Looms are a big part of what makes weaving so much fun.
They are beautiful, often complex, always fascinating pieces of equipment. As you weave, you get to know your loom inside and out: its quirks, its strengths, its construction… But when you’re looking to buy a new loom, things can feel much more uncertain, and more than a little confusing. Here, then, is all the information you need to narrow down which kind of loom is right for you.
Before we get into the details, it’s best to ask yourself a few big picture questions:
What are your practical constraints? How much space do you have? Looms range from compact 15” widths to 60”+. What do you want to spend? Costs vary as widely as width does, from $250 to $5000 or more. The best loom for you is one that fits your home and your budget.
What do you want to make? You’ll need a loom at least a little bit wider than the fabric you want to weave. A small loom is great for scarves, but you’ll want at least 20” for tea towels, 30+” for shawls or baby wraps, and as wide as possible for blankets or yardage.
What are your creative goals?
Do you usually end up itching to do the most complex possible version of a craft? If you know you’ll shoot for the stars, you might want as many shafts as possible on a loom you can grow into. Or would you rather enjoy weaving quick and satisfying pieces? A simpler loom like a rigid heddle loom can give a lot of joy.
Now that you’ve thought a bit about what kind of weaving you want to do, take a deeper dive into one or more of the sections below covering three common styles of looms. Rigid Heddle looms are small, quick, and fun. Table looms give maximum pattern complexity in minimum space. Floor looms let you take on projects of ambitious size and intricacy.