Help choosing loom: Baby Wolf or Mighty Wolf

I think I'm finally going to order my loom. I just can't decide which one to get: Baby Wolf (26" weaving width) or Mighty Wolf (36" weaving width) . I know the size is about 10 inch difference. My gut tells me to get the larger one just in case I do want to do the larger projects: mostly baby blankets, rebozos, and I would eventually like to even make some light blankets for my bed. I know that 36" is not going to make a blanket for my bed, I'll still have to piece a few strips together to get the width I need. But do I need a 36" to do that? It seems the smaller would work just fine for that. But I do want to make lots of lap blankets and baby blankets, and those seem like they would do well on a 36" loom rather than the 26". Other than blankets, I think I would like to make totes, tea towels, scarves, pillows, and eventually make some pieces that I can sew into clothing. 

 

Logically it seems I should go for the 36", but since it is such a large purchase, I thought I would  get opinions from other weavers. That extra 11" of loom doesn't seem like much, but it might in my tiny house. 

 

any thoughts?

Comments

Posted on Thu, 09/22/2011 - 18:56

If space is not an issue and the cost difference is a non-issue then larger is better. It does give you more flexibilty in weaving, so I would recommend that you purchase the 36" Mighty Wolf. I belived it will be a heavier loom and your can do more projects on it. I have used a Baby Wolf and liked it and wish I had spend the extra money on one rather than the less expensive brand I purchase. I like that the lambs push up from the bottom and the design Wolf uses in tieing up the treadles. Good luck with which one you decide to purchase. TNWEAVE

Posted on Fri, 09/23/2011 - 14:20

There will come a time when you want to weave something larger.  You will be KICKING yourself if you don't get the larger loom now.  :)

You can always weave smaller projects on a large loom. 

Posted on Sat, 09/24/2011 - 14:55

Will you need to transport your loom, or only fold it up for storage?  My baby wolf 8h fits in the back of my Subaru Outback, and I do take it places.  It's big enough for shawls and household linens. What could you do with 36" that you can't do with 24"?  If you get really serious or need to go really big, hold out for something like a Macomber B-type, which has a small folded footprint and is readily available used (the latter unlike baby wolfs).

The two drawbacks I find with my baby wolf are that I have not found a way to thread it with my eyes at the right level, even folded with me on a small stool, and it can't take the heavy beating and tight tension that the Macomber B-type can.  For a moveable loom though, it's excellent, has little loom waste, and a wonderful tie-up system.

 

Posted on Sun, 09/25/2011 - 15:48

The Baby Wolf you can probably fold yourself.  The Mighty Wolf folds for long term storage and squeezing through doorways, but you'll need help, unless you have the wingspan of a 747.  If you're looking for a 36" loom, I'd go for a Schacht Standard... much sturdier.

Posted on Sun, 09/25/2011 - 16:13

The Baby Wolf is a wonderful loom. It is the best of the portable floor looms. As mentioned above, it's perfect for taking to workshops, on vacation or even out the the patio to weave on a sunny day. Wider fabric can be woven in double width, or joined selvege to selvege.

The Mighty wolf however is an average loom. It tries to be too many things. It's not really portable, and not sturdy enough to be a regular floor loom.

Posted on Sun, 09/25/2011 - 16:42

I did need the loom to fold out of the way. Or I imagine I do. That is why I was focusing on the Wolf style looms. We have a pretty small house. Between projects it will probably be folded and rolled away (I love the roller feet you can buy for these looms). I might need to fold it at times while it has something on it. I'm getting rid of a desk so it can sit in place of the desk, but this is a small desk that has a smaller footprint than of either of the looms.

As far as transporting it anywhere. I doubt that it will be transported more than just down the hall. I can't really see taking it to guild meetings (since I don't belong to one yet) or classes. There aren't too many weaving classes in my area anyway. I do like the idea of sitting on the patio, but I can always just take my spinning wheel out for that and wait to weave later. 

I have the opportunity to go and weave a small project on one of the looms Monday. I'm very excited. I'll see if they will allow me to fold them both so I  can see what that entails. 

Thanks for all the input. Please offer more if you have it. 

Posted on Sun, 09/25/2011 - 17:18

A couple of commented that the Mighty Wolf is not a sturdy loom. I've never used a floor loom. This will be my first one. What do you mean by sturdy? Surely it doesn't bounce around? Do you just mean that it can't beat as hard for things like rugs? Sorry if this seems like a silly question.

Posted on Sun, 09/25/2011 - 20:46

I recently sold my baby wolf to "trade up" to a Swedish countermarch loom so (in part) I could do rugs, and because I need something larger (I'm 6 feet tall and it was just too cramped for warping). Neither of the Wolf looms are meant for the high tension and hard beating you would need for rugs, but I didn't have a problem weaving other types of fabrics. The size and convenience which you've already mentioned are the big selling points for the baby wolf. If you want a wider loom than the Baby, and have the money, I would go for a standard floor loom. That would increase the range of projects you could make, and standard floor looms give you a more solid weaving experience overall. I hope I haven't confused you with too many details. :-)

Posted on Sun, 09/25/2011 - 21:00

If you think you might want to weave with linen, don't go with the baby Wolf, especially if it has 8 shafts - it is too short from front to back.  The Mighty Wolf would be better, though still limited. 

It sounds like you might want to weave yardage for clothing, in which case, the wider weaving width is a real plus.  There are a lot of looms which fold and are decent, available, and often cheaper than the Wolf looms.  They all feel and fit a bit differently, so if you can possibly try out a bunch (at a workshop, or at a store or weavers' homes if you don't have a guild) you'll be able to tell which one fits your body type. If you need it to fold but not be portable, check out the big Macs (Macombers) which come around 32" or LeClercs which are available at 36".  Dorset, Harrisville, older Norwoods, there is a long list.

Laurie Autio

Posted on Mon, 09/26/2011 - 00:42

My secondary loom is a Baby Wolf, and for what I use it, I couldn't be [much] happier if I designed it myself.  I have woven mostly scarves, shawls, runners, and samples though, so take that into consideration.

I chose a Baby Wolf over a Mighty Wolf mainly because of portability.  I figured that the extra 10" in weaving width would make it too heavy and cumbersome to move around, even in the house.  Truth of the matter is that even the Baby Wolf is not terribly easy to move around after I added the stroller, "Wolf Trap" and sectional beam.  As such, if I could choose again, I would hold out for a Mighty Wolf.  That extra width could be handy at some point, for an incremental additional cost.

Hope this helps!

Posted on Mon, 09/26/2011 - 03:02

I bought my Mighty Wolf last year & am thrilled with it - I weave in wool and keep the tension very tight & it works great.  It didn't bounce around, but can be folded up & moved out of the way - For the Christmas Tree last year.  I live in a 2 floor condo built in 1943 so the rooms aren't big, but I have a lovely spot in the Living Room, right in front of two big windows so lovely sunlight to weave by.  You need to decide what type of weaving - small, big, fine, heavy - simple weave or complex weave - then find the right loom to fit your house & your style of weaving.  Everyone finds their own approach.  I find that the Wolf loom is easy to use, sturdy & the end result is great - Good luck !

Posted on Tue, 09/27/2011 - 19:07

I finally had a chance to start up a project on an 8 shaft Baby Wolf. I wasn't able to figure out how to keep it folded, it kept slipping and the knobs on the sides didn't want to tighten no matter how many twists I gave them. 

I managed to warp it and get a small scarf started on it. One thing I had trouble with was the shafts sticking. I would have to raise 4 shafts with each treadle for the pattern, and sometimes an additional shaft would partially raise and I would have to press the top to make it fall. That was a little annoying. A few times I didn't realize it happened and threw the shuttle. Going back to fix the pattern was frustrating as I would have to go back and then struggle to lift the shaft that I suspected was the culprit. 

Is this a typical problem with the Wolf looms? Was it because it is 8shafts? 

After threading it, we tried to clip the metal clips onto the shaft bars, but then the heddles were so tight that they wouldn't move at all to slide to where they needed to be. We ended up leaving only the top clips latched and we had to undo the bottom ones. Maybe that is what caused it to pull up extra shafts? But really I found those clips a little annoying as they were nearly impossible to put the bar into and close. Is there just something wrong with this loom? It is a store loom, so who knows how many have tried using it without knowing what they were doing. If that is the typical experience expected with an 8 shaft Baby Wolf, then I'm not sure it is the right choice for me. 

I hate that I don't know if it was just a broken loom, or if that is a typical Baby Wolf. I am going to try to go back to the store tomorrow and finish my scarf project. 

