|Texsolv heddles are made from a continuous double-strand
of fine, crocheted, heat-treated, white polyester cord. Two parallel
strands are joined (crocheted together, not knotted) at the top and
at the bottom of the heddle. Two sets of six very short crosspieces,
just above and below the center, form and reinforce the eye. There
are short lengths of cord between each two heddles, that become tails
if the heddles are cut apart (see diagram).
They are very strong, knot-less, light-weight, resistant to fraying
and to excessive stretching (they do have a little give, thanks to
their crocheted or chain-linked structure). They slide easily along
harnesses. They do not have to be tediously tied by human hands. Many
sizes are available, in half-inch (12 mm) increments through-out the
most useful range. Length is measured from top to bottom joins not
counting the connectors.
||Since there is some yield, most rigid harness
frames can be accommodated, but if you are designing or building a
loom, itís best to pick a heddle size at the outset. If your loom
has harness sticks (as is generally the case with countermarche looms),
the length of the heddle determines the working size of the harness.
They are packaged in sets of 100, secured with 4 twist-ties. DO
NOT UNDO THE TIES UNTIL THE HEDDLES ARE ON THE HARNESS (should
this happen, see the notes at the end). The color of the ties indicates
the heddle length, but some colors are used more than once - check
To put texsolv heddles onto your loom, it may help to think of the
the bundle as a single heddle (see diagram). If you want to end up
with a partial 100 on a harness, put the full 100 on, then move some
off (see below for details).
FOR LOOMS WITH RIGID HARNESS FRAMES
|Jack looms typically have this kind of harness. Most
of these have moveable bars or rods inside a rectangular frame. Hang
the heddle-bunch from the top bar or rod, (see diagram. Set bar in
place. Slide the bottom rod through the lower loop of the heddle bunch,
being careful not to twist the bunch, and set that bar in place. The
bundled bunch will be a little shorter then the separate heddles,
so this can be a little awkward. But try not to succumb to the temptation
to remove the ties too soon.
FOR LOOMS WITH HARNESS STICKS
|Countermarche looms generally have horizontal harness
sticks, not connected to each other, with no vertical side pieces.
The heddles hang from the top stick, and the lower stick hangs from
them. The length of the heddle determines the working height of the
harness. With this set-up, it can be a little bit of a balancing act
to get your heddles in place, as the bottom stick will want to topple
until the heddles are spread out. A second set of hands can be helpful.
Be sure to put on security ties (see diagram). Heddles can and often
do go outside of the jack cords that hang the upper harness sticks.
Once the heddles are in place, you can cut them apart - or not. Probably
you will want to eventually, especially if they are to work widely spaced.
And they do slide a little easier. If you want some of them on another harness,
you of course will have to. If you do cut, be sure to do it between heddles,
in the middle of the short lengths that connect one to the next, leaving
equal tails, and not through heddles (see diagram at the top of the page).
If you donít want even hundreds on your harnesses, put a full bunch on,
spread them out till you can count them, cut them apart if they aren't already
(see above), slide the set to be moved back together and twist-tie them
in the same four places; two above the eye and two below. You may want to
do the same thing with the ones that will stay where they are. If you store
a bunch of heddles off-loom, you or someone else will be glad later if you
have attached a note that says how many there are. If there arenít too many,
heddles that are extra for a particular project can live on the loom, out
to the sides. Unused Texsolv heddles take up very little room on a harness.
Texsolv heddles are very light-weight. This is generally an advantage, especially
for production weaving. It is less work to lift a harness-full of them,
and if you are doing it thousands of times, this matters. But some jack
looms rely on weight to make the harnesses drop after they have been lifted.
If this becomes a problem, you may need to attach some extra weight. Some
kind of metal strip secured to the bottom of the frame. Don't do it unless
you have to.
Texsolv heddles are much quieter than metal ones. I canít think, off-hand,
of a case where this would be a disadvantage.
|Should your heddles come unbundled too soon, and become
one long snarl, it's not actually difficult to fix. Itís just tedious.
You'll need to engineer some kind of jig with two pegs set a little
closer together than the length of a heddle. Pieces of dowel set into
a block, or just tied or clamped, will work, or even uprights from
a couple of chair backs set at the right distance. Just wind the continuous
heddle-string back and forth in a zig-zag (see diagram; this is far
easier to draw or to do than to say), then re-secure them and pretend
it never happened.
© Earth Guild (You may reproduce this if it is unaltered and our
name stays on it.)