Schacht Cricket Rigid Heddle Loom Review

Schacht Cricket Rigid Heddle Loom Review

When you are looking for a loom the sheer amount of options can be a bit overwhelming. Once you have landed on a rigid heddle loom your options are more pointed, but still plenty!

Options for rigid heddle looms start inexpensive and go up and up depending on size, capabilities, and options.

The cricket rigid heddle loom by Schacht is a great beginner-friendly rigid heddle loom from a very reliable company.

I did some other reviews on rigid heddle looms that you can also check out!

Schacht Flip Folding rigid heddle loom review

Ashford rigid heddle loom review

Now, let’s hop into the Schacht Cricket rigid heddle loom review! (Totally not sorry)

This page may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through these links then I will receive a small commission – at no extra cost to you! Please read our DISCLAIMER for more info. Thanks for the support!

Assembling your Cricket loom

Schacht cricket rigid heddle loom in the box

First impressions of the Schacht Cricket rigid heddle loom are good! The box it is in is attractive with a bright and clear image of the loom you are about to start your new weaving obsession on.

Inside the box is almost everything you need to assemble your loom and get started weaving. There are a few extra things you will need, but you should have these already laying around your house. You will need a pair of scissors for cutting some of the plastic holding the front and back beam together, a screwdriver for assembly, and a rubber mallet to insert the handles. 

The assembly itself is straightforward and simple to do. Your loom should come together in no time even if you have never put together a loom before. (I imagine most people do not have experience putting together different looms as I do!)

Helpfully, the cricket comes with full-color assembly instructions for you to follow.

There were a few kinks though that you should be aware of. 

Starting off in the first step, you are attaching your front and back beams to the sides of your loom. This is a bit awkward to do when you first start since the sides do not stand on their own.

Nothing to be worried about though. 

The attaching of the beams, on the other hand, is a bit of a struggle as the screws are very tight. It took a decent amount of strength and more time than I would have imagined to screw into the beams and get the loom standing up straight. 

That being said, it was completely doable and all of the other screws on the loom went in with no issue!

Schacht cricket rigid heddle loom screwing issues

The second trouble spot that I had when assembling the loom was inserting the handles into the ratchet beams. The first one slid into place like butter! The second handle, though, was very tight and required using a rubber mallet to bang it into place. The instructions mention you may have to hammer lightly, but “lightly” just would not be enough. Instead, hammer carefully, but with some force.

An important thing to keep in mind: if you need to hammer your handle into place, make sure that the screw hole on the handle and the hole on the beam are lined up before you start to hammer it into place.

These holes correspond to small screws that will hold everything in place. If the holes do not match up then you have 2 options. First option is to hammer the handle back out and try again! This is not ideal. The other option would be to screw into the wood and not the pre-drilled hole – also not ideal.

So just make sure they are in line to begin with and there will be no issues!

Overall, though, the process was pretty fast and easy.

Schacht cricket rigid heddle loom handle constuction issues

Keeping costs low

Schacht cricket rigid heddle loom unfinished

Having your loom come unassembled may not be ideal for some people, but the assembly is simple and helps to keep costs low. This is because not only do you have to do some of the work, but it means the box that ships is also smaller. Smaller box = less cost to ship.

Not only is the Schacht Cricket rigid heddle loom unassembled when you buy it, but it is also unfinished. 

This gives you the option to stain and seal the Cricket loom in any color that you want. This would add to the time it takes to get you started weaving, but it will also protect your loom and make it last for a long time into the future!

You do have the option of not finishing the loom at all and instead just assembling the loom as-is (like I did). Just note that the loom is not protected from any water damage or humidity – so keep it in an air-conditioned space and away from your water cup!

What the loom comes with

Schacht cricket rigid heddle loom parts

The Schacht Cricket really is a great beginner loom because after you put it together you have everything you need to start on your first project!

Inside the box is a warping peg, 2 table clamps for warping, an 8 dent heddle, heddle hook, 2 skeins of wool yarn, and 2 flat shuttles. My loom came with blue and purple, but the website says colors may vary.

