Norwegian Cradle Loom

Posted by Tropical Twister under Articles , My Looms , Rigid Heddle , Tape Looms , Weaving 
[3] Comments 

The set-up and weaving process for the Norwegian Cradle Loom with a rigid heddle is as follows. First, I used locker hooking twine, pre-cut lengths of soft string, to tie loops of equal length through all the holes on the warp beam and the cloth beam.

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I threaded the paddle style tape loom (mine is from Fred & Grace Hatton, Finn Sheep) according to the diagram from Handwoven Magazine, Interweave Press using the warp color order directed for “tape loom or rigid heddle loom”. I tied small bundles of the warp to the twine loops on the warp beam. When all the warp had been tied, I slowly turned the warp beam to wind on all the warp. To keep the warp from getting tangled and to assure an even draw of thread, I wound a length of drawer/shelf paper somewhat narrower than the warp beam with the warp threads. Then I tied the thread coming from the warp beam and through the paddle tape loom to the loops on the cloth beam. With everything in place I was ready to weave. By lifting the paddle up for one pass and pushing it down for the next it created alternating sheds for a nice tabby weave.

The first weft thread, which was later discarded, was thick white cotton. Several passes caused the warp to tighten up. Then I started weaving with my warp. I selected crochet cotton size 10 to use as weft. The weft needs to be finer than the warp. My warp is cotton rug warp, that is, rather heavy cotton. I am using black as my weft color choice as my pick was between black or white at WalMart. I would have prefered brown to match the outside warp threads. (Not a lot of choices here in the mountains. I stopped at a quilt shop but they were closed to prepare for Christmas in July, what are the chances of that happening, so I pressed on to WalMart.) While the weft “does not” show in warp dominate weaving, it does; it shows slightly on the edge of the tape. Actually, the black works just fine against the brown warp threads. After I wove an inch or so, I removed the white cotton yarn and left just the final tape threading. I plan to go back and secure the end before it is removed from the loom.

I love the loom!! My tape is much more regular than when I used the paddle loom alone as a back strap loom, as I am able to maintain the tension. I expect to try some other projects with this cradle loom when this tape is done, perhaps card weaving.

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Tropical Twister


3 Responses to “Norwegian Cradle Loom”

  1. Melanie Mitchell says, February 12th, 2010 at 7:53 am

    Where did you get your Rigid Heddle? I just ordered the cradle loom from Vesterheim but they don’t have the heddles.



  2. Tropical Twister says, February 12th, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    The rigid heddle is from Finn Sheep, Fred & Grace Hatton. But you can use any riggid heddle as long as it fits within the walls of the cradle loom. I sometimes use a different heddle because my other heddle has more slots.

    Tropical Twister

  3. A Rigid-Heddle History - Beweave It - Weaving Today says, August 16th, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    […] Norway, the cradle loom, has long been used to weave bands to decorate regional costumes. The looms are often beautifully […]

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