Hello All,

   I have an opportunity to purchase a Leclerc Minerva loom - it's a 22" jack loom upgraded to 8 harnesses...not that I know what that means yet!   The same lady is also selling a 48" Macomber 8 harness loom.  Can anyone comment on which loom would be a better purchase for a new weaver?   So far I understand that the Minerva is best with finer yarns, the 22" wide yardage is smaller than the 48" wide fabric and that the Minerva would take up a lot less room than the Macomber...   Thanks in advance for whatever you can tell me:-)  


Joanne Hall

What is the price for each of these looms?  Are there accessories with them?  What do you want to weave?  Have you taken a weaving class?



Macombers are extremely sturdy, versatile looms that can do everything from thread weight to rag rags (or even double weave rag rugs).  For widths up to 48" and up to 20 harnesses I would say they are preferable to their countermarche equivalents if space is an issue because they take up much less space.  That said, tying many harnesses to one treadle and throwing the full 48" can take all one's weight and reach, and beyond that point countermarche looms may be easier for you to treadle unless you get power assist.

As big looms go, Macombers are quite compact.  A 48" Mac has the footprint of an upright piano.  If you are either young and vigorous or old and tough and tall (like me) I'd say go for the Macomber if all else is equal.  You'll outgrow the smaller loom and want to trade up.  There are great Mac support groups both here and on Ravelry.  You can always  get parts for Macombers.  If you are under 5' tall or weigh less than 95 lbs, you might have difficulty throwing 48" with 7 harnesses tied to an outside treadle on the Mac.

I've also gotten the complaint that my Macomber and I are noisy.  I've don't notice it, but the Mac is isolated in the laundry room because of noise, whereas my Schacht is allowed to watch TV with the family, and they complain about my spinning wheel making noise.  I think it's because when I'm doing rugs on the Macomber, I really beat them.  This might be a consideration for you, or not.


Hello Joanne,

   I offered $350 for the Minerva which I found out later would come with a bench, some books, reeds(?), shuttle and a few things I can't remember!  The weaver is trying to clear out her cottage before moving to a smaller assisted care space, so apparently I'm getting whatever she needed to weave with it...she's sending info by mail today.   The happy news is that it will fit into the minivan easily at 50 lbs and 32"x3"4x12":-)   The weaver has no idea what to charge me.   She asked me for a number - I found a Minerva for sale for $200 and one for $700.   I have to drive 9 hours to get it, so only offered the $350.  We haven't talked about a price for the Macomber.  I'm wondering what to offer for it after reading the next post!   I wonder if I could get the Macomber into a minivan?!?   The loom opportunity popped up before I was ready to weave...but it's on my list of stuff to do being a spinner, machine knitter, felter, sewer & all around fiber lover!   I took a backstrap loom weaving class with Laverne Shirlington a few months ago which was great.  Before that...only the tiny Weave-It looms a few years ago to dink around with and potholder looms from childhood!  Not exactly a great weaving resume!   I do have access to great weaving classes here in the Washington, DC metro area.   The Art League's weaving instructor is in my spinning circle.  Yeah!   I've even met Claudia of Weavolution here in Maryland thru spinning.   I belong to the Potomac Fiber Arts Guild which has an extensive fiber library and many weavers too.   So, I think I can get what I need locally once I get ahold of the loom.  If anyone has ideas on how to price the Macomber 48" 8 harness loom, feel free chime in!   I found a bunch of Macombers for sale on-line, but all indifferent widths and numbers of harnesses...   Decisions, decisions...   Things that I would like to weave include scarves, jackets, placemats, table runners and kitchen curtains.   I love intricately woven things in fine threads, but I'm not sure if my patience would hold out...   I have some sport weight handspun that might weave well too. 


