A heddle is an integral part of a loom. Each thread in thewarp passes through a heddle, which is used to separate the warp threads for the passage of the weft.The typical heddle is made of cord or wire, and is suspended on a shaft of a loom. Each heddle has an eye in the center where the warp is threaded through. As there is one heddle for each thread of the warp, there can be near a thousand heddles used for fine or wide warps. A handwoven tea-towel will generally have between 300 and 400 warp threads, and thus use that many heddles.
In weaving, the warp threads are moved up or down by the shaft. This is achieved because each thread of the warp goes through a heddle on a shaft. When the shaft is raised the heddles are too, and thus the warp threads threaded through the heddles are raised. Heddles can be either equally or unequally distributed on the shafts, depending on the pattern to be woven. In a plain weaveor twill, for example, the heddles are equally distributed.
The warp is threaded through heddles on different shafts in order to obtain different weave structures. For a plain weave on a loom with two shafts, for example, the first thread would go through the first heddle on the first shaft, and then the next thread through the first heddle on the second shaft. The third warp thread would be threaded through the second heddle on the first shaft, and so on. In this manner the heddles allow for the grouping of the warp threads into two groups, one group that is threaded through heddles on the first shaft, and the other on the second shaft.
While the majority of heddles are as described, this style of heddle has derived from older styles, several of which are still in use. Rigid heddle looms, for example, instead of having one heddle for each thread, have a shaft with the ‘heddles’ fixed, and all threads go through every shaft.
Within wire heddles there is a large variety in quality. Heddles should have a smooth eye, with no sharp edges to either catch or fray (and thus weaken) the warp. The warp must be able to slide through the heddle without impairment. The heddle should also be light and not bulky.
There are three different common types of metal heddles: wire, inserted eye, and flat steel. The inserted eye are considered to be the best, as they have a smooth eye with no rough ends to catch the warp. Wire heddles are second in quality, followed by the flat steel. Wire heddles look much like the inserted eye heddles, but where in the inserted eye there is a circle of metal for the eye, the wire ones are simply twisted at the top and bottom. The flat metal heddles are considered the poorest in quality as they are heavier and bulkier, as well as not being as smooth. They are a flat piece of steel, with the ends rotated slightly so that the flat side is at an angle of 45 degrees to the shaft. The eye is simply a hole cut in the middle of the piece of metal.
Traditionally heddles were made of cord. Cord deteriorates, however, and creates friction between the warp and the heddle. Today cord heddles are used mainly by historical reenactors. They are also used to lessen the weight of the shafts.
A very simple string heddle can be made with a series of five knots, and five loops. Of these loops, the important ones are the two on the ends and in the center. The loops on the ends are where the shaft goes through the heddle, and the center loop is the eye. The knots are placed around these key features- the eye is made to be in the center, and the end loops are just big enough for the heddle to slide along the shaft. String heddles can also be crocheted, and come in many different forms.
The heddles on an inkle loom, while they are of a completely different form, are generally made of string. Inkle looms only require a simple loop for a heddle, and every other thread goes through a heddle, as in a rigid heddle loom.
Tapestry loom heddles have yet another form, and are generally made of string as well. The heddles here are a loop of string with an eye at one end for the warp, and a loop at the other for a heddle bar.
A repair heddle can be used if a heddle breaks, which is rare, or when the loom has been warped incorrectly. If the weaver finds a mistake in the pattern, instead of rethreading all of the threads, a repair heddle can be slipped onto the shaft in the correct location. Thus repair heddles have a method to open the bottom and top loop that holds them onto the shaft. Repair heddles can save a lot of time in fixing a mistake, however they are bulky, in general, and catch on the other heddles.
In rigid heddle looms there is typically a single shaft, with the heddles fixed in place in the shaft. The warp threads pass alternately through a heddle and through a space between the heddles, so that raising the shaft will raise half the threads (those passing through the heddles), and lowering the shaft will lower the same threads—the threads passing through the spaces between the heddles remain in place.
Rigid heddles are thus very different from the heddle in common use, though the single heddle derived from the rigid heddle. The advantage of non-rigid heddles is that the weaver has more freedom, and can create a wider variety of fabrics. Rigid heddle looms resemble the standard floor loom in appearance.
Single and double heddle looms
Single and double heddle looms are a type of rigid heddle loom, in that the heddles are all together. Heddles are normally suspended above the loom. The weaver operates them by pedals and works while seated.
