If you're interested in having a go at hand weaving, then you've come to the right place. Below you will find plenty of beginners information on the different looms available, plus online lessons for building, as well as using, different types of loom.
There are all kinds of looms which vary greatly in complexity and price. Peg looms and cardboard looms are cheap and perfect for trying weaving for the first time. I've focussed on the early stages of learning to weave on this page, and if you would like to take this hobby further, I recommend taking lessons so you can try using more complex and expensive looms before taking the plunge and buying one yourself.
You will also find some weaving tutorials to give you some great ideas for starter projects. I hope you find this page useful!
Lego Loom Machine
A great way to see how looms work - keep your eyes on the green thread!
Top-Rated Weaving Looms
Unless you make your own loom with the DIY plans on this page, you will need to buy a loom. There are a few types available, with the potholder loom being the simplest. I would recommend a rigid heddle loom for keen beginners.
A Few Terms To Know If You Are Keen To Weave on Looms
LOOM = The tool used to weave fabric.
WARP = The lengthwise, parallel threads on which you weave. They are held in position and kept under tension.
WEFT = The crosswise threads which are moved in and out of the warp threads.
HEDDLES = Long wires or threads inside a harness. Each heddle holds an individual thread of the warp in place.
HARNESS (sometimes called a SHAFT ) = A frame which holds the heddles. The harnesses move up and down to create the shed. Most commonly, there are 2 or 4 harnesses on a loom.
SHED = An opening created by lifting warp threads in different combinations. The opening/shed is for the weft thread to go through.
TREADLE = These raise the harnesses and are powered by the user's feet. The order in which the harnesses are raised determines the pattern of the woven fabric. Each treadle is tied (by the user) to each harness, or to multiple harnesses at once.
CASTLE = Holds the harnesses and is usually part of the loom's supporting framework.
SHUTTLE = Sticks which pass the weft threads across the warp threads.
REED = A metal 'comb' type tool which has metal strips set equal distances apart. This tool determines how many threads per inch there will be in your warp (8, 10, 12 and 15 are the most popular).
APRON = A piece of canvas which attaches to the cloth beam and the warp beam. It holds the bar/rod for attaching the warp threads to.
WARP BEAM = A beam at the rear of the loom where the warp is wrapped.
CLOTH BEAM = A beam at the front of the loom where the woven fabric (i.e. the cloth) is wound.
BRAKE = Stops the beams from turning until necessary.
Types of Loom Available
There are several types of loom available, as well as a few variations of each type. I'm going to be covering the construction and use of cardboard looms, simple frame looms, potholder looms and peg looms on this page. If you enjoy weaving on these starter looms, then it would be a great idea to take a weaving class before investing in more complex and expensive looms. I will not be covering anything too complicated on this page as it is aimed at complete beginners.
The looms you may come across are:
- RIGID HEDDLE LOOMS are a popular choice and are cheaper than most types. They are simple and portable frame looms with rigid heddles to hold the warp threads still when weaving. They don't have multiple harnesses so the weave pattern is limited to plain weave designs (unless using pick-up sticks). This type of loom is a bit more complicated than frame looms as it has 9 components including a cloth beam and apron bars.