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After getting dazzled by the beautiful scarf your colleague wore, you ask her where she got it. She smiles and says that she made it herself using a rigid heddle loom. This sparks curiosity, and you plan on getting one for yourself.
Whether it’s because of your colleague’s beautiful scarf or you have a knack for weaving, the best rigid heddle loom is the perfect way to enter the artistic world of handweaving.
As they cost way less than table looms, support various reeds, are smaller, portable, and can hand weave textiles quickly, rigid heddle looms are ideal for beginners and professionals alike.
Sadly, if you are a beginner, you’ll be stormed with hundreds of heddle looms. Choosing the right one can be a difficult task. This is why we have rounded up a list of the top-quality rigid heddle looms to make your job easier.
What is a Rigid Heddle Loom? What are The Benefits of Using it?
A rigid heddle loom is a weaving device for people who want to enter the handweaving world but don’t have enough knowledge or don’t want to spend too much on a relatively new hobby.
There’s a frame in the middle with holes used to pass threads to make a warp. This frame is called a heddle or a reed.
The benefits of using a rigid heddle loom are that it lets you hand-weave plain weave and effortlessly lift and lower the warp. You can even use two reeds to make intricate scarfs.
It is also easy to assemble and takes no time to get the hang of it. You can carry it around, unlike multi-shaft looms. The best part is that it can be used by both professionals and beginners alike.
Unlike other looms, a heddle loom comes with all the items needed to start hand weaving right away. It even comes assembled, so there is no need to spend any extra time putting it together.
Our Selected Top 8 Best Rigid Heddle Loom Reviews in 2022
There are hundreds of rigid heddle looms available. It’s difficult for even veteran handweavers to find the perfect one. If you are a beginner, you’ll need guidance.
From various reed sizes to portability, these rigid heddle looms have it all. So, be sure to check each one of them before settling down for one.
1. Ashford 32” Weaving Rigid Heddle Loom
Professional handweavers always suggest beginners invest more money into yarns and supplies rather than investing on an expensive, fancy rigid heddle loom. We got just the suitable loom for you if you want to follow them.
The Ashford rigid heddle loom might be inexpensive, but that does not mean it has cheap components. The size of the loom is 32 inches, and it is considered to be the biggest. The bigger loom you have, the bigger scarfs you can make.
As the loom is meant for beginners, it comes with everything needed to start your handweaving immediately. You get a 7.5DPI (dents per inch) reed, one 22 inch shuttle, and one 30 inch shuttle. You also get a clamp, threading hook, and warping peg.
The assembly might be effortless and straightforward, but the problem lies within the pre-drilled holes. Some of those holes aren’t big enough for the included screws, so you’ll have to drill the holes yourself.
The natural unfinished silver beech hardwood makes this weaving heddle loom very tough and durable. It’s so durable that you can probably pass it down to your next generation of the family.
- Made of natural silver beech hardwood for maximum longevity.
- It comes with all the necessary items to start handweaving right away.
- Very affordable and easy to assemble.
- The 32-inch size makes it suitable for big projects.
2. Schacht Cricket Loom (15” in Size)
The number of people who carry their rigid heddle looms with them everywhere they go is too high. If you are one of those people, the Schacht cricket loom is here to fulfill your needs.
This rigid heddle loom is targeted towards portability. Thus, it is small in size. You can either get a 10-inch loom or a 15-inch loom. Being this small also makes them lightweight. Both of these are perfect for carrying around wherever you go.
The Schacht Cricket loom comes with an 8 dent per inch reed which lets you use double knit weight yarn. This yarn is outstanding for beginners as the heddle can hold 8 yarn ends in every inch.
Included goodies do not stop there. You get a threading hook, a warping peg, a few table clamps, two shuttles, and two balls of yarn. All of these things will ensure that you can start heaving right away.
Its compact body can either be a good thing or a bad thing depending on the project. As it’s only available in 10 or 15 inches, you are limited to small weaving projects.
The loom is made with maple wood and can be assembled within 15 minutes, even if you never assembled one before. Yes, It is that easy.
- The rigid heddle loom is available in 10 or 15-inch width, making it lightweight and portable.
- Has all the necessary goodies included in the box.
