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Calling All Rigid Heddle Weavers!

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    Calling All Rigid Heddle Weavers!

    This is a thread to discuss rigid heddle weaving. Let's see those looms and WIPs (Weaving In Progress)!

    #2
    I'll kick this thread off by posting the rigid heddle loom discussion I posted earlier.

    I changed my estimate of the loom "levels" to entry level, mid level and pro level. Typically, the pro level is the manufacturer's higher level (and higher cost) loom.

    @Cillaspins , here's my evaluation of the rigid heddle looms. With one exception, I've woven on and in some cases owned each one of these looms. I haven't had a chance to work with the Kromski Presto, but it looks interesting. The quick verdict? Honestly, you won't go wrong with any of the ones I'm reviewing. You'll need to think about what you want to do with it.

    There are three main manufacturers of rigid heddle looms, Schacht Spindle Company, Kromski and Ashford. There are others, of course, but these are the ones you're most likely to see and have access to. Here's a quick overview of the offerings from these three:

    Schacht
    Cricket
    ⦁ entry level
    ⦁ weaving width: 10" and 15"
    ⦁ heddle options: 5 epi, 8 epi, 10 epi, 12 epi
    ⦁ double heddle: no
    ⦁ foldable: no

    Flip
    ⦁ pro level
    ⦁ weaving width: 15", 20", 25", 30"
    ⦁ heddle options: 5 epi, 8 epi, 10 epi, 12 epi
    ⦁ double heddle: yes, included
    ⦁ foldable: yes

    Kromski
    Presto
    ⦁ entry level
    ⦁ weaving width: 8", 16"
    ⦁ heddle options: 5 epi, 8 epi, 10 epi, 12 epi
    ⦁ double heddle: yes, with upgrade kit
    ⦁ foldable: sort of

    Harp Forte
    ⦁ pro level
    ⦁ weaving width: 8", 16", 24", 32"
    ⦁ heddle options: 5 epi, 8 epi, 10 epi, 12 epi
    ⦁ double heddle: yes, with upgrade kit
    ⦁ foldable: yes

    Ashford
    SampleIt
    ⦁ entry level
    ⦁ weaving width: 10", 16"
    ⦁ heddle options: 2.5 epi, 5 epi, 8 epi, 10 epi, 12 epi, 15 epi
    ⦁ double heddle: yes, included
    ⦁ foldable: no

    Knitter's Loom
    ⦁ Mid-level
    ⦁ weaving width: 12", 20", 28"
    ⦁ heddle options: 2.5 epi, 5 epi, 8 epi, 10 epi, 12 epi, 15 epi
    ⦁ double heddle: yes, included
    ⦁ foldable: yes

    Rigid Heddle Loom
    ⦁ pro level
    ⦁ weaving width: 16", 24", 32", 48"
    ⦁ heddle options: 2.5 epi, 5 epi, 8 epi, 10 epi, 12 epi, 15 epi
    ⦁ double heddle: yes, included
    ⦁ foldable: no

    So, which one? Let's look at some comparisons.

    If you're interested in a lower cost, entry-level rigid heddle loom, look at Schacht's Cricket, Ashford's SampleIt and Kromski's Presto. If I had to choose one with which I'm familiar, I'd go for the SampleIt. Why? The Cricket cannot take double heddles without the use of a saw, which I really don't recommend. Ashford is currently the only manufacturer who produces a 15 epi heddle which is very useful for weaving laceweight yarns. And lastly, the Cricket's heddle is "loose". This means that it slides from side to side while you're beaming the warp. It's not a fatal error and can be corrected by the judicious use of small clamps available at your favorite hardware store, but it is a factor. I admit the Kromski Presto is interesting. I may have to get my hands on one just to try it out. None of the entry-level looms fold for travel with the exception of the Presto, but all three are small enough to fit into a good-sized bag and take with you. In my opinion, 16" wide is right on the border of being small enough to fit into a bag and take, but it works.

    The Ashford Knitter's Loom is an interesting beast. I'm glad to hear @yarnforall say she likes it. I've had three students with them and all three disliked them. I've seen them tend to collapse with the warp tensioned. However, my students may have gotten looms from a bad run. Otherwise, it's a good loom with good features.

