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Topic: Can you weave rugs on a rigid heddle loom??  (Read 12181 times)
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nikschaf
« on: October 01, 2010 10:09:50 AM »

I've been getting conflicting information, so I thought I'd ask here.  I'm thinking of buying a 32 inch Kromski Harp rigid heddle loom.  I have a 10 inch Beka rigid heddle loom that I've played around with a bit, but it doesn't maintain its tension very well, and I'd like the flexibility to do wider projects without having to sew strips together.  I also don't have the space or budget for a table or floor loom.

I've seen snippets on the web about folks weaving rugs on their rigid heddle looms, and the manufacturer's description of the loom mentions rugs.  But my mom said that when she took a weaving class she was told you can't make rugs on rigid heddle looms.

I'm a spinner, and thought weaving would be another good way to use my handspun yarn, other than just crocheting with it.

I think the majority of what I make would be scarves or shawls, and maybe table runners, but I do have an interest in trying rugs too.  I would either be using yarn for the rugs, or else maybe thin strips of fabric, so they should be quite lightweight.  For fabric, I'm thinking I would use either strips of fabric spun into yarn, or else maybe 1/2 inch strips of old t-shirts that I'd pull into "strings."  Would these materials be too heavy for a rigid heddle loom?

Thanks for your input!
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nikschaf
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2010 10:57:01 AM »

I think I've found a solution to the rug situation:  I think I'll get a frame loom specifically for making twined rugs.  That'll be a way for me to use up fabric scraps.  I can also make rugs using the locker hooking technique, since all I need for that is that mesh rug canvas base and a locker hook.  That's another way to use up fabric scraps.  The locker hooking is like crochet, not a woven, but it'll satisfy my desire to make rugs using fabric.

That way if I do get a rigid heddle loom, I won't have to worry about overloading the thing with fabric strips.
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LaughingLark
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2010 01:26:51 PM »

Hi nikschaf. Smiley
I have a Kromski Harp loom, and I made a rug on it. That said, I would not recommend it. It's really hard on the ratchets, and you really cannot get enough tension. After seeing signs of wear and tear on my ratchets after trying to make rugs, I will never do it again. Maybe other looms can handle it, but definitely not the Kromski.

I have been thinking about making a Navajo loom for a while now, and plan to try making rag rugs on one of those. Like this loom, only bigger:
http://weavinginbeauty.com/find-a-weaving-class/building-a-navajo-style-loom

I want a rug-twining loom, but really want to have a loom that makes use of heddles. The Navajo loom has string heddles, which makes the actual weaving part much faster.


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nikschaf
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2010 10:22:52 AM »

Thanks for your response, LaughingLark!  I hadn't thought of the pressure on the ratchets, but that makes perfect sense as to why you shouldn't do rugs on a rigid heddle loom.  I wish the manufacturers wouldn't mention rugs as one of the things you can weave with them.  It makes things confusing.

On a side note, how do you like your Kromski overall?  I'm still considering getting one down the road, just not for rugs!

I got an inexpensive loom for making twined rugs on ebay.  I've put the loom together, but haven't tried weaving on it yet.  I've got a bunch of fabric strips ready that I think I'm going to try the locker hooking technique with.

Thanks for the link to that weaving beauty site!  I'll have to bookmark it and go back to read more about it.  My mom loves Navajo rugs and is now learning to weave, though not in a Navajo style.  I bet she might like learning Navajo techniques.  
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LaughingLark
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2010 01:32:35 PM »


On a side note, how do you like your Kromski overall?  I'm still considering getting one down the road, just not for rugs!

  

The Kromski is a nice loom, but the ratchets can lose tension with no warning. You have to be verrry careful to make sure that both the cloth beam ratchet and the warp beam ratchet are fully engaged, or--- BOOM! Shocked I think that I will be looking at the widest Schacht Flip for my next RH loom. I have a Schacht Cricket and also one of their inkle looms. The quality is excellent, and the ratchets on the Cricket never let me down. Schacht is more expensive, though.

I'm hoping Santa brings me one of those twining looms this year. We have a local person who makes them. It looks like fun to weave that way, and it's very economical---once the loom has been bought.  Smiley
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nikschaf
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2010 06:34:23 PM »

I hope you'll get that twining loom for Christmas!  Smiley

For the Kromskis, when I was researching, I heard about that issue with the ratchets and I think they have a fix for it.  I think if you check w/a Kromski dealer they can send you the parts you need.  I don't know the details, just remember seeing a blurb about it.
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mullerslanefarm
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« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2010 07:53:50 PM »

My husband just built me a 2nd frame loom for twining & weaving.  The finishing nails are placed 3/8" apart. The corners are braced. I have it rigged up with string heddles.

DH wants me to weave him a saddle blanket to use during his Civil War cavalry reenactments.  I'm using Shetland hand spun for the weft and a cotton warp.






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Cyndi

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francorios
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2010 09:22:28 PM »

Nice loom!

Happy Times!

Have a joyful day!
Franco Rios
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nikschaf
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2010 10:59:01 AM »

MLF -- I'm so glad you posted pictures!  That's a lot bigger than the twining loom I got off ebay.  I'll have to look -- I think the nails are spaced farther apart on mine, so not sure if I could use it for anything other than twining.  We'll see.  I hope you'll post a pic of the finished saddle blanket once it's done -- looks gorgeous so far!!
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mullerslanefarm
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« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2010 04:18:14 PM »


sure you could.  Twining is just weaving using 2 wefts at the same time....
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Cyndi

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BlueCattledog
« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2012 08:09:24 AM »

Hi!  I hope you'll enjoy twining.  I have fallen in love with this form of weaving, and I'm working on my third rug now.  I made my own simple loom, by recycling a large painting canvas that was spoiled.  I have Bobbie Irwin's book, Twined Rag Rugs: Tradition In The Making and it has been very helpful to me.  The book includes directions for building different kinds of twining looms, as well as basic through advanced twining techniques.  I recommend it highly!
Happy weaving!
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nikschaf
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2013 10:10:52 AM »

Hi BlueCattledog,

Thanks for the book recommendation.  I will have to check it out.

Can you believe I have STILL not tried twining???  I did try locker-hooking, and made a bathroom rug using that method.  I liked it quite a bit and it was very portable.

Your response is a good reminder to me that I need to try that frame loom once and for all!!!
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mullerslanefarm
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« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2013 10:21:02 AM »

Absolutely I can believe it!!  I still haven't made DH's saddle blanket either!!!
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Cyndi

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nikschaf
« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2013 02:26:17 PM »

Ha ha -- too funny!!  Mullerslane, you and I might be birds of a feather.  I feel a little pang of guilt whenever I see that twining loom hanging in the basement.  Especially since I was in such a hurry to get it. 

I always see folks demonstrating twining looms at a fiber festival we go to in May, and every year I vow to get cracking on using the thing.  Hmm...

But now look, as of this week you have all that lovely new corrie you can weave into this saddle blanket!  :-)
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mullerslanefarm
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« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2013 02:34:00 PM »

That corrie isn't near long enough for the blanket.  I'm talking a couple thousand yarns for that piece.
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Cyndi

http://www.mullerslanefarm.com
Our Lessons in Homesteading
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