- Easy to assemble, even for newbies.
- It does not require any stand.
- Loom made with maple hardwood for utmost durability.
3. 24” Weaving Rigid Heddle Loom by Ashford
From a glance, the Ashford 24″ rigid heddle loom looks very similar to the 32″ one. Is it similar? Or does it have any unique feature that separates itself from other versions? Let’s answer all these questions.
Apart from the pronounced size difference, the 24″ Ashford rigid heddle loom lets you use two reeds simultaneously. For the very first time, you can use double reeds. Using two reeds will let you make more intricate patterns and weave two fabric layers simultaneously.
Don’t get your hopes high, though. The second reed is not included, so you’ll have to buy it separately. This is not necessarily a con, but you, the customer, should know what you are getting.
This 24″ loom is made with natural unfinished silver beech hardwood, similar to its sibling. It is solid and robust, meaning it will last decades without any problem.
Like all the other rigid heddle looms, this one does not forget to provide you with everything necessary.
You get one 24 inches 7.5 DPI reed, two 22 inch shuttles, two clamps, threading hook, warping peg, and an easy-to-read instruction manual to get you started. This is, by far, the best rigid heddle loom for beginners.
- The heddle loom lets you use two reeds at the same time.
- The 24-inch width is perfect for all types of weaving.
- It comes with plenty of necessary stuff.
- Made with natural unfinished beech hardwood for a robust weaving experience.
- It can be assembled very quickly.
4. Ashford 9090479 Rigid Heddle Loom
The sample-it rigid heddle loom is another addition to our portable loom list. It is tiny, lightweight, and easy to carry around. Are these all that sample-it offers? Let’s check out.
As the name suggests, the sample-it rigid heddle loom is very small. But it’s not too small either. It has just the right size for portability. This loom was specifically designed to save your space and let you do hand weaving in peace.
This loom is made of unfinished silver beech hardwood. As it’s hardwood, you won’t have to worry about durability. The robustness is almost unparalleled at this price range. Although, you do have to put an oil or varnish finish on the unfinished wood before assembling.
Speaking of assembly, sample-it ensures that even beginners who have never used a rigid heddle loom before can quickly assemble it within 15 to 20 minutes.
But don’t get hasty. Please take your time because if you don’t align the screws accurately, you might have to disassemble it and assemble it again.
The best part about the sample-it loom is that it has notches on the side. You can use these notches to hook one end against a table and the other on your lap to weave easily. This small rigid heddle loom is truly easy to use.
- The 16″ loom saves space and is easy to carry around.
- Made with unfinished silver beech hardwood for maximum robustness.
- Has notches on the side for hooking up against tables.
- Includes 7.5DPI reed, two shuttles, and everything necessary.
- Super easy and straightforward to assemble.
5. Large Rigid Heddle Loom with Stand by Ashford
An enormous rigid heddle loom means that you can weave more extensive fabrics and use multiple reeds at the same time. But, this 48″ heddle loom has another feature that no other loom offers in this budget.
This is the first rigid heddle loom on our list that comes with a stand. Now you won’t have to put the loom on your lap while weaving.
The stand allows you to move freely without touching the loom, which is impossible if you keep the loom on your lap.
You can tilt the loom’s stand downwards and upwards. Using the tilt feature, you can set the angle of the stand according to the height of the chair you’ll sit on.
It is also the most immense rigid heddle loom on our list. But, you are not stuck with one width. There are four widths (16″, 24″, 32″, and 48″) for you to select from. The 48″ is not portable but lets you do big weavings.
Like the other Ashford looms, this loom is also made of unfinished silver beech hardwood. Plus, you get a 7.5DPI reed with two shuttles, a clamp, and a warping peg. This is, hands down, a phenomenal heddle loom.
- You get a tiltable and robust stand for the loom.
- Available in four different sizes for user flexibility.
- Stand and loom made of unfinished silver beech hardwood.
- Comes with a 7.5DPI reed, two shuttles, clamp, and warping peg.
6. Kromski Harp Forte Rigid Heddle Loom
When you hear lightweight and portable, we are sure small rigid heddle looms are what crosses your mind first. But, what if we told you that you could get a massive loom that also happens to be portable? Yeah, you heard us right.
