Rigid Heddle Looms

About Rigid Heddle Looms

WHAT IS A RIGID HEDDLE LOOM?

Rigid heddle looms are often smaller, more portable, and budget-friendly than 4-shaft or 8-shaft looms. They are a great introduction to weaving, but also a wonderful tool for experienced weavers.

A rigid heddle loom has a firm, rigid (to state the obvious!) frame called a rigid heddle reed (sometimes referred to just as the “heddle” or just the “reed”) that has slots and holes through which yarn is threaded to create a warp (think of the warp as the canvas for your weaving.)

The yarn in the slots can move up and down freely while the yarn in the hols stays relatively fixed. Raising and lowering the heddle creates a “shed,” an open space between the slot threads and hole threads, through which you pass your weft yarn in order to weave and create fabric.

The rigid heddle reed functions as both a heddle and a reed combined--on multi-shaft looms, the heddles and reed are separate.

WHAT CAN I MAKE ON A RIGID HEDDLE LOOM?

The possibilities are endless! Scarves, tea towels, and table linens are the most common projects made on rigid heddle looms, but with the magic of double-width weaving you can make larger projects like shawls and blankets too. Explore our selection of rigid heddle patterns here.

WHICH RIGID HEDDLE LOOM SHOULD I BUY?

We carry two brands of rigid heddle looms: Ashford and Schacht. Both are high-quality, family-run companies that have been producing looms and weaving accessories for generations.

If you’re looking for an affordable entry-point loom, we’d recommend the Ashford SampleIt Loom. It’s a great “gateway” loom if you want to try weaving to see if you like it.

If you’re looking for a wider loom with more advanced capabilities to grow into, we’d suggest the Ashford Rigid Heddle Loom, the Ashford Knitters Loom, or the Schacht Flip Loom. These are more versatile and sturdy looms that will serve you well from beginner projects right through advanced weaving. All three can accommodate two heddles to achieve a finer sett and double-width weaving.

WHAT ELSE DO I NEED TO GET STARTED WITH RIGID HEDDLE WEAVING?

In addition to your rigid heddle loom, you will want to have some basic tools and weaving equipment, such as: reeds in varying sizes, shuttles, and a heddle hook. If you’re just starting out, we recommend choosing one of our rigid heddle weaving starter packs.

Still have questions? We're happy to help! Send us an email at hello@gistyarn.com.