A review of “Hands on Rigid Heddle Weaving” by Betty Linn Davenport.Hands On Rigid Heddle Weaving by Betty Lin Davenport - front cover

ISBN – 9780934026253
Publisher – Interweave.com

I bought this book after getting a Spears Weaving Loom no 3 on eBay and wanting to know how to use it.  This book has proven very useful (and interesting).

The book is 8.5″ by 10″ and has 120 pages.  There are many illustrations, most black and white diagrams but also some full colour photos.


The first chapter explains what a rigid heddle loom is, identifies the parts of the loom and gives lots of information on choosing a loom.  There is also a handy chart showing different popular brands of loom and their various attributes.

First Project

The second chapter gives very clear instructions on how to prepare everything for weaving and setting up the loom.  It goes into a lot of detail on this.

There then follows instructions on how to start weaving.  Again this is very detailed with both illustrations and photos.

Finally, one learns how to finish off the project.

I found this chapter ideal for use with my Spears loom but am sure it would be equally useful for most rigid heddle looms available.

Hands On Rigid Heddle Weaving by Betty Lin Davenport - interior shot

Learn More Weaves

The next few chapters contain lots of information on different types of weaves and how to do them.  This is a vey good primer of weaving techniques.  By the end of these chapters I was weaving very confidently.

There are lots of projects scattered throughout these chapters including shawls, bags and bands. Hands On Rigid Heddle Weaving by Betty Lin Davenport - interior shot

On Your Own

The next chapter is all about planning a project, designing your own woven items and how to pick the yarns etc.  This is a very handy chapter and one that I have turned to many times when working on my own creations.

There are charts explaining how to measure up to create garments  and information on resizing patterns.  There is even information on colour theory and blending colours.

Again there are patterns throughout that you you can work to practise your new knowledge.

Of particular use are the explanations and formulae for calculating the amounts of weft needed for projects.

Hands On Rigid Heddle Weaving by Betty Lin Davenport - interior shot


The final chapter contains a pattern and instructions to make a carry bag for a portable loom.  This is a full index.

Rigid Heddle Weaving - a review

Summary of Hands On Rigid Heddle Weaving

This is a very comprehensive guide to rigid heddle weaving and looms.  It is ideal for the beginner and contains everything you need to know to get weaving as soon as possible.  It is also a very handy reference book for the shelf of the more experienced weaver.  The tables and instructions for creating your own projects will come in handy again and again.

Hands On Rigid Heddle Weaving by Betty Lin Davenport - back cover

Here is a link to the review of my 1950s Spears Weaving Loom no 3.

Here are links to Rigid Heddle Weaving on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. If you buy from these links I would get a small commission from Amazon for sending custom their way – this will not cost you any extra!  Thank you.


Hands On Rigid Heddle Weaving by Betty Linn Davenport – a craft book review
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