Which weaving loom to buy?
That’s the first thing you will have to decide if you want to start weaving as a hobby.
There are many looms to choose from, and there are definitely some loom types you want to stay away from as a newcomer.
In this article, I’ll help you find which beginner weaving loom will suit you best.
How to choose a weaving loom?
There are many things to take into account when you choose between different looms.
First, you need to know all the different types that are available. You can read about all of them in our article on the different types of weaving looms.
Below is a quick decision flowchart I made that will help you choose which type and which model weaving loom will be best for you.
Frame loom vs rigid heddle loom
I recommend beginners to go with either a frame loom or a rigid heddle loom.
So how do you choose between these two?
A frame loom would be best suited for someone that wants to weave occasionally and wants to keep things as simple as possible.
This is because the frame loom is the easiest to learn and is very cheap. However, there are many techniques that you can’t do on a frame loom and the you can only make small weaves.
The rigid heddle loom is for the more aspiring weaver. The learning curve for this type is a little higher than for the frame loom. But anyone motivated could learn it by themselves with a good instructional manual or video.
With a rigid heddle loom you can make much longer weaves, learn both basic and advanced weaving techniques, and weave much faster.
If you want to buy a frame loom, you can keep reading. But if you want to go with a rigid heddle loom, you can skip to the middle of this article.
How to choose a frame loom?
When it comes to frame looms, it’s important to keep in mind that the maximum size of your weave is determined by the size of the loom itself.
So the first thing to look at when choosing between looms is their size.
Of course, you can weave smaller projects on a big loom but not the other way around.
But bigger is not always better.
That’s because bigger looms are also heavier and more difficult to hold. Frame looms are also referred to as lap looms because people like weave on them while holding them in their lap. A loom that is too big and/or heavy will be difficult to keep in your lap.
If you want to go with a bigger frame loom anyway, I recommend you to buy a complementary stand for it.
Frame loom comparison
If you want a small loom you can go with the Ashford weaving frame which comes in two sizes: 9’x12 and 19’x27′.
The Beka weaving loom is slightly bigger and comes as either a 14’x18′ or 20×23′. Surprisingly the Beka looms are actually cheaper than the Ashford frames and come with some weaving accessories (shuttle, pick up stick, weaving needle) as well.
The biggest frame loom I would recommend is the Schacht tapestry loom which is 25’x32′ in size. This loom is beautiful and made of high-quality wood. But unfortunately it’s also considerably more expensive than the other two options and the loom stand for this model needs to be bought separately.
|Ashford frame||Beka loom||Schacht loom|
|Size||9’x12′ and 19’x27′||14’x18′ and 20’x23′||25’x32′|
|Click to buy||Click to buy||Click to buy|
How to choose a rigid heddle loom?
So let’s take a look at how to compare rigid heddle looms.
Similar to frame looms, you want to pay attention to the size of the rigid heddle because the maximum width of your weave depends on the width of your loom. (The maximum length is not limited by your loom size).
However, bigger is not always better when it comes to looms. If you want to know why, read our article on which size rigid heddle to buy.
Next you want to look at the heddle your loom comes with. Obviously the heddle is a crucial component of a rigid heddle loom and you want to check how much dent the heddle is.
Rigid heddle looms normally come with a heddle that is somewhere between 5 and 12 dent. This indicates how many warp threads your weave will have per inch. Also, if you use a very low dent heddle you will have to use thicker yarn to warp your loom, whereas a high dent heddle should be warped with thinner yarn.
If you don’t like the heddle that comes with your loom, you can often buy one with a different dent. And owning several heddles will give you the most flexibility. But it’s nice to start with one that you are actually planning to use.
Finally, you want to consider the weaving accessories that comes with the rigid heddle loom. You can normally buy these accessories separately, but you can save a lot of money if you get a loom that comes with all the essentials.
So if you are comparing the price between different rigid heddle looms, also take into account what is included with the loom.
Rigid heddle loom comparison
All three of them come in several sizes. The smallest rigid heddle loom available comes from Kromski with a weaving width of 8 inches. This Kromski loom also comes in the sizes 16′, 24′ and 32′. So if you want something bigger, they have that as well.
However, the biggest rigid heddle loom was from Ashford with a width of 48 inches. But if that’s too big, it also comes in 16′, 24′ or 32′.
The Schacht rigid heddle loom only comes 10′ or 15′ in size.
2 Dent size
When comparing the heddle that these looms come with, its notable that they are all 7.5 or 8 dent. So there isn’t much difference.
However, if you want to buy additional heddles, you can find 2.5, 5, 10, 12.5 and 15 dent heddles for the Ashford loom, 5, 10, and 12 dent heddles for the Schacht Cricket loom, and 5, 10, and 12 dent heddles for the Kromski Harp Forte loom.
So if you want to experiment with different dent heddles, a rigid heddle loom by Ashford will give you the most options.
Each rigid heddle loom comes with similar accessories. They all include some kind of shuttle, clamps, a threading hook and a warping peg.
The Ashford loom comes with a weaving guide and the Kromski Harp Forte comes with an instructional warping helper video.
But since similar videos can be found for free online, this isn’t really a deal-breaker.
The price difference between these rigid heddle looms isn’t very big if you are comparing looms of similar sizes.
The Ashford rigid heddle looms are the cheapest, while the Schacht Cricket looms have a slightly higher price.
The Kromski Harp Forte rigid heddle loom is a little more expensive than the other two looms.
One unique feature of the Kromski loom is that you can fold it in half even with the warp attached.
This ability to fold makes it super easy to travel with your loom or store it when you are short on space. And since you can leave the warp on when you fold it, you don’t need to finish your project beforehand.
|Ashford||Schacht Cricket||Kromski Harp Forte|
|Size||16′, 24′, 32′ and 48′||10′ and 15′||8′, 16′, 24′, and 32′|
|Accessories||2 Stick Shuttles, Double End Threading Hook, Clamps, Weaving Guide, Warping Peg||2 Shuttles, Threading Hook, Warping Peg, Table Clamps||2 Stick shuttles, Threading Hook, Pick-up Stick, 2 Warping Clamps, Warping Peg, Warping Helper|
|Click to buy||Click to buy||Click to buy|