Not So Rigid Weaver

Musings on weaving on a Rigid Heddle Loom and beyond

Why a rigid heddle loom might be a great fit for your lifestyle

Rigid heddle looms are fantastic little looms that can fit into a wider range of lifestyles than larger looms, and, they can enable may fit your lifestyle better than a multi-shaft loom, instead of or in addition to a larger loom.

Weaving wherever you want #

Maybe you'd like to weave outside on a nice day, on the couch in front of the TV sometimes, and at the kitchen table others. A rigid heddle loom is much lighter and easier to cart around and weave where you feel like it in that moment. I've started keeping my loom and current project in an Ikea bag and I can setup wherever I feel like it in moments.

Taking Places #

Any rigid heddle loom can easily be taken in your car for a workshop, but a smaller one can be great to take to a less weaving focused craft night without taking up too much space. If you get around by public transit, it may also be practical to take a small or folding loom with you (particularly off peak). Likewise, you can potentially take a moderately sized rigid heddle loom on a road trip without taking up half the trunk. And if you'd like to take a loom with you when flying somewhere, small rigid heddle looms, like some 10” or 12” folding models, can fit in carry on luggage, and more can fit inside a standard suitcase, though do be mindful of baggage size limits of different airlines.

Fitting in your budget #

Rigid Heddle looms are way cheaper than a table loom (and way, way cheaper than a floor loom). They also typically come with everything you need to get started right in the box, except for yarn (and sometimes they even include that!). This of course doesn't mean that they come with everything you'll ever want....

Slowing you down #

If you're not looking to sell items, the faster you weave the faster you need to buy more yarn, and you may find yourself accumulating more handwovens than you know what to do with. Rigid heddle weaving is already much faster than a craft like knitting or crochet; if you're able to weave a little bit most days you may still produce plenty for your own needs, gifting, and maybe even selling in a small way if that's of interest.

Getting started quickly and without a teacher #

There's simply less you need to know to get started weaving on a Rigid Heddle loom. You don't have to learn how to read a draft to get started, and direct warping is simpler to learn. You can watch a few YouTube videos on how to warp and weave and be on your way, much more easily than learning how to set up a multi-shaft loom without help. This is particularly beneficial if you can't get an in-person teacher.

Fitting in your home #

A rigid heddle loom can easily be tucked away when not in use. This makes them ideal for anyone who doesn't have a dedicated weaving spot in their home, or who can only dedicate a small amount of space. You can find a place for a rigid heddle loom in fairly small accommodations, like a dorm room or RV. The main limitation will be storage space for the yarn!

Check out Not So Rigid Designer, the online weaving software for rigid heddle loom weavers!