Friday, October 24, 2008

Color Coding Steel Heddles: Readers' Suggestions

By Leigh

This is a follow-up to my last post, Color Coding Texsolv Heddles. Connie asked about ideas for doing the same with steel heddles. I didn't try this when I had a loom with steel heddles, but there were some excellent ideas in the comments. Here they are:

Janice said, "I have large-eye wire heddles on my loom. In order to see them I painted above and below the eye where the twisted wire part of the heddle is. And, every 10th heddle I painted around the eye as well. It took a few days to do all the heddles, I put two coats on them, but they are really easy to see, now, and they look pretty too."

Trapunto suggested, "...a dab of white out or nail polish for metal heddles? Say, on every other shaft?"

Amelia said, "A local friend just used fingernail polish on her twisted eye metal heddles .... I decided to go with permanent marker on mine"

Phiala had some good advice ..... "I would try either the enamel paint used by modelmakers .... or the new alcohol inks intended for use on non-porous surfaces. The paint would be bright and opaque, while the ink would be less-visible but easier to apply and use because it doesn't produce a raised surface.... In either case .... degrease the metal before applying the colorant, either with one of the degreasers sold for painting, or just washing carefully."

Kimmen (no blog) says, "I went to the local beauty supply place and found a bunch of wildly colored nail polishes for $1/bottle. Worked fine on the metal heddles, and was less expensive than model makers paint.

You really only need 3 colors- leave 1 harness plain, then paint the next 3 different colors. The 5th harness is plain, and repeat the colors..... the color repeats are 4 harnesses apart, and you wont mix them up..... I used repeated the colors on other looms and find I like that better, especially when you are doing patterns that lift in pairs. It's easier to figure out the pairings, and I can color code my draft easily."

Meg in Nelson offered, "I tied embroidery floss at the top of every 10th heddle, through the loop. Though individual heddle eyes are not color-coded, if you shake the shaft a bit while threading, it's easy to know which shaft you're on. This was my 4-shaft loom, and Shaft 1 has red marks, Shaft 2 blue, Shaft 3 yellow and Shaft 4 green. "

Neki Desu suggested, "Craft paints such as Pebeo or even better Lumiere work well. Just paint the eye."

If anyone has other ideas, please let me know and I'll be glad to add them!

Posted 24 Oct. 2008 at http://leighsfiberjournal.blogspot.com

Related Posts:
Color Coding Texsolv Heddles

10 comments:

  1. Thanks for posting those ideas for steel heddles, Leigh. Next time my loom is "dark," (as in a theatre being dark between performances), I'll color code the heddles on some of the shafts.

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  2. Connie, please let me know how it goes!

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  3. I would try either the enamel paint used by modelmakers (available in small jars in lots of colors), or the new alcohol inks intended for use on non-porous surfaces.

    The paint would be bright and opaque, while the ink would be less-visible but easier to apply and use because it doesn't produce a raised surface.

    If I try this, I'll go for the ink.

    In either case (actually regardless of what you use), the results will be longer-lasting if you degrease the metal before applying the colorant, either with one of the degreasers sold for painting, or just washing carefully.

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  4. Great subject!! I have texsolv heddles on my Ashford 8 harness table loom and metal on my floor looms. Suggestions have so helpful for both texsolv and metal.

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  5. Just want to know if I'm the only weaver who robs heddles from one harness to add to another. Hum, guess if I color coded them I'd have to be organized enough to put them back on the harness I took them off of.

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  6. Phiala, I hope you'll blog about that. I'd be interested in how it goes.

    Barb, I think a lot of us shuffle heddles around. I know I used to. I'm hoping now, though, to have plenty for each shaft.

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  7. I went to the local beauty supply place and found a bunch of wildly colored nail polishes for $1/bottle. Worked fine on the metal heddles, and was less expensive than model makers paint.

    You really only need 3 colors- leave 1 harness plain, then paint the next 3 different colors. The 5th harness is plain, and repeat the colors. The idea is that the color repeats are 4 harnesses apart, and you wont mix them up. I didn't do that on my first attempt- I used all different colors. I used repeated the colors on other looms and find I like that better, especially when you are doing patterns that lift in pairs. It's easier to figure out the pairings, and I can color code my draft easily.

    On my texsolve heddles I used some Sharpies- I only needed three colors. I made sure I didn't color the eyelet so there would be no danger of color transfer.

    I have pictures on Flickr- under lnrskye.

    Kimmen

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  8. Kimmen, great suggestions, thanks! I had read that about repeating the colors on each set of 4 shafts, but didn't think about pair lifting. Good advice.

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  9. I tied embroidery floss at the top of every 10th heddle, through the loop. Though individual heddle eyes are not color-coded, if you shake the shaft a bit while threading, it's easy to know which shaft you're on.

    This was my 4-shaft loom, and Shaft 1 has red marks, Shaft 2 blue, Shaft 3 yellow and Shaft 4 green.

    On my other looms, with texolve, I've marked the top of every 10th heddle with magic markers; Shafts 1, 5, 9 and 13 are red, 2, 6, 10, 14 blue, and so forth. When I need to shift heddles to other shafsts, I move the unmarked ones.

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  10. Craft paints such as Pebeo or even better Lumiere work well.Just paint the eye.

    neki desu

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