I’ve had a number of requests for advice on what looms to get as Xmas presents in the past couple of months, so I thought I’d put some of the responses in a blog for anyone to access.
First thoughts were – lucky people having someone wanting to buy them a loom for Christmas.
Second thoughts were – I hope it’s what they wanted!!! :^))
One lady asked for advice on a loom to get her 9-year-old daughter. She already had a ‘kiddy’s loom’. I suggested that she upgrade to a more sturdy rigid heddle loom. “Do a web-search for ‘rigid heddle looms’ to find suppliers in your area (not sure whether you are in the US or UK). There are a couple of books by Jane Patrick with rigid heddle projects:
If you are wanting to get her a more sophisticated loom with 4 shafts, then I would go for the Ashford, or Louet looms – again a web search with the term ‘table loom’ gives you relevant sites so that you can compare between them.
These days, the quality of loom is generally good, so it all depends on whether you are looking for new or second hand. You can pick up bargains on e-bay, but the usual caveat of buyer beware applies…. If you are in the UK, there is a website called The Loom Exchange where you can pick up second-hand looms which is always worth a look.
Ancillary equipment : for rigid heddle looms, two or three posts that you can use for winding warps and a means to secure them to a table or similar surface. A variety of different sized rigid heddles. And some nice shuttles (depending on price and ease of use – stick (cheapest), boat, roller (easiest).
For a table loom, you require more ancillary equipment : a simple warping frame (can easily be made from spare lumber and dowels), a raddle (for spacing the warp), threading hook, sleying hook, spare heddles, cross sticks, shuttles and a couple of different sized reeds (10 dpi and 12 dpi are good to begin with).
A good beginner’s book is Deb Chandlers ‘Learning to Weave’ book but like every book that tries to describe ‘how to’, there’s a lot of words to describe a simple action. You’re better off with some online video to help get going, or a short course.”
I’ve also been asked for advice on floor looms. I’ve never bought a new floor loom, so I recommend that you look at the major suppliers, such as Louet, Leclerc, Glimakra, Toika, and better still, go to a suppliers such as Handweavers Studio in London where you can try them out. You need to find something that suits your body proportions, although different height chairs help, of course. If you try them, you’ll know which ones work best for you.
One word of warning, if you have gammy knees or are not happy about scrabbling around on the floor to adjust tie-ups, go for a table loom or a dobby loom!
If a new loom is too expensive, go and look at the Loom Exchange, or if you are a member of one of the Guilds of Weavers, Spinners & Dyers, you may find someone in your guild who is willing to loan or sell you a loom. The Online Guild has a virtual market where members put ads selling and wanting equipment, so it’s worth looking at that, too.
I just had someone contact me with a floor-loom to give away, which has been snapped up by a student who was here this weekend, so if you know of a teacher, ask them if they know of any for sale or available!
Happy Xmas and happy weaving!!