Any hobby weavers in the crowd?

I’m interested in getting a loom to try my hand at weaving, and I’m not sure what to look for.

On Amazon there are price points starting at ~ $75 and going all the way up to $2,000 + so I’m not sure where to start.

I was thinking maybe something like this:

or this:

For information, I’m a total newby; however, I am planning on taking a class. I would like to get something that will last for a while - i.e. not too basic so that I need to replace it right away. My intention is to just add this to other fiber activities that I do (knitting primarily, some yarn dying, etc).

Does anyone have any thoughts?

I would go to the class and try the class looms to see what you like. You also need to decide what you want to weave as it will make a difference to what type of loom you need. Secondly I would look for used looms as those can be more economical. There used to be several website where you could buy and sell fiber tools. there are weaving guilds in a lot of cities as well, which would be another opportunity to talk first hand with weavers in your area and check out the looms they recommend. The one local to me allows members to purchase through them at times.

Both of these are rigid heddle looms which is more limiting than a multishaft loom. The Cricket is a pretty narrow width. there are a lot of variations to both rigid heddle and shaft looms.

https://woolery.com/weaving-looms/looms-by-types.html this has a lot of explanations.

I am mostly a beginner as well, I have done narrow wares (rigid heddle and card weaving) and just bought a loom from a friend who just bought a treadled tabletop loom and wanted to sell her levered tabletop one. And it came with lessons.

I’ve done some weaving. I was just able to finish a large rug before it got so tedious I was screaming inside. I have done a bunch of large projects, quilting, painting murals, big installations but nothing got on my nerves like weaving. I want to love it and do it more, I just can’t. Take the class before you make a pricey loom purchase. And then decide. Good luck. Hope you love it.

If you are considering a floor loom, be mindful of the amount of space that this will require. The footprint might be 36’‘x48’’ (made up example) but you will want considerable additional free space around it when stringing the warp.

Watch Craigslist (or local equivalent) for looms. New looms tend to be crazy expensive!

If you buy the heddles and the reed, a loom can be a very doable DIY project for someone with good woodworking skills.

I grew up weaving as my mum was a full time tapestry weaver for 40 years, I gave up at 12 because I couldn’t compete with this!

https://www.austapestry.com.au/

I don’t much, but my mom weaves rugs. She has a pedal loom in her basement, used to have another one in the living room, and also has one that she made herself out of an old work table, modeled on one installed in her grandmother’s attic. You need to get commercial warp, but for the weft, she uses scraps of fabric or old socks.

I’ve been weaving over 30 years now (although I’ve taken time off from it now and again). I have a 4-harness jack loom that can weave up to 40 inches comfortably (and wider if you know a trick or two), I have built more than one backstrap loom, card weaving, used small tapestry looms, and so on.

Weaving is a huge subject.

My suggestion to you is, if possible, take a class where a loom is supplied or available for your use. The big floor looms (like my jack loom) start at hundreds of dollars and go up from there. The ones you linked to are… OK if you just want to do simple plainweave but the second one is, in my opinion, overpriced for a rigid heddle loom. I’d go with the first, even if (IMO) it’s still a bit pricey BUT the manufacturer has a good reputation and it will at least be sturdy and durable.

The problem with buying a used loom is that you may not have all the parts, or there may be some mechanical problem… or it may be totally OK.

I second the suggestion to contact local weaver’s guilds or weavers for more information and some hands-on experience before sinking a lot of money into this. I love weaving, but many people do find it very tedious and find it’s not for them.

AIW where are you located, if in Victoria Australia then click on the link I provided!

I’m a member of my local Weavers and Spinners guild. We have some guild wheels and looms that we loan to members. I have a 15" cricket that I really should use more often.

Isn’t Hobby Weavers a character in Jeeves and Wooster?

*dumb joke, sorry

Thank you everyone for the info!

I’ve decided to jump in with both feet, and have requested this guy for X-mas from Mr. Wonderland:

https://woolery.com/ashford-rigid-heddle-looms.html, probably in the 32" width.

Based on feedback I received in a Facebook knitting group I belong to I think it should work well, and it doesn’t take up a huge amount of real estate. I’ve ordered from The Woolery before and they don’t make me mad, so thats good!

I’m primarily a knitter and this is just another way of creating fabric - I’m thinking mostly scarves is where I’m going to wind up - I will leave the rugs and huge hangings to people with more patience than me. :slight_smile:

If you see a slightly used loom for sale on e-mail in 3.5 months, you’ll know I’ve made a terrible decision. :smiley: