Tag Archives: rigid heddle loom

Free Guide: Getting Started with a Rigid Heddle Loom

A new year is full of possibilities! If one of your 2017 resolutions is to learn how to weave, or to pull your loom out of the closet and rediscover this craft, we’ve created a free guide to help you reach your goals with ease.

Visit the Woolery blog for a free guide to getting started with a Rigid Heddle loom.

Whether you’re new to rigid heddle weaving or just need a refresher on the basics, our free guide will jump start your weaving in 2017!

Click here to download our free PDF guide to Getting Started with a Rigid Heddle Loom.

If you are already on our mailing list, check your inbox – you should have already received a download link from us.

Photo Credit: Liz Gipson of Yarnworker.com.

Photo Credit: Liz Gipson of Yarnworker.com.

Our guide will help you choose the right loom & accessories to get started; it also covers essential weaving terms, the anatomy of a loom & more.

Once you’ve mastered the basics, you can visit our website for free weaving patterns and lots of other helpful info, too.

We look forward to helping you on your weaving journey!

All the Best,

Wave, Perri, and the entire Woolery Team

So You Want to Buy A Loom!

There are plenty of compelling reasons to take up weaving, but the ones we hear the most often from our customers is that weaving is a great way to use up stashed yarn, and it is also a wonderful kid-friendly activity for the summer break. Whether you are thinking of buying a loom for the first time, or you are looking to upgrade, today’s blog post will help you sort through the various types of looms to determine which one is best for your skill level, space requirements, intended usage and cost.

#1: Space

By assessing how much room you have for your loom, you can probably narrow down the list of choices right away. A tabletop, backstrap or hand loom are ideal for those with limited space, while a floor loom is better suited to those with a dedicated crafting area. Keep in mind that, while a loom might fit in the intended area, you will want to be sure that you have enough space to work comfortably when setting up and weaving. If you do have enough space, a floor loom is recommended because it is heavier and stronger and works much faster than a table loom. Floor looms offer more project possibilities and also give a better shed because of their greater depth; some models of floor looms are light and can be folded (Jack types), while others are heavier and take up more space.

A Folding Rigid Heddle Loom

A Folding Rigid Heddle Loom.

#2 Skill Level

Starting small can be a wonderful way to get your feet wet without the huge investment a larger, more complex loom would require. Table looms are generally smaller and less expensive than their floor loom counterparts, and they are portable enough for travel and storage. 4-harness (shaft) table looms are also useful for demonstration purposes, samples and workshops; even once you graduate to a larger loom, it can be used later for samples, research and small projects. Other looms which are easy to master are inkle looms or rigid heddle looms.

Advanced weavers would do well to to purchase a floor loom with as many harnesses (shafts) as possible; the more harnesses a loom has, the more design possibilities it offers. Some looms have as many as sixteen harnesses!

A 16 Harness Floor Loom.

A 16 Harness Floor Loom.

#3 Projects

Next, you’ll want to consider what types of projects you’re most likely to make with your loom. Regardless of the loom you choose, the width indicates how wide of fabric you will be able to weave; while the length can be many yards on floor looms, it is more limited on rigid heddle or table looms. As previously mentioned, the larger the width of the loom and the the more harnesses it has, the greater the possibilities when it comes to projects. For some of the more limited loom types, we’ve compiled a list of possible projects to help you decide which looms would best suit your needs:

  • A rigid heddle loom will allow you to weave light work such as placemats, dishtowels, scarves, shawls or fabric for clothing.
  • Inkle looms are designed to weave several yards of narrow fabric for articles such as belts, sashes, ties, bookmarks, hairbands, guitar straps, etc.
  • Tapestry looms are frame looms which do not require a warping board; they are ideal for making a tapestry to hang on the wall.
  • Triangle Looms are also frame looms which do not require a warping board. Because of the resulting triangular shape, tri-looms are ideal to quickly weave triangular shawls (a 7-foot shawl can be woven in less than a day!). Blankets or afghans can be made by piecing several triangles together; other possible projects include mats, scarves, ruanas or ponchos.
An Inkle Loom.

An Inkle Loom.

#4 Cost

A general rule of thumb when purchasing a loom is that price goes up with size and features – by determining your budget ahead of time, you will be able to match your other requirements to an appropriate loom. For beginners on a budget, a rigid heddle loom is a good way to learn how to weave without spending too much money, and it is the equivalent of a 2-harness loom. Among 4-harness looms, a table loom is cheaper and can be moved easily, but it is hand-operated and therefore much slower than a floor loom; also, because of its low weight and width, the weaving possibilities are limited.

