Support: How to Remove Heddles

Equipment required: Strong cotton cord (approx 30” for each shaft) and a Tapestry needle with eye large enough for the cord. If the loom is not threaded, it is easiest to move heddles if you remove the harness from the loom first.

1. Work with one shaft at a time. Make one bundle of heddles for each shaft. If you know how many heddles are on each shaft, label each bundle of heddles with the heddle count.

2. Undo the heddle bar hooks, and release the heddle bars from the hooks, leaving the bars in the shafts for the moment.

3. Group all of the heddles in the center of the shaft. Thread 30” of cord on the needle and pull the cord through all the heddle eyes on the top heddle bar, and then through all the heddle eyes on the bottom heddle bar. Unthread the needle and tie the ends of the cord together.

4. Remove the group of heddles from the heddle bars. Bend the top and bottom heddle bars, and pull the bars out of the side of the shaft and slide the group of heddles off. If you are installing new heddles, slide them onto the heddle bars at this point.


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Support: Cleaning Rust from Reeds

Rusty reeds can be cleaned by rubbing out the rust with fine steel wool or by using a commercial rust remover, such as Naval Jelly.  When using these products be sure to follow the directions on the label very carefully.  If you use the rust remover, work it between the dents of the reed with a small brush (a toothbrush works well).  Rinse the piece very thoroughly.  We suggest doing this outside with a hose.  Dry it immediately (use a hair dryer, if possible).  The tape on the top and bottom edges of the reed may come loose.  You can replace it with a cloth tape or duct tape and trim it to size with a knife or razor blade.

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Support: Adjusting the heddle bar hooks

The end of the heddle bar hook should be approximately 3″ from the outside of the harness frame. If your heddles slide freely on the heddle bars you will not need to make any adjustment to the hooks. If you do need to adjust the heddle bar hook, follow the instructions below.

Remove the harnesses from the loom and lay them flat on a table. Note: it is not necessary to remove the harness from the loom, but if you are putting your heddles on for the first time, it will be easier to make this adjustment.

Before you begin, note which way the groove in the heddle bar hook is facing.

Release the heddle bar from the hook by pulling the slide toward the spring and harness frame and pull the heddle bar out of the way. Using a 1/4″ wrench or pliers, turn the heddle bar hook clockwise to tighten it or counterclockwise to loosen it. The distance from the end of the heddle bar hook to the outside of the harness frame should be approximately 3″.


Be sure to face the groove in the heddle bar hook in the same direction it was in before you adjusted it. Reinsert the heddle bar into the groove and secure it with the slide. You may have to turn the heddle bar hook slightly using the wrench or pliers in order for the slide to slip into place over the heddle bar.

Repeat the process for the heddle bar hook on the other side of the harness.

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