The kromski harp forte heddle loom has a width of 32 inches. You can fold the loom in half while the warp is attached. This will cut the space consumed by the heddle loom in half. Thus, giving you more room.
After folding, it fits the kromski tote bag perfectly so that you can carry it around. Having the loom inside a bag instead of holding it with your hands puts less stress on your body, saving you from fatigue.
Surprises don’t stop there. For the very first time, you will get a finished wood. Now you won’t have to apply finish to the hardwood with oil or varnish before assembling. This saves a lot of time and lets you jump into the action right away.
As the European alder hardwood has a clear finish, it will last longer than unfinished woods. The clear finish also protects your heddle weaving loom from water and dust. All this at the same price as unfinished looms.
You get an 8DPI reed, two shuttles, clamps, threading hook, warping peg, warping board pegs, and a pick-up stick. The Kromski harp heddle loom is undoubtedly a complete package of greatness.
- The heddle loom can be folded in half, saving space.
- Comes with an already-applied finish on the alder hardwood.
- Large 32-inch width, yet easy to carry around.
- Everything necessary is included in one package.
7. Beka SG-20″ Original Rigid Heddle Loom
To be brutally honest, not every rigid heddle loom has to have state-of-the-art features. Some people prefer a simplistic heddle loom that gets the job done without issues. If you are one of those people, Beka got your back.
The Beka original rigid heddle loom has a width of 20 inches. This is not too big nor too small. The size is perfect for everyone.
To handle this size, Beka has used cherry hardwood. Yes, we know that cherry is a soft hardwood, but it is still stronger than most hardwoods.
We reviewed double-reed looms previously, but Beka just changed the game. With this loom, you can use three reeds at the same time. The more reeds you have, the more intricate pieces you can do.
It does not end there. You can use it as a tapestry loom as well. How cool is that? You get two things in one package. It also has beam teeth to keep the yarns from tangling.
Speaking of packages, that’s where the issue lies. Unlike other heddle looms, this one does not come with all the necessary things. There’s no clamp or warping peg. You only get a reed and two shuttles.
If you can get a stand, clamps, and warping pegs separately, the Beka rigid heddle loom will serve you well.
- Solid and sturdy body thanks to cherry hardwood construction.
- It can be used as a tapestry loom also.
- Has beam teeth to keep yarns separately.
- Supports up to three reeds at the same time.
8. Small Rigid Heddle Childs Loom by Beka
There’s a big chance that your child might show interest in handweaving after seeing you. The problem is, however, children won’t be able to weave using big heddle looms. To bring out your child’s inner creativity, we present you the Beka childs loom.
The Beka childs loom pre-assembled to ensure your precious baby can start weaving right away. That’s not all. Beka has already set up a scarf project for your child to finish. This will let them get used to weaving real fast.
Since it is targeted towards children, the rigid heddle loom only has a width of 10 inches. This makes it perfect for carrying along. It’s also very lightweight. As we know children, they’ll try to take the loom with them to school or the playground, which is now possible thanks to Beka.
Unlike adults, kids are not that careful with their looms. Keeping that in mind, Beka has made this loom with hard maple wood. Even with hyperactive kids, this loom will last a lifetime easily.
The Beka rigid heddle childs loom proves that it’s a perfect starter kit for young weavers. The included yarn makes it even more convenient for those little artists to finish projects quickly.
- The heddle loom comes pre-assembled.
- It also comes with an already started project.
- Includes plenty of yarn to finish a 4ft scarf.
- Made with hard maple for long-lasting life.
- The loom has a width of 10 inches.
Comparison Table for Rigid Heddle Loom
Width of the loom
Unfinished silver beech hardwood
One 7.5DPI reed, two shuttles, clamp, warping peg, and threading hook.
Schacht cricket loom
Unfinished maple hardwood
8DPI reed, two shuttles, two clamps, threading hook, warping peg, and two yarns
Available in 10 and 15 inches
Unfinished beech hardwood.
One 7.5dpi reed, two 22 inch stick shuttles, two clamps, warping peg, and a threading hook.
Unfinished silver beech wood.
7.5dpi reed, two shuttles, instruction booklet, threading hook, warping peg, and a clamp.