For more information on loom types and features to help you select the best loom to suit your needs, please visit our informational page here on our website.

All the best,

The entire Woolery team

 

 

 

 

Speaking Loom

There are four types of learners: Auditory learners lean toward lecture-style formats; Visual learners like seeing a demonstration; Read/Write learners learn best by studying the written word; and Kinesthetic learners are hands-on learners. If you are teaching yourself to weave, knowing what kind of learner you are can help immensely. Equally important is to offer yourself more than one way to learn, as we rarely fall cleanly into one camp or another. Most important of all, be patient! Learning to ride a bike didn’t happen in a day and neither will learning to weave.

There are a number of go-to resources we at The Woolery turn to when we get that all-too-familiar call asking, “I want to learn to weave, but there is not shop, guild, teacher, or any other weavers in my area.  What should I do?”

To learn floor loom weaving, our first recommendation is to pick up a copy of Learning To Weave by Deborah Chandler or Weaving for Beginners by Peggy Ostercamp.  No matter what kind of learner you are, you will need a good reference book.

Books are particularly good for read/write learners, but if you are a flipper who jumps about and isn’t prone to sit down with a book and study, you may want to check out one of Madelyn van der Hoogt’s DVDs, Warping Your Loom or Weaving Well. These help those who like lectures and like to see hands-on demonstration.

You might think that Kinesthetic learners would have the hardest time, but since they learn by doing, mistakes are engaging rather than discouraging. Those folks do really well with our learning to weave kits since they have everything they need to get going.

If you are a rigid heddle weaver, consider Weaving Made Easy by Liz Gipson or Hands-On Rigid Heddle Weaving by Betty Davenport. If warping is a stumbling block, Liz also has a DVD Slots and Holes: 3 Ways To Warp a Rigid Heddle Loom. Crafty also have a course on rigid heddle weaving that owners of the Kromski will particularly find attractive because it goes into detail about how to use the built-in warping board and other features of that particular loom. If you are looking to strech your wings, check out Jane Patrick’s book The Weaver’s Idea Book or her DVD Weaving on a Rigid Heddle Loom.

Get weaving off your “someday” list and make it happen today.  All you need is the right teaching tool and you are off to the races!

Join Us for the 12 Fiber Toys of Christmas
It’s Toy Season! Every Friday beginning October 19 through January 4, 2013, we’ll be featuring a favorite fiber toy with a special deal and a chance to win that particular toy (tool) – click here for more details!

Chris, Nancy, and the entire Woolery team!

What is a rigid heddle loom and why should I want one? + Majacraft Special!

The genius of this loom is in the slot hole construction of the rigid heddle. (Photos courtesy of spinweave.org)

First the why. If you are a spinner you want a rigid heddle loom because it is gentle on your handspun. If you are a weaver you want one because they are super easy to warp. If you are a knitter you want one because they use up those odd bits of yarn in fast and fun ways (same for you crochers and even rug hookers). Plus this loom is easy to grab and go, allowing you to take weaving with you everywhere.

The what will take a few more words. A rigid heddle loom is a frame loom that uses an ingenious “rigid heddle” to do its work. If you didn’t have one, you would have to take a needle and move the yarn over and under the warp by hand. (The warp are  the yarns held taut on the loom.) Not much fun, huh? 

Rigid heddle projects work up fast to bust the stash!

With a rigid heddle the warp threads are threaded through a slot and then a hole or vice versa depending on where you want to start. This allows you to lift the yarns in the holes past the yarns in the slots to create a shed. (Think of a shed as “sheltering” the weft. This is where you put your shuttle that carries the weft or the yarn that goes from right to left.) Lift, pass the shuttle, repeat!  Voila, you have cloth.

See, don’t you want one! Check out our wide variety of rigid heddles.  There is a loom to suit every need + stands, bags, books, shuttles, and pick-up sticks. Any questions,  feel free to post.

Get ’em while they are hot!

Majacraft Aura made popular by Pluckyfluff on sale while supplies last!

Majacraft is raising their prices as of October 1. We took the plunge and bought a lot of stock. We’ll pass the savings on to you for as long as supplies last! Save up to 25% off of the new retail prices—plus FREE SHIPPING and a $25 gift certificate! Check out our Majacraft wheels here.

Chris, Nancy, and the entire Woolery team