Rigid heddle

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As the name suggests, a rigid frame or "heddle" controls the movement of the warp threads in this braid.

Usually rectangular, the heddle has slots and holes through which the warp is passed. Moving the heddle up and down creates the shed through which a weft is passed. Early medieval heddles are narrower than modern table loom style rigid heddles, probably no more than 20cm wide and used only to create braid. Rigid heddle weaving was most probably done using a backstrap to which the warp was fixed, the weaver then leans forward or back to control the tension.

Rigid heddle is more dificult to manipulate than inkle braiding and the pattern was most likely made by the weavers choice of warp threads, which carry the pattern, rather than moving individual warp threads.