Monday, May 9, 2016

Which Weaving Loom is Best for Beginners?

The Prima Fiber Arts Weaving Loom Kit, The Home Made Modern Kit, and a Cardboard Loom
Frame Weaving Looms Are Great for Beginners

There are many types of weaving looms, all with varying degrees of mechanical complexity. From rigid heddles and cards to treadles, pins, bobbins, and dobbies, there are a multitude of ways to work a warp, weft, and weave.  By far, however, the best weaving loom for beginners is the simple frame hand loom.




Although there are some variations even among the different types of hand looms, most are made up of a frame on which warp threads can be wound, and . . . well, that's it. Even a square of cardboard can be used as simple hand loom. There are many commercial looms to choose from, as well, all of different prices and quality.

The beginner's  weaving loom I've found to be of the greatest value is the Prima Fiber Arts Loom kit. However, I also paid half the price for a simple loom from Target, on which I made one of my favorite wall hangings. When in doubt, there are also several ways to make a loom for yourself!

Prima Fiber Arts Loom Kit Review: Special and Substantive 

The Prima Fiber Arts Loom kit came with everything I needed to create a wall hanging, minus scissors: the loom, a shuttle, the shed, a large tapestry needle, a weaving comb, and instruction manual.  The kit even came with all of the yarns and bits and bobs needed to create a piece "right out of the box." All of the hardware needed to hold the loom together was present and accounted for.

The adjustable loom and wooden tools are all made with high-quality materials, and  I am especially pleased with the weaving comb and wooden tapestry needle and shuttle.  They feel substantial when held in the hand, more like "real" tools than toys.  Additionally, the loom is decorated with flower "doodles," which adds to the feeling of its specialness.

I do have two reservations about this loom kit, however.  First, I did have to sand the tools before I could use them.  Although the loom is made with quality materials, I feel as though the workmanship is a bit shoddy.  There were splinters and rough edges on the tools when they arrived.  Second, the warp thread that is included is very slippery and shiny.  Although it looks lovely, I would never recommend this slippery thread for a beginner's project.  It makes it very difficult for knots to hold and for the project to be tight.  Of course, a different thread or yarn can easily be substituted.

Hand Made Modern Tabletop Loom Review: Lightweight and Simple

The Hand Made Modern Tabletop Loom came with almost everything I needed to create a wall hanging, minus scissors: the loom, a shed, three shuttles, an instructional flyer, and a traditional (metal) tapestry needle.  It also came with a cotton thread to use as a warp thread.  However, the loom is made with much lower quality materials, and it feels more like a toy than a "real" tool.  The loom is held together with the tension of the warp, not with hardware.  Because the shed is a bit wimpy, it did flip on me a few times during my project.

On the other hand, the cotton thread was much easier to work with, and the loom is much lighter, making it easier to hold to work or to pack up and take away from home.  Furthermore, although I love the wooden tapestry needle that came with the Prima kit, a traditional tapestry needle is very useful in a tight spot.

Homemade Loom Review: Free and Portable

There are several Pinterest Pins about making and using handmade looms, from using copper pipe and fittings, to using dowel rods, to picture frames and finishing nails, to scraps of cardboard and cardboard boxes.  Although I opted for the simplest-looking handmade loom made of a square of cardboard, I was not successful in making a cardboard loom with a straight warp.  However, I was able to make a cooked little weaving.

The best part of the cardboard loom was that is was free, and it was a creative way to spend an afternoon; not only in the weaving, but in the making of the loom.  As for being portable, the cardboard loom also wins by a longshot.

Ratings

The important thing to remember when choosing a beginner's loom is the beginner's preferences and needs.  Portability, quality, weight, and price are always worth considering.  Starting a hobby with lower quality materials can sometimes work out, but more often than not, the wrong tools will stymie the user's desire to continue.


Want to read more about fiber arts or arts and crafts? Try

Make a Celtic Tatting Shuttle
Learn to Crochet for Stress Relief
Are Adult Coloring Books Worth the Money?


Copyright Amy Lynn Hess.  Please contact the author for permission to republish.






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