Posted on Wed, 09/28/2011 - 13:50

I have not had the sticking shaft problem with my  8 shaft Baby Wolf.  However, unlike a countermarche or counterbalance, on jack looms weight forces the down those shafts not lifted by the treadle.  If your heddles do not weigh enough, the shafts don't fall as readily. However, I suspect your problem is the unclipped clips, which DO interfere with adjacent shafts because they bow the heddle bars out.  Take the time to get the heddles aligned and then clip them.  If need be, try attaching weights or rubber bands to force the shafts down.

I would also like to correct the statement that the B-type Macomber is 32".  They go up to at least 72", and the wider they are, the more shafts they can have.  I'd like to get a wider (60" or 72") Macomber, but I need a studio first! 

I have not used really heavy yarn on it like worsted-weight wool, but I know from other looms that high warp friction causes shafts to cling together.

I move the Baby Wolf on its stroller from room to room frequently.  Since I also take it to demos, etc., I also roll it along behind me while carrying other things with the other hand, and I would say that is also easy.  I move it with the project in place, with no ill effects.  Usually two of us tilt it into the back of the car on an old comforter.  Except for the tilt-up, one person can manage it.

I have indicated that it is not suitable for rugs because of the tension & the beating.  As for jumping around, my husband, who has woven on the B-type Macomber, raises the back legs of the Baby Wolf off the ground whenever he beats.  He's over 60, and not huge or muscular.  He needs to learn a lighter touch, but he does cause screws to fall out of the Baby Wolf and not on the Macomber.  I don't, and I'm its main user.

 

Posted on Wed, 09/28/2011 - 14:56

I have a 4 now 4 later baby wolf.  I chose it partially because of space constraints and partially because of financial contraints. I liked the idea that it folded up, but the fact of the matter is I rarely fold it up. I have taken it twice to my kids' school to do demonstartions, but that is all.  If I had it to do over again, I would buy the mighty wolf.  Many projects that I would like to try are just a few inches too big for the baby wolf. I have mostly done towels so far.  I have done one wool rug which turned out pretty good but is really pretty narrow for a rug.  It is more of a runner, I guess.  I need to learn more about double weave.

As far as the metal clips on the shaft bars are concerned, I close those before I warp.  I take each shaft out and put the correct number of heddles on the shaft for the project and divide the heddles on either side of the clip.  The clip is not centered, so it takes a little guess work, but I have gotten better with time.  I would suspect that having the bottom clips open would cause problems.  Also, if the loom is dirty, the shafts will stick.  I vacuum all the lint (and cat hair) from in and around the loom between each project and that helps.  If the loom isn't level, that can mess things up, too.

Good luck!

Suzy

Posted on Wed, 09/28/2011 - 21:51

Yes, leaving the clips undone can make the shafts catch on each other (not just on Wolf looms). You can bungee cord (or equivalent) the shafts of a Wolf loom if they are lifting because they are too light.  Sometimes rearranging the threading, or spreading onto more shafts if available also helps.  If you have extra treadles, the lifts can be split between two feet in a skeleton tie-up.  Those kinds of kludge fixes are ok if you only need them once in a while for what you want to do.  If you need them every time, then it is probably time to look at a different loom.

mneleigh, I'm sorry my statement about Macs was unclear.  I know very well that they come in bigger sizes (mine was 40" and they can be much wider).  I mentioned the 32" since the original poster was looking at 26" and 36" looms.

Laurie Autio

Posted on Sun, 10/02/2011 - 01:13

I've just spent days taking a weaving workshop at the Mannings in Pa and take a workshop every week in my hometown.  At both places, I used both looms and will tell you that I prefer the Mighty Wolf.  It feels sturdier to weave on than the baby wolf.  You, however, need more leg strength to weave on it. However, it is too large to really take with you although I think even the Baby Wolf would be fairly awkward to take by yourself for a workshop.  If I was going to buy a jack loom, I would by the Mighty Wolf.  Just my opinion.

Posted on Thu, 11/28/2019 - 03:29

<p>Have you ever considered a Macomber Loom as an option? I am shopping myself and have been impressed by what I have read about them. Teensy company, one guy making the looms.only available used or directly from the company. Lots of stuff standard on these that are extras on other looms.</p>