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Topic: New to weaving - which loom to get?  (Read 2125 times)
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Teetante
« on: May 28, 2009 06:14:11 AM »

Hi there and sorry if this already exists. I'm a spinner (artyarn and also some vanilla) and I want to go into weaving. I just did some card weaving before, no loom. I have been thinking about it for a while and my choice would have been a Kromski harp, 60cm. Because it`s foldable, I like Kromski and it already has the shearing opportunities.
Then a friend said that she knows someone who offers another rigid heddle loom (swiss brand (arm or something like that), neither ashford nor kromski) for free, or she herself would sell a 8shaft table loom for a quite good price. So I totally don't know what to do now. I don't really know much about table looms and what the advantages or disadvantages to rigid heddles are. Are there also kind of heddles in different sizes, for different yarn thickness? Is it faster or better to spin with a shaft loom? What equipment does one need for a table loom? What about double width/circular weaving? Soemwhere I read that 8 shaft looms would be a bit advanced for beginners, 4 shafts would be better. Could one convert a 8-shaft to a 4-shaft, or use just 4?
And could one use the Kromski or Ashford accessories like combs or a second heddle set for a different brand of loom? I read that one could use Ashford heddles on a Kromski, but I don't know how this is for a different loom, which maybe is 10 cm bigger.
Can someone give me some advice please? Thanks a lot!
*putting some free virtual cheesecake in the round*
« Last Edit: May 28, 2009 06:21:15 AM by Teetante » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2009 10:04:25 PM »

OK, I'm not an expert on all of these looms but I have done a bit of weaving, so I'll throw out my 2cents to get the discussion going...

Generally I think you would find the table looms to be bulkier than the Kromski.  Also, for rigid heddle weaving (Kromski) you would be pretty limited to the "over-under" weaving style.  With a 4 or 8 harness loom, your warping  options As well as your weaving options are much more extensive.  I think the overall warping would be much simpler on the rigid heddle, since the table looms are really just miniature "big looms".  One thing that seems to be nice about the Kromski is that you can find parts - specifically the rigid heddle itself to vary the weight/spacing of the warp.  I believe a lot of the table looms are so old that it could be hard to find parts (reeds) for them??

So, I guess the biggest questions are:

what would you find to be interesting about weaving?  Are you just interested in generating basic cloth?  Or are you thinking you would like to do some of the more sophisticated weaving patterns?

Is portability a big issue for you?  Or is this something you will be doing at home?
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peachymanaangel
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2009 06:56:32 PM »

Is their a yarn store near you or school that offers weaving? So you can give it a good go before investing in a loom. That way you will have a better understating of what you want to weave, rich textures and colors with simple weave structures or cloth with complex weave structure.

With 4 or 8 shaft either one as a large verity of structures to play with but 8 has more. Also you don't have to use all of the shafts. My school uses 8 shaft looms as four shaft.

Good luck. I have no clue on what advice to give you because I was lucky to take weaving in college. So I knew what type of loom I was looking for. Also Used looms are great but make use you can test them first. A floor loom needs to work with the body, personally I am too tall for a schacht baby wool but I am the perfect size for a Macomber loom.
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Teetante
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2009 02:02:54 AM »

Thanks for the answers!

Well for the beginning I think a rigid heddle loom would be just fine, since arty handspun doesn't show so much sophisticated patterns and spimple woven things will be the first I would start on. But who knows, maybe I like it so much that I want to do more advanced stuff and then I would have to go for a better loom anyhow. And the 8-shaft loom my friend offers is cheaper than a new rigid heddle. I'm just wondering if I can also do simple things (like over-under) with a 8 shaft-loom, if the process of weaving is similar or even maybe more comfortable / faster and if the accessories are easy to get.
I think I'd rather do it at home but I'd prefer it if the loom is not too big and heavy because there's not so much space around and already taken by spinning wheel, fibers, my drum carder, yarns and stuff.

My friend is a very advanced weaver and I hope to get some start-up hints from her, she's just not very available. I also trust her that the loom per se is ok, she said she even used it recently. I wouldn't know what to pay attention for in a loom anyhow, since I have zero experience in weaving on a loom.
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peachymanaangel
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2009 05:34:36 AM »

You can do simple weaving on an eight shaft.

You may want to start put weaving with commercial spun yarns that way when mistakes happen it will not hurt as much.

Check out http://www.weavezine.com/ They are full of wonderful info and the podcasts are a joy to listen too.

You will want to get the book Learning to Weave by Deborah Chandler. http://www.amazon.com/Learning-Weave-Deborah-Chandler/dp/159668139X/ref=sr_1_14?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1244205124&sr=8-14
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Teetante
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2009 06:58:19 AM »

This is already some time ago, I just wanted to thank you again and tell you that I'm proud owner of a Kromski Harp since last weekend. it's still to be assembled, and I'm really excited to see what I can do with it.
For the 8 shaft loom sadly is no room in our current appartment, but I still have the possibility to get it. But I thought it would be good to start with a rigid heddle loom and get some experience first.
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Spinning is so much cooler than not spinning!
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Visit our shop and the blog at
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