DIY reed hooks - push and pull

I just bought a 30-dent reed, which is too fine to get a standard reed hook through without bending the reeds.  So I made my own:


These are made out of 10 mil brass (.01  inch thick) and were pretty easy t o make.  I sketched out the shape of the tool on a sheet of 10 mil brass, adding 1/3" or so on the sides, cut it out with my junk scissors, and then folded over the edges to make the handles stiffer and more hand-friendly.  A light sanding to remove the rough edges, and presto!  It was done.

The gadget at the top, in case you were wondering, is to push threads through the reed, rather than pulling.  I got a lot of advice to push very fine threads through the reed rather than pulling them  with a hook, so I made up this tool to do the pushing.

I did find that the scissors warped the brass on the inner part of the hook, but nothing that couldn't be solved by pressing it flat with the back end of the pair of scissors (you could use anything smooth, but that was what I had handy.

I don't know that I'd bother making my own reed hook unless I had a fine reed, but this works very nicely in my 30-dent reed.  It does tend to bend under light pressure, but it's easy to bend it back.

Just thought I'd share!



Nice job!

Thin brass is good for something that thin.

I've used plastic debit cards cut to shape, but would be very thick compared to the brass sheet.

Have a good day!


 I've used a piece of shaped laminated paper before now as a reed hook. I'll definitely have to try thin brass if I come across some.


 We carry precision reed hooks - check the web site

look under Threading and reed hooks

These are like a paring knife, grab the threads so that they don't slip away, and are excellent for anyone with visual impairment as they work by touch as well as by sight.

Right now we have the normal sized ones, but can order the fine one that goes easily into a 30 dent reed.

I've been using my set since 1980 and wouldn't try anything else.


Gently pounding metal with a nylon mallet (normally for wire jewellery) will stiffen it.  But hammering wire over wire tends to break one of the wires, so slow and gentle.  I plan to check out what I can bend into shape from my jewellery wire and then pound it flat for a heddle hook.  I found a DMC needle threading device that came in handy when none of my hand-friendly hooks would fit the holes of the Schacht 12-dpi rigid heddle.


 look at old butter knives at the flea can find a thin one with a handle and gentle file a slot in the end and you have a thin sturdy sley "knife" for your reed.


I too made a hook. I used a piece of metal reinforcing strap used in wood framing of houses. I cut a short angled slot at one end with a hacksaw and deburred it with a folded piece of emery paper and a small file. I took some kitchen drawer liner (perforated foamy type) and wrapped then taped over that to made a soft handle. I turned out the perfect width for the #12 reed.

I used to have a normal wee reed hook but now I have a different method of reed-sleying I need a longer hook, so I make mine out of fencing wire. Works fine with a 12 dent reed. If i had to do anything finer I guess I'd have to do something similar to this.

* edit * I've just remembered that the weave tech at college makes reed hooks out of broken wire heddles. Just snip off the eyelet and curver back the wire with a pair of pliers and the guide circle bit acts as a handle


Hi Tien,

Nice hook and a good solution for fine reeds.  I would fold up the handle end to make a shorter and thicker handle.  I find that if the hook is long and sticks out under my hand, it can get caught on other threads.  If it is short, the sleying goes faster.



You could also sand and shape a piece of close grained hardwood down to  1/16" of an inch. I use an 1/8" thick (slightly thinner) one in my 8 dent reed. If you want a rounded handle you could cut a slit into a turned handle that is friction fit. So if you break the hook end you can whip up a new one and replace it in the handle with no frustration. Of course not everyone has a wood working shop and it takes years to acquire the tools for those of us on less than ideal incomes. ;)


I have some which I have purchased in Sweden and yes, they are very thin.  One of them is shaped so that the part in the palm of your hand is much thicker and round.


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