Thursday, July 22, 2010

Meet My Family of Inkle Looms

Meet my family of inkle looms!






Ashford Inklette- The cutest of inkle looms. I like this one because it is small enough to fit easily on my lap and can be held between my knees. I can even weave while riding in a car. Because of it's petite size, there is not a lot of clearance and it  feels awkward for my hands to work within such a small space and narrow shed opening. Also, I am used to using a lot of tension and am always careful not to use too much tension on this one because it is more petite. But I find it nice for weaving really narrow things like the silk ribbon and stampede straps that I have been making. I have a small child's suitcase on wheels which just fits this and makes it a dream for traveling.  Buy it here.





Schacht- I have 3 of these. This loom is perfectly configured for ease of weaving, in my opinion. I much prefer the slide type tensioner of this loom to the paddle type of the Inklette. I also prefer the tensioner to be in front as this allows for the easiest of adjustments. The spacing of the uprights suits me; it has just the right length between me and the heddles for weaving. (Too long and my back gets tired of reaching, too short and I have to advance the warp too often.)   Buy it here.



Northwest- Beautifully crafted of walnut. This one is constructed much like the Schacht, with a couple of 
differences. It has a second side to the frame, which is removable. This makes it so convenient for taking to shows and demonstrations.  The second side keeps warps from slipping off the ends of the pegs while I am toting it around. It also allows me to work wider without constantly herding the warps away from the edge and it provides that extra support and stability for those who use a lot of tension, like me. The front upright angles forward a little more than the Schacht, which creates a shorter weaving distance and it is necessary to advance the warp more often.  Buy it here.




Homemade- This loom is as sturdy as all get out and heavy, too. I use it for longer and wider sashes, as it will make about 9ft. and fringe. It will handle a woven width of 6" (maybe a little more, but since my hands can only handle 6" that's as far as I have taken it.) So glad to have this one for the wider sashes that I make.




Homemade- (Shown here with the Schacht for size comparison.)    You could weave all week on this baby. I once made a sash 14' long on it, and I don't think that I used it's full capacity. If you are going for yardage, this would be the best choice. It stands on the floor and I find that I am most comfortable tipping it forward onto my lap to work. When I get a really long warp on it, the process of advancing the warp is a challenge. Makes me wish I had more arms.
 My brilliant husband pointed out that it would have been nice to have something for scale in each photo. I wish I would have thought of that.



This loom was made by Egill's Woodstuffs and I do not recommend it!!  It has one design flaw that has you bumping into another peg as you raise and lower your threads to change sheds. It has several flaws in building- some of the pegs are off at a slight angle and the feet it sits on are not level. It also has a few things which I do not prefer- the feet are off to one side making it super awkward to work on my lap, which is how I weave and the tensioner is in a place which makes it  hard to adjust and too crowded, and the tensioner is square rather than round. The maker was not sympathetic to my complaints and did not respond to my request to return it.  Warning: ask about a return policy if you are making an investment in a loom, especially if it is from a maker that is not well-known!!


Other looms have come and gone from my life. This is the current collection and as you can see, each serves a purpose. There are a couple more that I have a hankering to own, though.
There are so many varieties of inkle looms available; a recent brief search of the web turned up  many small manufacturers.  It would be fun to test them all!

The beauty of the inkle loom above all others, I think is the ease of setup. A continuous warp wound directly onto the loom eliminates the step of preparing the warp. (If an inkle loom has two sides, one of them needs to be removable to accomplish this.)

I have tried a little tapestry weaving. I also own a perfectly beautiful Kromski Harp rigid heddle loom.
But the truth is, I love inkle weaving and will always come back to it.

15 comments:

  1. Thanks for telling us about the different inkle looms. I've only seen the Schacht, so it was neat to see the photos.

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  2. Great collection of looms. I especially like the floor model which look similar to the one in the Bress book on Inkle weaving, except you have more pegs.

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  3. Evelyn- I believe that one was made from the plans in the book. I met Helene Bress today at the Convergence!!! and bought another copy of her book because I loaned mine out and it hasn't come back.

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  4. Thanks for posting all the different kinds of Inkle looms....I don't have one yet and I WANT one!!!!

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  5. Which loom would you recommend for a beginner who wants to make guitar/camera straps and belts?

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  6. Thank you so much for this post! It's very helpful.

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  7. Hi, Suzy! Glad you found it helpful. Did you get an inkle loom? If so, what did you choose?

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  8. I know this is an old post, only the top photo is visible to me. Would love to see all your looms. I have a schacht and finished my first strap last weekend. Completely hooked.

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    1. Karina, Thanks for pointing this out! I have trouble with my photos every once in a while, accidentally deleting stuff. I found and replace a few of the photos and need to work on the others. ~Annie

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  9. Would you recommend finishing an unfinished inkle loom, and if so, with what? (Danish oil, paste wax, etc)

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    1. Good question! I have not used any treatment on mine, but it is probably a good idea for longevity. I remember that when I worked at a weaving shop, the owner was fond of using a blend of beeswax and orange oil to treat the new wooden equipment. Sorry, I don't remember the name of it.

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  10. Annie, I wonder if you have seen the Wave Inkle looms by Gilmore looms! Ifmyoumhave what are your thoughts on them? If you haven't and you get a chance to look at them they seem to be quite interesting. Thank you, Judy Hogan

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    1. I know that a lot of people like them. I have not used one myself. For me part of the wonder of inkle looms is the continuous warp. Maybe I'll change my mind one of these days and give the Wave a try.

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  11. I know this is an older thread, but.... In another blog, about making your own loom, you indicate that the plans for the floor loom found in Helene Bress' book is a good design that you can weave on. Is the picture of the floor loom above (the one with the Schacht as a size comparison) the one you had made from Bress' plans??

    Do you think that using those plans, because making a second peg adjustable (so tension can be controlled with 2 pegs instead of just one ) would be helpful in this model??

    Thanks for a wonderful blog....

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    1. Yes, the floor loom shown is made from the plans in Helene Bress' book. If you were really clever, you could probably make a second peg adjustable. I've found the one to be adequate, though. It seems to me that when I was doing super long pieces on it, I might have done some creative peg-switching thing to get more adjustment. All in all, I think it's a great design!

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