Which loom is for you?

For people who want to get started with weaving, there are a lot of options out there. You start googling about what is available…It throws a lot of names! You see Rigid Heddle looms, Inkle looms, Tapestry looms, Floor looms, Table looms, Weaving frames, SAORI looms… the list goes on! You start scratching your head…“Ha, what to choose? Which one is good for me? Where do I start?”
We get these questions from visitors to the studio, we get the same questions through email and our website chat box, almost on a daily basis. Though the answer is not very straightforward, let’s try to figure it out.
There are a few questions to answer: 
Am I attracted by colours & textures?
Am I attracted by patterns?
Am I an artist?
Well, the answers can overlap, you can be a bit of everything too, but it will help to ponder over these questions broadly,

if you are a ‘colours & textures’ person, you can consider a Rigid Heddle loom. It is a fantastic loom for beginners and also has a huge scope for experimenting as you move forward and hone your weaving skills and knowledge. Quick to set up and weave a scarf or a cushion cover or a bag material or table runner and the like. You can weave with wool, cotton, silk and such materials- but not fine. The loom can take typically yarns used for knitting and slightly finer than that. 


Rigid heddle loom

Rigid Heddle looms are available in different widths, with and without floor stands. From 10” wide to 48” wide. The most commonly sold ones are 24” as they are a good size to weave a lot of common projects. The next most sold looms from us are 20” Knitters loom (folding Rigid Heddle loom, supplied with a carrying bag) followed by 32” Rigid heddle loom. The 10” wide looms are good for children and also for making some quick samples. Some tapestry weavers purchase the 48” wide loom as it gives a nice width for tapestry weaving. The loom can be mounted on a table stand with a vertical inclination for ease of weaving.


Inkle loom


Inkle loom is also a good beginner’s loom but it is for making narrow bands like belts, dog collars, camera belts, guitar belts and the like. You can weave interesting designs and patterns and create sturdy bands, but limited to about 2” width. You can weave a lot of beautiful bands akin to the ones you see the ancient tribes weave with their backstrap looms, albeit in a narrow width.


Table loom


If you are more of a ‘patterns’ person, you can consider multi-shaft looms. You can weave some interesting twills and diamonds and many more geometrical patterns with multi-shaft looms. Multi-shaft looms are available in different configurations and sizes. Multi-shaft Table looms are available in 4,8 and 16-shaft versions in different widths up to 32”. The Table looms have hand levers to lift the shaft. These looms are good for exploration and design development but are slow to weave with.

Floor looms in 4 shafts and 8 shafts use foot treadles to lift or lower the shafts and are faster to weave with. Floor looms give you that ‘professional weaver feeling’.


Jack loom

There are also computer-controlled treadle looms with up to 40 shafts for creating very intricate weave patterns which are usually used by design schools and design studios. Multi-shaft looms are suitable for weaving finer yarns as well. 


Computerised dobby handloom

Artists in you may like to consider Weaving frames available in different sizes to create Tapestries.


Tapestry weaving frames


Then, there is the SAORI loom, a very Japanese loom meant for activating the zen in you! With its simplicity and ergonomics, SAORI loom is a pleasure to work with. Totally for people who don’t want to get too technical with weaving but would like to enjoy the pleasure of weaving and creativity.


SAORI loom


Our studio has many of these looms warped up and ready for you to try hands-on. You are welcome to visit us & try the looms first-hand before making a decision. Our team can guide you to choose the right loom based on your interest, purpose and budget. Looking forward to your visit!

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published