There are many reasons to get started weaving on a loom. Whether you are thinking of buying a weaving loom for the first time, or you are looking for another loom to add to your collection, this blog post will help you understand the different weaving loom types available in the market to find the one that best suits your skill level, space, cost, and intended usage. Let us help you choose a weaving loom that’s right for you!
What is a Weaving Loom?
Understanding what loom weaving is is important before starting your first weaving project. Weaving is the oldest method of creating fabric. It has been practised in many parts of the world for thousands of years. Over time, both the process and the weaving equipment have grown in efficiency and complexity.
Before we get into more details, there are two important terms that you need to know if you're a weaving newcomer with no background in this craft.
- WARP - This refers to the measured yarn and wound onto the weaving loom.
- WEFT - This refers to the yarn added between the warp on the loom either by hand or using a shuttle.
So, let's get started, shall we?
A weaving loom is a device used to create cloth. It takes in yarns, which are then woven into fabrics depending on the loom used. Weaving looms can be simple or complex. It depends on what you have and your level of skill. As the weaver, you can choose different colours to create patterns and different yarn types for texture.
Weaving looms are just part of what makes weaving extremely enjoyable. These wonderful and captivating pieces of equipment open the gates to so many possibilities. As you start weaving, you'll learn your weaving loom's construction, quirks, and advantages. However, things can feel very confusing when you’re looking to buy a new loom.
Read on so we can guide you through this process.
What Are The Benefits of Using a Weaving Loom?
There are many weaving looms that are easy to learn and use, even for beginners! It will help you create uniquely designed fabrics, tapestries, and other woven items. Weaving looms are also quite versatile, allowing you to weave with various types of yarn, including cotton, wool, and silk.
With a weaving loom, you can indulge in a fun and productive hobby that will help you improve your focus and determination to finish a task. Did you know that weaving on a loom also helps improve your hand-eye coordination? This is great for adults, but especially children, because this activity helps develop their motor skills. As weaving is for people of all ages, it can be a great bonding activity with your family.
Additionally, you can make a living out of weaving by selling your beautiful woven pieces online or locally, especially since more and more people are buying handwoven decors for their homes nowadays. If you have been spending a lot of time on Pinterest, you would know!
Weaving on a loom is so much fun as you create something new each time. To create is bringing something to the world that wasn't there before, and creating with your hands can be so empowering. It'll make you look and say, “I made this. I brought something into existence." It doesn’t matter if you think it's good or not. What's important is that you were able to set your mind on a task, accomplish it, and by the end, you'll have something to be proud of.
What are the Different Kinds of Weaving Looms?
There are many different types of weaving looms, including pin looms, rigid heddle looms, table looms, frame and tapestry looms, floor looms, and dobby looms. However, some looms are more complex than others. As a beginner, you'd want to choose a loom that's simple and easy to use. This way, your first weaving project won't be much of a headache. At first, weaving can seem a bit intimidating to the untrained, but choosing the right loom to start with will make your weaving journey much more enjoyable and smooth sailing.
As you progress, feel free to try different weaving loom types until you find what works best for you.
Getting the Right Loom for a Beginner Weaver
So you’ve decided you want to try your hand at weaving? Great! Weaving can be an incredibly rewarding hobby if done properly – it takes patience, practice, and time spent learning how to do things correctly. But before you start any project, you must ensure you have all the tools necessary to complete it successfully. One such tool is a good-quality loom.
Several different types are available today, each with its advantages and disadvantages. Here are some loom recommendations for beginners.
Pin Loom: Zoom Loom
As a beginner choosing a weaving loom, you can start small. The Schacht Zoom Loom is a tiny, efficient pin loom designed for weaving on the go. It comes in a convenient start package that includes the loom, a weaving needle, a tapestry needle, a carry case, and a full-colour instruction manual with three easy projects. With this loom, you can create 8cm x 8cm squares that you can sew together later on to create a bigger piece.
Tapestry & Bead Loom: Chloe Pocket Loom
If you want to try your hand at tapestry weaving to see if it's for you, starting with the Mirrix Chloe Pocket Loom might be a good choice. This portable, compact handheld loom allows you to make small tapestry projects whenever, wherever. You can easily prop it on your lap and start weaving. What sets it apart from other handheld tapestry looms is its adjustable tension and adjustable setts, which help you maintain even tension and get a better shed as you weave. Plus, it’s available in 5” and 8” options!
Inkle Loom: Inklette Loom
The Ashford Inklette Loom is the mini version of their popular inkle loom. It's great for anyone who wants to try inkle weaving. That could be you! This small and portable weaving loom is affordable and allows you to make lots of fun little projects like bracelets, shoelaces, dog collars and leads, and so much more. It comes with an instruction booklet, so you won't have difficulty using this loom.
