Loom Design Fail

I discovered this Loom Design Fail during my recent workshop.  This is only the 2nd time I brought this loom to a workshop.  At the first workshop, I had an ok time with the loom- I had been weaving with a Dorothy, so anything was an improvement over that.  During this workshop, I found myself distracted by the levers that were right in my line of sight.  I didn't really need to see the cloth, I wasn't doing pickup

but having the levers blocking the clear view was annoying

THE GOOD NEWS is that one of my guildmates had a loom that I think would be ideal for me to have for workshops, and for my overcrowded Manhattan apartment.  She let me weave on it, and i am sold.  It is the Louet Jane, which folds down to a portfolio size flat that weighs 17 lbs.  It even has a leather handle built into the frame!!  The heddles are texsolve, and the reed is held in place with velcro straps instead of screws & wingnuts (lighter weight!)  I plan to sell my 2 Dorothys and this Schacht 8 harness, pictured and complained about here, in order to finance the new purchase.



Posted on Wed, 10/27/2010 - 03:03

Yes Gail, I wove on a Schacht table loom at an early weaving class, and worried about poking out an eye. Good for you for discovering the portable solution! J

Posted on Thu, 10/28/2010 - 18:36

I agree with you that anything is better than a Dorothy, except maybe a Structo. The Louet Jane is a very nice loom, well-made, and the optional stand is simple to attach and marvelously sturdy for this type of thing. Some people love the overhand beater.  It does a nice job of letting you see the strike against the fabric and having a slightly longer sweet spot. I find it a little harder on my hands.  Texsolv heddles are quieter for apartment living, but metal are a lot faster to thread and their weight sometimes helps the very light shafts function better on a jack type table loom.   Other good table looms are Purrington, Tools of the Trade, LeClerc Voyageur, Woolhouse, and several whose names escape me at the moment. 

Laurie Autio

Posted on Thu, 10/28/2010 - 21:40

I gotta weigh in here and take issue with metal being faster than Texsolv. I have both and Texsolv is much faster to thread for me.. so much less fiddling.  But I suspect there are no absolutes here, everyone has different preferences, as in so many things.  

What do you think of the Ashford table loom?



Posted on Fri, 10/29/2010 - 01:42

Hi Marie.

I saw that the Ashford is cheaper than the Louet by several hundred dollars. The guild mate that owned the Louet told me that she had looked at the Louet before making her purchase, and there was something that she didin't like about it, and I cannot remember what it was! I may have to write to her to ask her, becuase it is driving me crazy!!  Because I travel on the train to go to workshops, the compact unit and light weight are very attractive features for me.  It doesn't hurt that the loom is gorgeous to look at, too!  It is light birch wood with black hardware.  I haven't used texsolve heddles before, but I think it will be a good learning experience for me.  I have also heard that those who like to weave with fine threads like texsolve because they are gentler to a fine thread warp.  I dont' mind the noise at all (I love weaving on my structo!!)

XO Gail & Fog

Posted on Fri, 10/29/2010 - 05:48

See if you can try threading a loom with texsolv heddles on rigid frame before you buy.  Ingamarie's difference in experience with mine may be due to different type of heddle frame.  They will slide easier if the top and bottom of the frames are not rigidly connected on the sides (which is true on some looms - but not, as I recall, on the Jane so it can fold for travel).  But, even if it takes more time, this is a sweet loom that always seems to work well.  I weave fine threads on metal heddles without problems.

Laurie Autio

Posted on Fri, 10/29/2010 - 16:02


Can you describe what it means to have frames rigidly connected at the sides a little more? I'm having trouble visualizing it.

My 2 cents re heddles. I just switched to texsolv. I had a few threads break per warp on 20,000 ypp threads with flat steel heddles and advancing every inch or so. No breakage since the switch.


Posted on Sat, 10/30/2010 - 13:34

When the heddle frames have bolted/welded uprights on the sides, they will stay rigidly in a rectangle no matter what.  Some looms have just the top and bottom bars, with only heddles (and maybe a soft removeable end tie) holding them together.  That means the top and bottom bar can move closer to each other as needed (rather than staying a fixed distance apart).  If the heddles are not stretched tight on an immobile frame they are easier to slide as you thread.

I've woven with 140/2 silk on metal heddles with no problems.  Very fine wools or fine singles cottons might like texsolv better.

Laurie Autio

Posted on Sat, 10/30/2010 - 13:36

All metal heddles are not created equal.  Inserted eye seems easiest on threads, twisted wire is harsher, and the stamped kind somewhere in between. 

Laurie Autio

Posted on Sat, 10/30/2010 - 16:58

My only comment concerns an overhead beater on a table loom. My feeling is you need to get up a head of steam to really *whump* your weft into the fell, and due to the small distance between front beam and castle on almost all table looms, this is nearly impossible. When weaving on table looms, most people display a technique I'll call the "light flick," or, just as common, the "double bounce" ;-) I guess this is okay for some kinds of workshop samples, but if you really want to weave useable fabric or reliable and informative samples on your table loom, you really need to pay attention to beating hard enough.

Typically when demo-ing with table looms, I have people "squeeze" the warp in. I am not sure how easy this is to do with an overhead beater. With a lower-anchored beater, it's an almost natural hand motion to grasp the front beam with your thumbs while the rest of your fingers pull the reed and beater back toward you firmly. 

I am not sure how comfortable this would be in repetition with the various overhanging beaters. It would depend on how close they are suspended to the castle and where the sweet spot is in relation to your hand-size. (Can your thumbs comfortably reach the front beam to pull the reed tight?) 

I think the overhanging beater table looms would be GREAT for knitting yarns, scarves, fabrics with more open setts, and where one needs a lighter beat. I have worked on several models, including the new Jane. One thing that I thought was smart about the Jane was the beater seemed to stay out of the way when throwing the shuttle. (On some looms, I felt like I was juggling too many items and couldn't concentrate on what I was doing for the mechanics of it all!)

As "RugsByJoe" would say, "Just something to consider."