Among hand woven African textiles, single-heddle looms are in wide use among weaving regions of Africa. Mounting position varies according to local custom. Double-heddle looms are used in West Africa, Ethiopia and in Madagascar for the production of lamba cloth. .
- “Weaving.” The Encyclopædia Britannica. 11th ed. 1911.
- “Heddle.” The Oxford English Dictionary. 2nd ed. 1989.
- Handwoven Magazine. “Weaving Terms.” Weaving Resources.Interweave Press. March 1, 2008 <http://www.interweave.com/weave/projects_articles/Weaving-terms.pdf>.
- Lamb, Britt-Marie. “More Star Towels.” HandwovenSeptember/October 2003: 28-31.
- Spring, Christopher (1989). African Textiles. Crescent Books. pp. 3–4.
Posted: 28 May 2016 05:41 AM PDT
Continuing our previous report on Project Jacquard by Google and Levis , its heartening to know that Levi’s is taking its collaboration with Google ATAP to the next level by introducing a commuter denim jacket. The collaboration, which comes under Project Jacquard, works toward establishing a new, scalable system which weaves technology components into standard fabrics and textiles.
The jacket was announced on 20th May, 2016 at Google I/O, the result of a year-long effort between the Levi’s® Innovation team and Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group under the banner of Project Jacquard.
The discreetly placed Jacquard technology is literally woven into the jacket, allowing for simple gestures like tapping or swiping on a sleeve to activate functionality. Of course you can wash it, just like you do with any other jacket. This perfect pairing showcases the knowledge and know-how of Google ATAP’s Jacquard team with the performance power of the Levi’s® Commuter line, which is designed to perform as great as it looks. The Jacquard team then adds a smart tag — which looks like a normal jean jacket button — to provide feedback to the user. The smart tag would be the equivalent to a smart watch; it’s packed with LEDs and haptic sensors to alert of phone notifications and such. Levi’s mainly advertised the jacket for urban bike commuters, but it seems ideal for anyone, since it looks like any other Levi’s Commuter jacket.
“Anyone on a bike knows that navigating your screen while navigating busy city streets isn’t easy – or a particularly good idea,” said Paul Dillinger, head of global product innovation for Levi Strauss & Co. “This jacket helps to resolve that real-world challenge by becoming the co-pilot for your life, on and off your bike.”
During last year’s Google I/O conference, the Levi’s brand became Google ATAP’s first partner on Project Jacquard, which credited the brand for being authentic, innovative and fashionable.
Our innovation story began with the invention of the blue jean, which turns 143 years old today, but that was merely the first chapter. From the debut of the first jeans for women in 1934 to the revolutionary work that goes on in our Eureka Innovation Lab today, Levi Strauss & Co. brands are constantly innovating to solve the needs of our consumers.
The Levi’s® Commuter™ Trucker jacket is expected to be available beginning spring 2017 in select Levi’s® stores and on Levi.com.
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report
Thursday, May 26, 2016
U.S. producers of textiles, leather, flame retardant materials and other goods could face an enormous increase in import tariffs on a key input if a new antidumping and countervailing duty petition is successful. The petitioner is alleging dumping margins of 273.33 percent to 474.94 percent for ammonium sulfate from China, which is also used as a fertilizer on a variety of crops, turf, and fruit and nut trees as well as in the production of food and feed additives, biotechnology products, wall board, and pulp and paper products.
The petition covers ammonium sulfate in all physical forms, with or without additives such as anti-caking agents. The scope includes ammonium sulfate that is combined with other products, such as by blending (e.g., mixing granules of ammonium sulfate with granules of one or more other products), compounding (e.g., compacting ammonium sulfate with one or more other products under high pressure) or granulating (e.g., incorporating multiple products into granules through a slurry process), regardless of whether the combining occurs in third countries. For combined products, only the ammonium sulfate component is covered by the scope. However, ammonium sulfate that is otherwise subject to this investigation is not excluded when commingled with ammonium sulfate from sources other than China. Ammonium sulfate is currently classifiable under HTSUS subheading 3102.21.0000.
The Department of Commerce and the International Trade Commission will next determine whether to launch AD and/or CV duty and injury investigations, respectively, on this product. There are strict statutory deadlines associated with these proceedings, so affected companies that wish to protect their interests should contact trade counsel as soon as possible.