Rigid Heddle Loom: SampleIt Loom and Knitters Loom
A rigid heddle option that's perfect for weaving newcomers is the Ashford SampleIt Loom. It's small, portable, sturdy, and has 25cm and 40cm weaving width options. This loom comes in a starter package that includes two shuttles, a threading hook, a 7.5-dent reed, an instruction booklet with step-by-step guides, a warping peg and clamp, and a built-in second heddle kit. Just add yarn and you're good to go!
Another choice would be the Ashford Knitters Loom, a compact and lightweight rigid heddle loom that folds in half. It is an excellent choice for beginner weavers due to its user-friendly design and versatility. Its simple warping and weaving process makes it accessible to those just starting out in the weaving world. This loom is available in 30cm, 50cm, and 70cm weaving width options, and is compatible with various yarn types, allowing beginners to experiment and grow their skills.
Frame Loom: Weaving Starter Kit
Last but not least is the Ashford Weaving Starter Kit. You’re not only choosing a weaving loom that’s great for beginners, but you’ll also get everything you need with it! With this kit, you can decorate your space with your own handwoven wall hangings. Yes, even as a beginner, you can create a beautiful wall hanging with the help of this trusty little weaving kit. It has all the essentials to get you started, including a weaving frame, weaving needle, 12ply yarn, warp thread, dowel for hanging, fibre for texture, and an instruction manual. You can choose from a monochromatic kit or one with colourful yarns.
Table Loom: Louet Erica
The Louet Erica loom is designed with beginners in mind and boasts a user-friendly setup and straightforward operation. This compact and lightweight table loom, which has 2-shaft and 4-shaft options, is a great weaving companion and ideal for small spaces or weavers on the go. With clear instructions and a simple setup, you'll be weaving like a pro in no time.
Floor Loom: Schacht Baby Wolf
The Schacht Baby Wolf floor loom is a fantastic choice for the more adventurous beginner weaver. Its compact yet versatile design makes it an ideal starting point for those looking to enthusiastically explore the world of weaving. With its 4-shaft and 8-shaft options, this loom offers a wide range of weaving possibilities, from simple projects to more complex patterns, allowing beginners to grow and experiment with their craft. Its sturdy construction ensures durability, and the ease of assembly and operation makes it user-friendly for those new to weaving.
Weaving Loom Projects: What Do You Want to Weave?
When deciding on your first loom purchase, you must ask yourself what projects you want to weave. Do you want to weave a wall hanging for your bedroom? A pretty placemat for your dining table? A twill dishtowel for daily use? A colourful scarf that complements your outfits? A unique dog leash that will make your pet stand out from the rest?
A lot of people get into weaving so that they can add personalised handwoven pieces to their homes and wardrobes. Loom weaving for beginners doesn’t have to be complicated, but it's important to think about what you want before purchasing your first weaving loom, as this will determine how it needs to be used. It is also worth noting that countless types of looms are available on the market today from which you can choose based on your specific requirements or desires for use.
Buying your First Loom: What are Your Constraints?
The decision of what type of loom to buy is completely based on the constraints that are being imposed. There are many different kinds of looms available for purchase today. Some weavers prefer the simplicity of an all-purpose loom while others enjoy having more options when it comes to choosing their equipment. Several factors will help determine which type of loom would be best suited for you.
You must consider how much room you have to store your new loom. How much space your loom takes up is always relative to the current space you have in your home or studio. Some looms are more suited for small spaces, while others may require a larger space. If you put a table loom on a dining table designed for two people, there will probably not be much space to move around. On the other hand, if you place the same table loom in a large living room that could fit an entire grand piano, it would look positively small. So, it's really not about the loom size, but how much space you have left after you add the loom.
The second factor of choosing a weaving loom is knowing your budget. How much are you willing to spend when you buy a loom? The more features or functions that a particular loom has, the higher the cost. This is an important consideration because even though you may love the idea of owning the most popular weaving loom right now, it's better to think about whether that's what you really need right now or whether it could wait while you slowly save up for it. However, the best weaving looms for beginners are usually quite affordable, so you might want to try those out first.
Another important thing you need to consider is your time limitations. How much time can you spend on one project? Will you have enough time to finish a large woven tapestry or is your schedule more suited to smaller projects? Do you plan to weave during your free time or are you planning to do it full-time and make a career out of it? These are just some of the questions you need to ask yourself before buying a loom.
Choosing A Weaving Loom That’s Best For You
We hope this blog post has helped you choose a weaving loom that will help you complete your first-ever weaving project. If you decide to go ahead and purchase a loom, we would suggest doing some homework beforehand. You should check out reviews online and read customer feedback. Look at pictures of looms and compare them side by side. Check out videos of people using the looms. Ask questions! Find someone local with experience with the type of loom you're interested in purchasing.
When you finally get your loom and finish a bunch of projects with it, you'll see that it's one of the best investments you've ever made in your life!
Still Have Questions?
If you still have more questions about weaving looms, feel free to schedule a call to discuss your requirements with the friendly team at Thread Collective. The team will be able to talk you through the options and answer any questions. You may reach us at 0448-484-707 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.