Why get a rigid heddle loom?
Traditional weaving looms are large, expensive, and much harder to learn and master. They require a lot of working room and take up a lot of house space. The simple and easy-to-use design of the rigid heddle loom, makes this loom the perfect weaving loom for anyone wanting to learn how to weave.
Compare a rigid heddle loom with a traditional loom and you’ll find the rigid heddle is much cheaper, simple to warp, more transportable, and unlike traditional looms, it will leave you with little to no yarn wastage!
For a beginner, they are an absolute essential piece of equipment for learning to weave. They’re easy to use and won’t hold you back from advancing your skills!
What kinds of yarns can I use?
The rigid heddle loom allows you to use all kinds of different yarns. There is almost no yarn that you can’t use on the loom. For the warp it is ideal that you choose a yarn that has some strength as it will be under tension. Fuzzy yarns such as mohair are not a great choice for the warp unless they are spaced farther apart, more loose, or mixed with other types of yarn. The fuzzy yarns stick together, thus making it harder to warp. For the weft you can use just about any material. You can have a lot of fun experimenting with different types of yarns and different colors!
What size loom should I be looking for?
There are different sizes of width for this type of loom. So how wide of a loom do you need? This depends on what you want to make. I would recommend a loom from somewhere from 16 inches to 24 inches for beginners.
Smaller looms are great to make strips of fabrics, scarves, etc. and are very easy to transport. The larger looms may seem intimidating to the beginner, going with a smaller loom would be more practical.
Finding a loom that is easy to store and use for personal use would be somewhere in the 16 inch to 24 inch range. You are not required to weave across the whole width on these looms, so if you have a 24 inch wide loom you can still weave 10 inch wide fabrics.
If you are planning on traveling with the loom then looking for a smaller and foldable loom would be a very important factor. Hauling around a large loom would not be very suitable especially for public transport options. Some looms have the ability to fold for the purpose of easy transportation.
Which rigid heddle looms do we recommend?
The collection of the Ashford series of rigid heddle looms are far by some of the best rigid heddle looms for beginners. Unlike other looms the Ashford loom is much cheaper and inexpensive, so it won’t break the bank. The items included in purchasing an Ashford loom will make it easy for you to start weaving as fast as possible. The loom includes a 7.5 dpi reed, 1-22 inch natural shuttle, 1-30 inch natural shuttle, step by step instruction booklet, threading hook, warping peg and clamp.
There are two sizes that are in the recommended size range to get. The 16 inch version is the smaller of the two, is easier to carry around and can be used in much smaller spaces. The 24 inch version is larger and can be used to make larger width fabrics. If you are planning on purchasing a loom larger than 24 inches, Ashford also has a 32 inch loom that works just as well.
When purchasing a loom larger than 16 inches it is also recommended to buy a stand for it as well. Having a stand for larger looms is more convenient than trying to weave on the table. It’s made so that you can set the back onto the edge of a table and the front lays in your lap. The stand allows you to get up at a moment’s notice and not have to touch the loom. The loom and the stand weights next to nothing and are easy to move around as needed. Ashford has made specific stands for each size of the loom.
If you are scared you don’t know how to use the loom, Ashford has released a very simple video on how to use their loom on Youtube! We hope this guide has been useful and helps you to decide what rigid heddle loom may be the right one for you. Rigid heddle weaving is good fun and I hope you can create your own creative and beautiful handwoven clothes and fabrics of your own!