    If you want to spend more and get a higher quality loom, look at Schacht's Flip, Ashford's RIgid Heddle Loom and Kromski's Harp Forte. If I had to choose only one of these... I'd have a tough time. Probably I'd choose the Flip, although the 15 epi heddle isn't an option with non-Ashford products. I like Ashford's Rigid Heddle Loom quite a bit, but it doesn't fold.

    A few words about double-heddle. All the looms mentioned above are capable of handling double heddle except Schacht's Cricket. However, capable of handling it, doesn't mean easy to handle. All the Ashford looms come with double heddle ability included. However, the two heddle are so close together that threading the second heddle is problematic. Schacht's Flip has a third heddle position meant to be used temporarily to thread the second heddle. It's a very nice option. I've found the optional Kromski heddle block to separate the heddles enough that threading isn't difficult. Schacht's Flip has what I would call a limited double heddle capability, though. I'm working from memory here, but, as I recall, one shed has to be held with the hand while the shuttle is being thrown.

    I hope this helps.

    Comment


      #3
      This is very helpful - thank you. I've been thinking about weaving for a couple of years. Still thinking. I'm not sure I need another hobby to accumulate more projects that I don't know what to do with. Sigh.

      Comment


      • DebbiRYarn
        DebbiRYarn commented
        Editing a comment
        plantersbydesign, I do know that "one more hobby" dilemma. Of course, I firmly believe that weaving is essential for health and well-being, and stash-busting.... Okay, the stash-busting isn't quite so true. If you do decide to come on down that rabbit-hole with us, you'll be more than welcome! (We have cookies.) I think you'll enjoy it.

      • 2manyyarns
        2manyyarns commented
        Editing a comment
        I have a Cricket 15" and the Kromski Harp 32" I love them both. I just recently bought the stand for my Cricket and had my husband add two small "shelves" to each side of the stand. I have a second heddle set up for the Harp but I haven't used it yet....I just recently bought a floor loom so I doubt I will. As much as I wanted a floor loom, it won't be substitute for the rigid heddle looms. For portability, they can't be beat.

      #4
      Between us, I seldom use the second heddle option because it would be easier to use a multi-shaft loom. But it’s good to have.

      Comment


        #5
        I have the Ashford Rigid Heddle, 16" and enjoy the small amount of weaving I've had time for this year. I want to buy a heddle for the chunkier chenille type of yarn as I have a bit more this yarn than I know what to do with. I think it may be turned into nice soft scarves for the next winter. I'm undecided between the 5 epi and the 2.5 epi. I haven't yet done a wpi with the yarn, but even so, I don't want to wear the yarn out with a heddle that is too tight, or have a sloppy item with a heddle that is too loose. Any thoughts, as I don't have the ability to see these in person to compare.

        Comment


        • DebbiRYarn
          DebbiRYarn commented
          Editing a comment
          A couple of thoughts about weaving with chenille. I don't know which yarn you're using, so I can't give a positive recommendation, but typically, you want to go a bit loose with chenille. Chenille abrades badly and will break. I've done several chenille projects, and while I love the finished product, I've had to baby the yarn a bit on the loom. One other thing, chenille tends to "worm" when you're beaming the warp. This is a good time to use Madelyn van der Hoogt's trick of tugging on sections across the warp every revolution while you're winding it on. Chenille likes to stick with its friends. I've had one thread travel a couple of inches across the warp beam and back. If I hadn't caught it and fixed it while beaming the warp, it would have given me tension nightmares while weaving.

        #6
        Click image for larger version

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        I am reposting this from the other group. For my birthday, my husband made my rigid heddle hack for a couple of my looms. This hack makes my rigid heddle accept Saori prewound warps or my own prewound warps. The prewound in conjunction with the variable dent reed means that I can take warps on and off when I want to work on another project. I can have a warp all ready for people who want to try weaving (both regular weaving and also band weaving). I like this system because I can do more things than I can having every warp end heddled. In the photo, I have my bulky handspun boucle threaded between the cracks of the segments. I can use pretty thick warps using those spaces. (I put a piece of drinking straw in the rail slot to keep the space. I like hacking looms more than weaving! The warp in the photo is 30 meters!

        The finished cloth.
        Attached Files

        Comment


        • Floppy2
          Floppy2 commented
          Editing a comment
          That scarf has a cool Saori look to it. Good job!

        • 1mowmow
          1mowmow commented
          Editing a comment
          I usually hit the like button to say thank you, but I don’t see one! Thank you!

