/blogs/journal/how-to-choose-your-first-rigid-heddle-loom

How To Choose a Rigid Heddle Loom

by Sarah Resnick

Rigid heddle looms are often a gateway for knitters, crocheters, and other people new to exploring weaving  - if that’s the case for you, welcome to the wonderful world of weaving! Rigid heddle looms are wonderfully versatile, and will allow you to weave a wide range of projects - tea towels, placemats, scarves, shawls, rugs, table runners, and more.   

Want to start weaving right away? Choose a Rigid Heddle Loom Starter Pack.

If you're eager to get started weaving and are overwhelmed by the options, we made it very easy for you by compiling everything you need to start weaving in these three rigid heddle loom starter packs.


Ashford Rigid Heddle Loom

Ashford Rigid Heddle Loom Starter Pack


Everything you need (but the yarn) to get started with Rigid Heddle weaving! This is our most popular 24" loom, made in New Zealand by Ashford, and the basic starter pack includes 3 heddles/reeds, 2 stick shuttles, clamps, a threading hook, warping peg + clamp, and ashford wax polish. 
SHOP NOW
Ashford Knitters Loom

Schacht Flip Loom Starter Pack


This starter pack includes the popular 25” Schacht Flip Loom, along with 3 heddles/reeds, 2 stick shuttles, 2 clamps, a double end threading hook, and a warping peg + clamp.
SHOP NOW
Ashford Knitter's Loom

Ashford Knitter's Loom Starter Pack


The 20” Knitter's Loom is lightweight and portable, perfect for bringing to a guild meeting. This starter pack includes a 3 heddles/reeds, 2 stick shuttles, a carrying bag, a second heddle kit, clamps, a double end threading hook, and warping peg.
Shop Now

If you'd prefer not to buy a starter set, we have lots of options for you to choose from. You can see our full collection of rigid heddle looms here.

If you're looking for the most affordable option, we suggest the Ashford SampleIt Loom. This loom is a great “gateway” loom if you want to try out weaving to see how you like it. If you’d like a wider loom with more advanced capabilities, we suggest the Ashford Rigid Heddle Loom (included in our Starter Packs), the Ashford Knitters Loom, or the Flip Loom. These are more versatile and sturdy looms that will serve you well from beginner right through to advanced weavings. They also have the capability to add an additional heddle, allowing you to use much finer yarn suitable for up to 24 EPI. The Knitters Loom and Flip Loom are ideal for weavers where space is a premium, because they can fold up mid-project for storage. 

What Size Loom Should I Buy?

The width of your loom indicates the widest possible project you can weave on it. A 10” or 16” loom is most suitable for scarves. On a 20” loom you could start to weave placemats and hand towels. A 32” loom will allow you to create shawls and even fabric yardage to sew into something. On a wide loom you can also weave narrow projects, but you can’t weave wider projects on a narrow loom.

 

What Size Heddles Should I Buy?

Rigid heddle looms come with heddles in a range of sizes, usually 5 dent, 7.5 or 8 dent, 10 dent, and 12 or 12.5 dent. Dent = the number of threads per inch, so a 12 dent reed will have 12 slots/holes per inch. The lower the dent size, the thicker the yarn you need to use for your warp. Having a variety of heddle sizes will allow you a greater diversity of thickness of yarn to work with. Usually when you purchase a rigid heddle loom it comes with one heddle size to start with, and you'll want to grab a few other sizes to allow you some more versatility in your weaving.  You can see all of our heddles here.

  

Do I Need A Rigid Heddle Loom Stand?

This one somewhat comes down to personal preference! 10" and 16" looms are usually small enough to comfortably weave on your lap or on a table. Many people start to prefer stands at 24" or larger, as you are able to weave more ergonomically while sitting at the loom. You can see all of our Rigid Heddle Loom Stands here

Still Have Questions?

Our Beginner's Guide To Rigid Heddle Weaving has all the answers you are looking for - and you can download it for free!  


You are also always welcome to email us at hello@gistyarn.com with any and all questions.

You might also like:



Also in Blog

Ode Dots, Dashes, and Stripes Weaving Pattern
An Ode to Alpaca

by Christine Jablonski

Every now and then, a yarn comes along that’s just so good, it makes you question why anyone would ever want to do anything but weave. Ode is such a yarn. 
Open Call for Pattern Designers Fall 2021
Open Call for Pattern Designers Fall 2021

by LaChaun Moore

We are excited to share our Fall 2021 open call for weaving patterns! We are looking for experienced weavers to propose rigid heddle, 4-shaft, or tapestry weaving pattern designs for our yarn collections: Duet, Mallo, Beam, and ArrayDeadline Extended to November 2, 2021, at 11 p.m. EST 
Weaving Inspiration from our Instagram Community
Weaving Inspiration from our Instagram Community

by Susie Martinez

It brings us so much joy to see all of the projects shared under the #gistyarn hashtag on Instagram. Today we are featuring three projects that caught our eye recently, each incorporating Mallo.