I've begun looking at Rigid Heddle Looms. Are there any opinions out there about good features to look for? Brands that are better than others? I want value rather than cheap.
I have an Ashford 32". It came with a 10 dent reed. It is very easy to warp and fast too. I've only made rugs on it so far. Am weaving some lopi yarn with a Knit-picks Wool of the Andes warp. Thinking of makeing a fabric that I can felt, for a large bag. I plan on getting a 5 and 7 dt reeds. This way I can use 2 ply handspun. I prefer to make thick garments for winter use.
My first loom was a Beka rigid heddle. It lasted until the screws that keep the loom together stripped. I nursed it along and then lent it out. The plastic heddles broke because of too thick a yarn forced through them. By then I had long before moved to a Schacht Baby wolf. Last year I bought a Kromski Harp (24 inch). It is like most my other looms. Folded up in the closet. You can fold the Harp up when it is not warped, you can buy different size heddles. One of my issues with rigid heddles is that the shed is very narrow and tension is not what it is on any of the 4-8 harness looms (floor or table) that I have woven on. If you like, I will sell you mine for a song!
You have my attention. What is your asking price.
A few questions.
Can I add extra heddles to the Harp? I was looking at a Schacht Flip.
Do I just not "waste my $" and get a table loom and stand instead? Are you saying I'll be happier in the long run?
Or....I could buy one for a "song" and make due and enjoy myself and save up for the "version 2.0".
I have had Bekas in the past. The little 8" wore out its screws, as above. The 20", with a stand, has lasted for years, but as my house has filled up with other stuff, it has become awkward to move around and use.
I just got a Schact Cricket. I've made a scarf and a purse so far, and have ordered some more heddles for it. It is great for portablility, is comfortable to use with a TV tray-table, and seems really sturdy. The downsides are the limited width (10") and that it won't work easily with multiple heddles.
For a begining weaver, I think it would be a great first loom. It can always be a travel or sample loom, if you decide to get a wider one later.
It is good to figure what you realistically plan to weave. You can rent or borrow a loom for a once-in-a-lifetime big project. And if you read some of the good RH books out there (I like Betty Davenport's Hands on RigidHeddle Weaving) you'll find larger projects made in strips. I have an afgan that I wove 20 years ago in 3 strips that always gets ooohs and aaahs.
I think the Rigid Heddle is definitley the way to go if you want ease of use. I have a 4 harness floor loom but I am keeping my rigid Heddle Loom (Schacht) because it is easier and quicker to warp. Sometimes you want a simple project that won't take too long to set up. My loom is an older model that is no longer made so I can't speak to the quality of what is available now.
I have a Harrisville Easy Weaver B (made to sit on a table). I just looked at them these days and I'm shocked by the prices, I could swear I only spent 40 bucks for mine 5 years ago (unfortunately I can't remember where online I bought it and nothing I see on google is looking familiar). Mine is good, I think it will last except for one problem, the brake is narrow and it keeps slipping off of the front metal gear when I try to tighten it very tight, and after weaving a few projects the problem got worse because the two little inner nails holding the gear on have slipped out some. My husband says this problem is easy to fix though if you just add a washer to that spot (you'd need to use a drill to make two little holes in the washer for the tiny nails holding the gear on and put the washer on the "in" side- I know that doesn't make a lot of sense, I'm just adding details if anyone has one and is interested in what could fix it if they have that problem).
So, overall, I haven't had other problems. I have only used worsted weight red heart yarn on it (to give you idea of thickness), with no trouble.
My 24 " rigid heddle loom was made by a friend based on the Ashford ones. I have heddles from 8.5 through to 12 dpi and can use 2 heddles at once. I agree that Betty Davenport's book "Hands On Rigid Heddle Weaving" is very informative and full of ideas. Although I have an 8 shaft table loom, I wouldn't part with my rigid heddle for anything. It is SO easy to warp and use and I take it with me (over my shoulder) to meetings and demos.
Here is a piece from one of my students last weekend. Singles, boucle yarns in a 6 inch scarf, using the quick warp method! We were using the Flip looms in class.
Wow! This is inspiring me to get out that used rigid heddle loom I bought last fall and learn how to warp. I have several books on how to weave, so I only have to carve out a good block of time and get started . .
Have you looked at these videos?
I don't have a sound card at work, will check these out at home. Tx
I joined a Spinners and Weavers guild when I got my wheel in Feb and after seeing all their show and tell, I think I may want to learn to weave! :) So much to learn!
"My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am." anonymous
I already belong to a spinning & weaving guild, and I've been spinning for a few years, but this guild is not really a teaching guild. The meetings are not long enough to plan a learning activity. I hope to be able to teach myself the basics, just enough to make simple weavings to use up my stash. Hopefully the Utube videos will help.