, so we don't know the original
                        width.

                        This looks like a "luxury" item - a fancy tool for a wealthy woman. I
                        suspect there were many simpler ones made of wood, which have
                        deteriorated in situ, and have therefore not been found.

                        Any narrow tabby-woven band *could* have been made with a rigid
                        heddle; or likewise, it could have been woven on a wide loom "strung
                        up narrow", or it could have woven with a simple backstrap and
                        string-heddle arrangement. Unfortunately, the structure of surviving
                        narrow bands does not let us determine their weaving method.

                        My gut feeling is that rigid heddles were in fairly common use
                        throughout the middle ages, especially when a simple strap or band was
                        required. We don't see this tool illustrated in manuscripts, because
                        tablet weaving had more prestige (and much more pattern-potential) -
                        noblewomen would naturally be illustrated with tablet-weaving to show
                        their skill and refinement.

                        Our best hope is to wait for archaeologists to find and publish more
                        rigid heddles :)

                        Marieke


                        > As far as I am aware, rigid heddle is doccumented for late period.
                        > Teffania
                      • Heather Rose Jones
                        ... One great (if odd) place to find illustrations of everyday handwork techniques is in depictions of the annunciation to the Virgin. For some reason, she is
                        Message 11 of 12 , May 27 7:59 AM
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                          At 12:55 PM +0000 5/27/04, Christina Krupp wrote:

                          >My gut feeling is that rigid heddles were in fairly common use
                          >throughout the middle ages, especially when a simple strap or band was
                          >required. We don't see this tool illustrated in manuscripts, because
                          >tablet weaving had more prestige (and much more pattern-potential) -
                          >noblewomen would naturally be illustrated with tablet-weaving to show
                          >their skill and refinement.

                          One great (if odd) place to find illustrations of everyday handwork
                          techniques is in depictions of the annunciation to the Virgin. For
                          some reason, she is commonly depicted doing some sort of textile work
                          in these scenes -- there's an article on the motif:

                          Wyss, Robert L. 1973. "Handarbeiten der Maria" in Artes Minores: 113-188.

                          The article includes at least one image of the Virgin weaving with a
                          rigid heddle -- it's on a carved wooden choir stall from ca. 1500 (I
                          believe in France, from the place-name).

                          I'm reasonably certain I've run across other artistic depictions of
                          rigid heddles, but I can't lay hands on them at the moment (not least
                          because I'm about to take off for work).

                          Tangwystyl
                          --
                          *****
                          Heather Rose Jones
                          hrjones@...
                          *****
                        • Cornelia
                          Yep, Legwraps were between 7 and 10 cm wide, but the real ones found in Haithabu, which were actually woven to size and not just hemmed strips of fabric,
                          Message 12 of 12 , May 28 5:46 AM
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                            Yep,

                            Legwraps were between 7 and 10 cm wide, but the "real" ones found in
                            Haithabu, which were actually woven to size and not just hemmed
                            strips of fabric, were all twill woven, not tabby. Omly the hemmed
                            fabric was tabby woven. As far as I know a rigid heddle loom can
                            only produce a tabby weave.

                            Hope this helps with the leg wrap question....

                            Cornelia
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