The rigid heddle loom is compact and gives you the satisfaction of being able to weave beautiful scarves, mats, belts, dish towels, tapestries, and more. They are a great way to work up your yarn stash.
Selecting a rigid heddle loom is a personal preference–just like buying a car. Some looms allow for easier weaving and warping.
There is a wide price range in rigid heddle looms. They come in sizes from 10” wide to 48”wide. Narrower looms are great for transporting. The widest loom I currently use is 26”. The wider the loom, the harder it is for me to reach the edges and throw the shuttle comfortably. So, keep in mind your reach.
Schacht or Ashford is my personal preference for a rigid heddle loom. And, the main difference (besides price) in those two brands is that Schacht rigid heddle looms have a back beam just like floor looms.
A back beam keeps the warp level from the back of the loom to the front of the loom. With the Ashford looms, the warp runs directly from the warp beam to the cloth beam resulting in the warp to travel at an angle. The warp is higher at the back at the start of your weaving. As you weave, it levels off as the weaving builds upon the cloth beam. Then, as the cloth beam fills, your angle is reversed, and your warp is angled higher in the front than the back. I have always felt that this messed with my weaving.
The following pictures have the parts labeled. Notice that the Ashford Loom only has the roller beams for the warp and the woven fabric or cloth. The image of the Schacht Cricket loom shows the heddle in the up position.
ASHFORD RIGID HEDDLE LOOM WITH PARTS LABELED
SCHACHT CRICKET LOOM WITH PARTS LABELED
There is a price difference in the looms with the Schacht looms being pricier. Schacht looms (except for the Cricket looms) are nicely finished and are foldable. The Ashford looms (except for the Knitter’s Looms) are unfinished. The Knitters Loom is foldable, lacquered, and assembled. Both companies have a wide range of looms and an assortment of reeds and stands for each style.
Ashford Rigid Heddle Looms
- SampleIt Looms in two widths: 10” & 16”. ($146-$180). The 16” SampleIt has double heddle holders.
- Knitters Loom in three widths: 12”, 20”, & 28”. ($280-$333)
- Rigid Heddle Tabby Looms in four widths: 16”, 24”, 32”, & 48”. ($196-$399)
Schacht Rigid Heddle Looms
- Cricket looms in two widths: 10” & 15” unfinished and very portable ($180-$199)
- Flip the finished foldable looms in four widths: 15”, 20”, 25”, and 30″ ($290-$389) — double heddle capability.