Ashford loom & stand combo
Natural silver beech wood.
7.5 DPI Reed, two natural shuttles, threading hook, warping peg and clamp.
Available in 16, 24, 32, and 48 inches
Kromski harp forte rigid
European alder finished hardwood.
8dpi reed, two stick shuttles, a pick-up stick, threading hook, two clamps, one warping peg, one warping board pegs and a warp helper.
One reed and two shuttles only.
Hard maple wood.
One reed, one shuttle, and lots of yarn.
Rigid Heddle Loom Buying Guide
Every rigid heddle loom brand will claim that they make the leading rigid heddle loom. We shouldn’t solely rely on what manufacturers say.
To make sure that you, yourself, can get the perfect one depending on your needs, we have made a list of things you should consider before buying a rigid heddle loom. Before you click that order button, check them out.
Rigid heddle looms are generally made with silver beech, soft or hard maple, cherry, and European alder hardwood. Let us clear it right off the bat. All of these hardwoods are good with a few differences.
Silver beech hardwood is reasonably easy to work with. As most of the rigid heddle looms come disassembled, it is up to you to assemble them.
During assembly, you might need to drill holes or make the existing holes bigger. As beech hardwood is easy to work with, you won’t have any problems assembling it.
On the other hand, maple gives the user a headache because it is hard to work with. Of course, you get a beautiful finish. It is also very robust and durable.
Cherry is the most durable among all these hardwoods. It is easy to work with and weighs less than other woods.
Lastly, we have alder wood. Alder is not a very strong competitor. The fact that it gets easily scratched makes it less popular among weavers. It is also very soft compared to cherry or beech hardwood.
Width of the Loom
The width of the rigid heddle loom directly affects many things while weaving. For example, if you plan on making a scarf or any piece of fabric that will have a width of 20 inches, you’ll need a 20-inch loom or bigger.
If your loom is less than 20 inches, you’ll have to say bye-bye to the project or change plans and make it smaller.
If you plan on doing this kind of project, always get the biggest loom possible. But, with bigger size, weight and required space increase as well.
This affects portability, which we’ll talk about below. And lastly, it is recommended to use stands for big looms as they can be hard to work without one.
People buy rigid heddle looms because they are, by default, made to be carried around. If someone wanted a loom placed permanently on a table, they’d go with a table loom anyway.
If you want to carry around your rigid heddle loom everywhere you go, you must buy something smaller than 24 inches. Anything more extensive than that will be challenging to carry around. You can bring it, but it won’t be easy.
Yes, we know every heddle loom should be portable, but it is what it is. 10 to 20-inch looms are the easiest to carry as they are very portable and lightweight.
What if you wanted a big rigid heddle loom and portability at the same time? This is where the folding mechanism comes in.
Thanks to this mechanism, you can cut down half the size of your rigid heddle loom. Some manufacturers even provide a bag that perfectly fits the loom, making it easier to carry it with yourself. The folding mechanism is not a must-have feature, but it is lovely to have.
Multiple Reed or Heddle Support
As the name suggests, if your rigid heddle loom has this feature, it will be able to use two or three reeds at the same time.
You can do more complex or intricate works using multiple reeds or heddles. You can also work with various layers of yarn/thread/cloth simultaneously, making your fabric appear even more beautiful and textured.
What’s the use of getting a rigid heddle loom if you can’t get down to business right away. Your rigid heddle loom should have all the necessary items included in the box for that to happen.
You should have at least one 7.5 or 8 DPI (dent per inch) reed or heddle, two or more shuttles, one or two clamps, one warping peg, and one threading hook. If the heddle loom you are about to order does not include these items, don’t buy it.
Lastly, it will be a big time saver if your heddle loom already has an oil or varnish finish on it. But, it is very uncommon to find a loom with an already applied finish. Most of the heddle looms come with unfinished wood, which you’ll have to finish before assembling.
Any rigid heddle loom that exceeds that width of 24″ needs to have a stand. You could pass on this, but you should not. If you are a person who moves a lot during weaving, a stand is a must-have item for you.
We wouldn’t recommend getting a stand for smaller looms, though. Those looms work best on tables or laps.