Thanks mneligh,

   No problem!  I'm 5'3", rubenesque and I'm still chasing 3 kids around:-)   I hadn't given any thought to the physical demands of weaving, so thanks for pointing that out.   The museum where I demonstrate spinning has a floor loom, so I figured out that there would be noise.   My family groans about the knitting machines after bedtime unless I set up in the basement - also home to the laundry...  I'm cleaning wildly now to make space before going to pickup a loom on Monday.   Not much time to make a decision between the Minerva and the Macomber!  Any thoughts on a fair price range to offer for the Macomber?   It's starting to sound far tastier if I can manage to squeeze it into the Toyota Sienna minivan!  Any thoughts on that?!?  Thanks for weighing in:-)

Michael White

Both looms will keep you happy. But, unless there is a very large price difference why buy a 22" 4H loom when you can get a 48" 8H loom. Here are the sizes for your 48" 8H Mac: H 50" W 63" folded close 31" weight 325 pounds. I have moved a few Macs this size and larger in the back of the small S10 pickup. Price: some people really love their Mac and ask $1600 for a loom this size, others have sold their Macs, this size, for $450 or less depending on condition. I would ask the loom owner what they want and try working by way down from there.


Keeper of the Macomber group here and on Ravelry 

Joanne Hall

The Minerva is an excellent workshop size loom.  It fits into most any car and it is a nice loom to weave on.  If you plan to take classes or workshops where you will need to bring a loom, this is a good one to get.  Although not made any more, Leclerc supports their older looms with parts and instructions.



One loom is never enough!  I use the Macomber for the wide, heavy, long, weaves requiring > 8 harnesses, 2 different warp tensions, shaft switching, or ultra fine.  It does not travel.  I can warp and thread it faster than the Baby Wolf, especially long warps.

I have an 8 h Baby Wolf (26") for workshops and demos.  It lives in the back of the Subaru or in the living room in front of the TV. 

If I had to give one up it would be the BW, but life without both would be less.  Get both if you possibly can!


Hey mneligh, 

   I sense enabling of the highest order!   I wish I could get both loops, but I think I only want to make space for one at the moment.   Thank you for explaining the use of each of your looms.   I'm already learning from the forum lookng thru the various threads..much appreciated!   Thanks to all for patience with a newbie:-)

Vennui (not verified)

I have a Minerva loom that spends it time going to farmers market as a demonstrator from April to November . She is great for demos ,but I prefer to weave on a larger loom for comfort. I live alone so noise is usually not a problem. However , I was out in my studio and the neighbor came over to see what was making all the noise . Considering all the dragging around my Minerva has held up well. I did add rails for sectional warping on the back beam, so she doesn't fold as well as she use to. I would go with the larger loom, but you know yor situation .

tommye scanlin

I'd go for the Macomber, depending on price you are willing to pay.  I taught weaving at a university for many years.  Most of our looms there were Macomber.  They're fantastic "workhorses" and very easy to fix, if anything gets out of whack.  I've owned Macombers before, myself.  Had sold them all when I moved to tapestry weaving.  However, I've recently purchased a 40" Macomber to add back to the studio.  It was bought from a friend.  And that brings up a point... I think all the looms I currently own are previously owned looms.  I have purchased new looms in the past--and have now passed those on to others.  I've found that the looms I've bought used have all been in good condition.  I've bought a several tapestry looms, sight unseen.  And haven't been disappointed.  

So... long-winded way to say... I'd recommend the larger Macomber loom unless you specifically want one to have a loom that you'll be able to take to a workshop or demo.



I'm considering a baby Mac and it sounded noisy to me ?. I understand it is a good choice but I'm concerned and the 'rattle'

Is this a concern for most people?


Like many jack looms, the Baby does tend to be  noisy.  If that is a problem, I would suggest a CB or CM loom.  As you can see from the discussion above, the Baby is designed to be easily portable, and sacrifices quite a bit to achieve that.  The shafts are very close together and tend to catch on each other.  Macomber makes a small loom besides the Baby that would be a better choice if you are looking for a small loom but don't need portability.