        • Stitch81
          Stitch81 commented
          Editing a comment
          I wish we had our “love” or “awesome” buttons. Beautiful work!

        #7
        I have a Beka 24 inch rigid heddle loom. My last project on this one was last winter...? I make a simple scarf. I haven’t really played with different patterns with the rigid heddle loom as I picked up a floor loom mid-winter. I have a DIY inkle loom that I use for warping.
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          #8
          Hi everyone. I started on 4 harness looms and now ages later i have an Ashford 32 inch with floor stand. For me no matter the rh loom i think the stand makes the best weaving experience. But i am still looking to aquire another 4 harness small loom. I weave mostly with my own handspun yarns warp and weft. I love pickup stick and beads and hand manipulated stitches. If you are thinking of becoming a new weaver i would have you list the types oh things you might like to weave and and get a loom to give you the size you like.

          Comment


          • Floppy2
            Floppy2 commented
            Editing a comment
            I am doing the same thing! I have a RH and a 4 shaft CB floor loom. I love them both but I really need a small 4 shaft jack loom. I am looking at getting the large version of the Louet Erica. What do you think of that loom?

          • Bettymo
            Bettymo commented
            Editing a comment
            Hi!. Wondering what you think of the tilt on the Ashford stand. I was thinking I am not real fond of that part. I am also considering swapping out my "apron" sticks for dowels and using Texsolv to attach them on front and back. I haven't gotten around to it yet because I have not been using that loom much. I go back and forth about selling it. Thanks. Betty

          • yarnforall
            yarnforall commented
            Editing a comment
            Floppy2, I have noticed on the what are you weaving page that Kathy7661 has a Louet Erica. Maybe she can answer this for you. 😃

          #9
          Thanks its a good thing i spin!

          Comment


            #10
            Just now seeing this question. Love love love the angle tilt.

            Comment


              #11
              I lobe the tilt on mine, too

              Comment


                #12
                tobascokat AFrayedKnot Thanks you two. My shuttle just keeps slipping so I started setting on the side trays while I beat.

                Comment


                  #13
                  Floppy2 I have a Louet Jane, but weave on the Erica at my LYS. I prefer the overhead beater of the Jane but don't like the wooden heddle bars. But I like the metal heddle bars on the Erica and hate the beater. I think the Jane is easier to warp because it's a bit "roomier". But if you want a small footprint, I'd go with the Erica. They all have pros and cons. It's why we end up with so many looms!

                  Comment


                  • Floppy2
                    Floppy2 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    My thoughts exactly. I tried to avoid having more than one, but it is impossible. Each of them have their good and bad side and just like wheels, knitting needles, and crochet hooks, more than one version is needed. I just have to get rid of the heavy all-oak jack loom in my basement now! 8 shafts of solid oak it too heavy to treadle for anyone!

                  • Grammaresa
                    Grammaresa commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Floppy2 I love my 8 shaft Louet David. It's heavy enough for most things, but really easy to treadle. I was able to work on it when I was recovering from rib and spinal fractures. But if I could only have one loom, I'd go with the Louet Spring. I love countermarche looms!

                  #14
                  Last winter I bought a 15” Cricket and had great fun with it. I am away from home for the summer and have purchased , used, a 32” Ashford w/stand. I can’t wait to get it home and start using it. It has been highly recommended by a weaving friend that I buy an Ashford Simplelt – 10”. I am hesitating because I feel that I can do on the Cricket anything that I would do on the Simplelt. Any suggestions about that?

                  Comment


                  • 1mowmow
                    1mowmow commented
                    Editing a comment
                    You could also get around the cloth build up by doing the Saori catch technique. I use a 20” variable dent reed on my 15” Cricket (longer works, too). I would like to get my hands on the Ashford variable dent reed to see if I could make it work on the Cricket. Then I could have the reeds you mentioned if I could buy extra segments. You can see my loom in a previous post (I think that’s a 25” reed”).

                  • rubyyarn
                    rubyyarn commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Since you already have a small loom, no need to get another...unless the Ashford does something the Cricket doesn't

                  • Bettymo
                    Bettymo commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Still love my little Cricket baby thing.

                  #15
                  I have a 24" Beka ridged heddle. I have not done a whole lot on it, still learning! I did make a couple of totes and purse. Combines knitting and weaving for one. Just like playin!

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