and their uses
I thought you might be interested in the equipment I use.
Learning to weave initially can feel very complex and I think the best place to start is by thinking about what you'd like to make.
Rigid Heddle Loom (great beginner loom)
I'd been used to making cushion fronts so I thought I'd buy a rigid heddle loom - great for longer items like scarves and blankets - but then I had to decide on the width. I opted for a 28" Ashford Knitters Loom. You can make any width of fabric up to 28" and it's a good size for working at a table without being too wide. The difference between a Knitters Loom and a rigid heddle is that the Knitters Loom folds up so it's great for transporting around.
My second loom purchase. This type of weaving is great for making patterns or images in weaving - exciting for my artistic background. You can also see the whole piece of work rather than it being rolled onto a bar at the back of a rigid heddle.
I've made quite a few items on a wooden frame loom but found they can bend under the pressure of the warp so they're much better for artistic weaving with thicker yarns.
I purchased a Mirrix Tapestry Loom as it was stronger and would let me choose different 'setts' (warp widths). 2023 saw me start designing and making rugs on my 28" Mirrix.
Mirrix also have a pocket loom - called a Saffron loom. I've been using mine to create small works of art which can be framed. They're now available in my shop.
A new 'Chloe' pocket loom was introduced by Mirrix during 2023 - also added to my collection. It's slightly bigger than the Saffron and you can interchange the metal warp prongs depending on your 'sett'.
I purchased an Ashford Inkle loom as I was very interested in creating woven belts and bands. I've made quite a few designs and you can see some bands I've added to cushion designs in my shop.
This type of weaving is an age old tradition. Tablet (or card) weaving dates back to the fourth century BC. Yarns are threaded through holes in a set of cards. The cards are rotated in a certain sequence to create a pattern in the weaving. Historically reins, bridles and saddle girths were made using this method.
I have previously made bag straps, key wristlets and cushions with my Inkle.
I saw an amazing offer on Facebook for a vintage Dryad table loom. I've cleaned it up and bought a new reed - Ashford ones work perfectly. It's a four shaft loom - so great to practise the many patterns available. It's 24" so I'll mainly make scarves and table runners on it. It's a beauty though.
I never thought I'd own a floor loom. It was a natural progression and an investment. I realised I wanted to be able to weave bigger rugs and blankets. I was previously weaving rugs on my Mirrix tapestry loom but could only get 2x3 feet in size. I could also make blankets on my rigid heddle if I wove a double cloth but this is fiddly and the warp is not very reliable using pick up sticks to create the pattern. You have to keep getting underneath the loom to check for any errors as you weave.
The Louet Spring arrived by Christmas 2023 and I assembled it myself and it's an absolute dream to weave on. It's a countermarch loom - gets a bit technical - but this means it creates a big strong shed for passing your shuttle through and the foot treadles are so light to use. It's got 12 shafts so pattern options will be amazing.
For those new to floor loom weaving I highly recommend Jane Stafford on-line weaving courses.