Repair Heddles: Stop Twisting Yourself into a Pretzel!

There are several ways to make repair heddles. Here are two you might want to add to your repertoire.

Susan E. Horton Feb 4, 2020 - 3 min read

Repair Heddles: Stop Twisting Yourself into a Pretzel! Primary Image

White Warp ready to weave. Photo credit: Laure Moull / EyeEm. Getty Images.

I wrote previously about reading what seemed like 200 “Ask Madelyns” as I worked to clean up Handwoven's website. The process is ongoing. I pick away at it when I have a moment. As I’ve worked, I’ve been surprised at many of the free downloads we offer, including WIFs that I’m trying to get organized and added to the WIF library.

The other day I came upon a free download of directions for making repair heddles. Maybe you make your repair heddles the same way I do, on the fly, in the most awkward way possible. I grab some bright 5/2 cotton and tie mine directly onto the heddle bars. Turns out, I could be creating them off the loom, eliminating the need to bend myself into a pretzel as I try to get them into the correct spot and the eye of the heddle at the right level. Check out this pdf download, which walks you through the steps to making reusable repair heddles using a couple of safety pins and some yarn. I make my share of threading errors, so I'm going to make a few of this type just to have on hand for my loom with steel heddles.

If your loom has Texsolv heddles, here is a great trick that I learned from Jannie Taylor to make repair heddles. No measuring is required, and no heddles are damaged in the process. All you need are two Texsolv heddles and a piece of yarn.
Texsolv repair heddle

Here is what your Texsolv repair heddle will look like. Imagine the two chopsticks are the top and bottom heddle bars!

  1. Pull one heddle’s loop through one of the other heddle’s loops. Then pull the first heddle through its own loop. This will join the two heddles and will be the bottom of your repair heddle.
  2. Cut a 5" piece of smooth yarn.
  3. Bring the two joined heddles around the bottom heddle bar and bring the two unjoined ends up to the top heddle bar. Tie together tightly above the top heddle bar with the piece of yarn going through the top loops.
  4. Thread the mis-threaded end through both heddle eyes as if they were one.

It’s one of the best tips I’ve ever learned in a weaving class! I have a few of these repair heddles hanging next to my loom with Texsolv heddles because…well you know….

Weave well,