Long Thread Podcast: Kerstin Neumüller

Season 6, Episode 6: Admiring the traditional bandweaving of her native Sweden, Kerstin Neumüller took her love of weaving a step further and learned to carve small, sweet rigid heddles.

Anne Merrow Mar 25, 2023 - 3 min read

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With formal training as an apprentice in menswear tailoring, Kerstin's love for textiles is a lifelong passion. As owner of a denim store that offered repair services, her creative approach to mending clothing provided a way to blend her craft with her business. Her first two books, Indigo — Cultivate, Dye, Create and Mend & Patch, grew from this overlapping interest. But although she has a longstanding love of weaving, her heddles came from the urge to literally take matters into her own hands.

Growing up in Sweden as the granddaughter of craftspeople fed Kerstin's strong value of self-sufficiency. Using a simple, traditional woodworking knife with a piece of natural wood, could she fashion the weaving tool she needed to make a band? But if that sounds too earnest to be fun, Kerstin's heddles have a thorough and delightful dose of whimsy to keep them from being too serious. Recent heddle designs have included horses, houses, pomegranates, and women.

Although she receives more inquiries about buying heddles than she ever expected, Kerstin resists the idea of taking orders or commissions. She announces when a batch will be ready through her store, and when they're gone, they're gone (within just a day or two). Working at her own pace lets her keep experimenting and following the direction of her creativity.

Her new book, Simple Weave, offers instructions on how to make a variety of tools in addition to weaving project directions for bands, household goods, and desk accessories. The appendix includes diagrams and materials lists for a carved heddle, a cardboard heddle, a homemade temple (stretcher), a backstrap loom, and a frame loom.

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This episode is brought to you by:

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Kerstin Neumüller's website
Kerstin's books, Simple Weave, Mend & Patch, and Indigo, are all available in the United States from the Vesterheim Museum
Kerstin posts about her carving, weaving, and available heddles on her Instagram page