Some rigid heddle looms come with stands. Buying those looms is suggested as aftermarket stands can get very expensive.
How to Warp a Rigid Heddle Loom?
Since everything needed for warping a rigid heddle loom comes with the package (or at least it should), we can start immediately.
All you’ll need is a few yarn balls, and we are good to go. So, let’s see how you can warp a rigid heddle loom in a few easy steps.
Step 1 – Preparing the Rigid Heddle Loom.
First of all, clamp the rigid heddle loom to the table using the included clamps. Tighten it up nicely so that it does not move.
Now clamp your warping peg at the other end of the table. Remember that the distance from your loom to the warping peg will be the length of your project.
Step 2 – The Yarn
Now tie the yarn to the back stick. Make sure the knot does not come off. Take the reed hook or threading hook, pass it through the reed slot, attach the yarn thread, and take out the reed hook through the slot. Now take the yarn thread to the warping peg.
The following yarn thread should come under the back stick. Follow the same process but each time, change the pattern. Like one time, take it under, and the other time, take it over the back stick.
If you want to add a new color, cut the previous yarn thread, tie it, and add another yarn to the heddle loom.
Step 3 – Warping Beam
After putting on all the yarns, it is time to cut it. Tie a knot to yarn at the end of the warping peg, and then cut the yarn thread, releasing the yarn from the peg.
Tell a friend to hold that end steadily. Now slowly roll the warp beam. Once you are done rolling, you can untie the knot you tied at the end of the warping peg.
Step 4 – Warping the Threads
You have to take out one of the threads from each slot and put it through the reed’s eye (that small hole inside each reed slot) right next to that slot. Continue doing this to all the yarn threads.
After doing that, now you’ll have to tie all the threads into groups. If you have 50 threads, maybe tie 5 threads in each group.
Step 5 – Wefting the Threads.
Using a spare string, you must tie the end of those thread groups to your back stick. This will ensure that the warp has tension.
Now you have to wrap some yarns onto the shuttles. Before weaving, you will have to pass a few horizontal lines (weft) of yarns through the vertical warp. Now push the reed towards the end.
Step 6 – Weaving
Here the real fun starts. By fun, we mean weaving. Take the shuttle through the warp. Doing this is easy if you pass the shuttle near the reed because there’s a wide gap. After passing each weft through the warp, roll/push the reed towards the end.
By continuing this process, you’ll end up with good weaving. After finishing the weaving, cut the ends off, and tie them.
Watching warping tutorials on youtube will be easier to understand as you’ll get visual aid as well as audio. Only reading about it might seem confusing to beginners.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the maximum thickness of yarn I can use in my rigid heddle loom?
The thickness of the yarn depends on the reed your heddle loom has. Typically a rigid heddle loom has 7.5 or 8 dents per inch. If you want to use thick yarns, go for 5 dents per inch reed. A 2.5 dpi reed will be the thickest.
What accessories do I need to start weaving beside the rigid heddle loom itself?
Apart from the rigid heddle loom itself, you’ll need a reed with any preferred dpi, a few shuttles (short or long), a few clamps to clamp down the loom, a warping peg, and a warping thread. You can also get a stand if you want more flexibility.
Can I weave while keeping the rigid heddle loom on my lap?
We recommend using a stand or clamping the loom on a table. But, if you want to keep the loom on your lap, that’s possible.
There should be a notch at one end of your rigid heddle loom. You have to fit that notch against your table’s edge and keep the other end on your lap.
Do I need to apply a finish on my rigid heddle loom before assembling it?
If your rigid heddle loom has “unfinished hardwood” written on the highlighted features, yes, you’ll have to put a finish on it because it’s raw wood.
Use a wax sealant and then assemble it. If your rigid heddle loom already has a finish applied to it, then there is no need to put another finish. Assemble it immediately.
Handweaving is an excellent source of serotonin, AKA happiness. It helps you earn praise and a few bucks as well. Seeing all the youtube tutorials or blog posts on handweaving may scare you by making it seem complex and hard to learn, but that’s not the case.
Well, at least that’s not the case for beginners who use the best rigid heddle loom. If you have an excellent loom, your handweaving journey will be a lot easier than what those tutorials made it look like.