I have just started weaving rag rugs, and am interested in expanding out to wool rugs, as well. I currently have a 100cm Oxaback Lilla, which I dearly love, and plan on keeping. However, I am coming to the conclusion that, while it works for the occasional rug, it is not the optimal loom for a steady diet of it. I have the folding part braced with angled 2x4s, and additional weight added to the beater, both of which help, but the loom is really too short and too light for rugs. Here are my problems: 1) I am unable to get the warp 'piano string' tight, 2) the loom walks a bit with heavy beating, despite having rubber feet and 3) the very tight warp seems to limit the size of my shed.
So, I'm thinking that another loom might be in my future. I defintiely want a countermarche loom, and am looking for something in the 47" x 52" range, although I might go larger if a good deal presented itself. I'm hoping to find a loom that will be good for all types of fabric, from rugs to fine cloth. Is that possible? One of the things that I love about the Lilla is it's easy treadling and generally soft and quiet feel. It's just a pleasure to use. Having never woven on any other countermarche loom, I don't know if that is unique to the Lilla, or typical of a countermarche. I recently tried treadling a 48" Bexell Cranbrook loom. It was a big sturdy workhorse of a loom, and it felt like that, nothing soft about it. It would be great for rugs, but I am not convinced that I would enjoy weaving regular cloth on it. Perhaps I'm mistaken. I've been thinking that a standard Glimakra, Toika, Varpa, Oxaback, etc. would be my best bet. A worm gear is interesting, but I don't know how valuable it is on a full sized loom. I would love to hear any thoughts and recommendations from people with more experience than I.