This heddle fascination of mine started with a tutorial on the Braids and Bands Yahoo group. Susan Foulkes posted a wonderful class on weaving Sami bands with a variety of heddles. One which she showed was a pink plastic heddle with shorter pattern slots made in Sweden.
Well... I guess I was cheap, because I thought it was a bit pricey, and didn't want to pay that much for something plastic. That started me on this project. I decided to use my old copy of Illustrator to make a design that I could get Eldy to cut for me with the laser cutter at Maker Place. As you've seen in previous posts, I ended up with some lovely heddles made of birch plywood. The last one he cut for me has been sanded, but not finished - I couldn't wait to give it a try.
But then..... he found a place where he could get scraps of acrylic, so he cut a few for me using a sheet of dark, almost black, acrylic. Voila!
Here's a closer shot of the smaller one.
I'm still not great at this. Started out weaving backstrap. Right now, I've got a small heddle warped on my Cricket loom, but that's not turning out very well - it's just too short to get a good shed, I think. Plus, the handy thing about backstrap weaving is the ability to shift the tension with your body position, and you lose that with a loom. Hmmm..... I bet I could add live weight tension to the back beam - which might give the same effect. Of course, then I won't want to hold the loom in my lap to weave. :-)
There's so much more experimenting to do..... to try different weights of pattern threads..... to see if I can tweak the size of the holes in the smaller heddle.... and do I want a heddle with 15 pattern slots? It is so very cool to know that I can make whatever I want! I've also got a learning curve in front of me - I need to explore how to make designs that will work well with this technique. A few of the ones I've tried have not quite seemed right. That's the wonderful thing about weaving - you never ever run out of things to explore.