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  • Writer's pictureEmma and Gillian

How should the weft colours be changed when weaving a scarf on a rigid heddle weaving loom?

Updated: Apr 2

Introduction

One of the most common questions we get asked with running our rigid heddle loom scarf weaving workshops is how to change the weft colours neatly on the loom. There are several ways to do this and I suspect that each weaver has their own preferred method. This blog details how to manage a few different ways of changing the weft thread when weaving.


rigid heddle loom with a pink, orange and yellow houndstooth weave on it

Method 1:
Weave in the ends at the end

Some people prefer to do this method. It means that you simply keep weaving leaving a tail out of the weave which can be woven in manually with a needle when the weave comes of the loom. Advantages to this method are that you can weave quickly without having to worry or stall your weaving to sort out the ends. The disadvantage is that it can feel like an onerous task to have to thread a needle with each of the weft threads to then weave them in by hand individually. Personally I think this method is very time consuming and it is not my preferred method.


rigid heddle loom sat on a table with a pink orange and yellow tartan weave on it

Method 2:

This method only works when the weft thread is changed every two or so picks. For example, when weaving a houndstooth design the weft thread is swapped over every two picks. The simplest thing to do here is to just loop the weft thread up the side of the weave. If you look closely you will be able to see the longer loops up the side of the weave. This method only works if the weft thread is changed frequently for example every two weft picks or rows. If the weft is changed less frequently the result is very long loops up the side of the weave which are not desirable.


weaving an edge on a rigid heddle weaving loom

Method 3 - Preferred method

Step 1 -The first image shows the weft thread which needs to be woven in


Step 2 - The weft thread is woven in for about 10 warp threads with the shuttle then coming up out of the weave


Step 3 - The heddle is brought down and the weft tail is woven into the fabric



Step 4 - The weft thread is cut off close to the fabric


Step 5 - The new weft thread is woven in with the tail/very end of the weft thread positioned at the edge of the weave.


Step 6 - The heddle is brought down and the weft thread is woven with the tail then being close to the edge of the weave. It is a choice being made here not to weave a tail in, the reason being that a tail from the previous and new weft thread both add bulk to the fabric hence the choice being made to weave only the tail of the weft thread being finished.



Finishing a fabric

With methods 1 and 3 there are likely to be the ends of some weft thread sticking up from the body of the weave when the fabric is washed. After washing, drying and pressing these ends are then cut off flush to the fabric with a sharp pair of scissors.


Rigid heddle looms with the scarf weaving kit to weave the scarf above are available in our TabbyandTweed website shop for UK delivery and our TabbyandTweed Etsy shop for delivery elsewhere. We sell a variety of scarf rigid heddle loom weaving kits which include the pattern and yarn for both 8epi and 10epi reeds.


In the fast paced world we now live it it is our opinion that it is something quite special to take time out of life to be creative. Weaving fabric and scarves as unique items of clothing for yourself or gifts is hugely rewarding and helpful when trying to both unwind or keep warm!


Interested in learning to weave? Then our workshop page has all the details found by clicking the link here.


If you are interested in keeping up to date with our weaving work then do sign up to receive our newsletter by clicking the link here.

 

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