The Cricket comes in 2 different weaving widths – 10 inch and 15 inch and both looms have a weaving depth of only 18 inches. This depth is on the shorter side of the other rigid heddle looms I have used so even though it does not fold, it will take up a little less space than some others. It actually takes about the same amount of space as my Schacht flip folding loom when it is folded!

Schacht cricket and flip loom (folded) side by side

The depth behind the heddle is much smaller than the depth behind the heddle on the Schacht Flip. To make up for this shallower depth the Cricket has two beams instead of only 1. This means there is still plenty of space for your weaving on the cloth beam and the warp beam.

This second beam also makes sure that your weaving surface is flat and not angled. (The Flip has a similar feature.) While this may not be an issue to you, it is something you may want to consider when it comes to how you want to weave.

While there is plenty of space to warp your loom despite the shallow depth behind the heddle, a little more room would make it a bit easier. Definitely not a reason to not purchase this loom, just something to keep in mind!

Schacht cricket and flip looms side by side

Weaving with the Cricket loom

Weaving with the Schacht Cricket is pretty straightforward and the heddle moves into all positions easily. This loom has a small depth behind the heddle, but more than enough weaving space in front of it. This means that you have a smaller loom but you will not have to advance your warp constantly.

One of the things that I really appreciate about Schacht rigid heddle looms is their cog and ratchet system. There is very little plastic on the entire loom and instead, the handles are made of the same wood as the rest of the loom. This gives the loom a really good quality feel despite its budget position in the Schacht loom lineup.

The Cricket also uses Texsolv cords to hold the apron bar in place. These are great because they will last a lot longer than stiff plastic like those found on the Ashford rigid heddle loom.

Need help planning your weaving project? Stuck trying to figure out how much yarn you need? What the h&^$ is WPI? Check out my e-book!

Who is the Cricket loom for?

The Cricket loom was literally made for beginner rigid heddle weavers to get their feet wet in the rigid heddle weaving world. If you are a fan of Schacht looms then this is a really good option to get you started.

This loom is also compact and portable so even though it does not fold like its older sibling the Flip folding loom, it is still good on the go!

If you are looking for a loom that will grow with you, though, then the Flip is a better option because it has a built-in space for a second heddle. This allows you to weave more intricate patterns and double weave. That being said, the Cricket has plenty of possibilities with plain weave and pick-up patterns that can occupy you for a while.

Learn more about pick-up patterns for the rigid heddle loom here.

Learn more about plain weave patterns here.

Schacht cricket rigid heddle loom with weaving

While the Cricket loom comes with everything you need to get started (even yarn!) there are other accessories made for the loom that you can purchase to get even more out of it.

Cricket loom stand

Extra rigid heddles

Cricket loom bag

So overall, the Cricket is a great starter loom or loom for weavers that are looking for something to get started weaving longer pieces on a budget!

You can get the Schacht Cricket rigid heddle loom and accessories on the Woolery!

Ashford Rigid Heddle Loom Review

Ashford Rigid Heddle Loom Review

Figuring out what loom is right for you is not always the simplest task. There are so many options – some of which do not even seem that different. I know you do not want to spend money on a loom (or any tool) that is not going to work for you in the long run. I do not want that either!

This goes for pretty much everything but today it especially relates to rigid heddle looms and especially the Ashford rigid heddle loom. So since you can not really try before you buy – a review is the next best thing!

This page may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through these links then I will receive a small commission – at no extra cost to you! Please read our DISCLAIMER for more info. Thanks for the support!

First thoughts on the Ashford rigid heddle loom

Ashford rigid heddle loom with scarf in progress

Get The Ashford Rigid Heddle Loom On The Woolery

Ashford is a great company that makes many different types of weaving and fiber art tools. So when it comes to rigid heddle looms I was excited to get to try out their “mid-tier” option.

I am not sure they think of their looms in tiers, but they do have 3 rigid heddle loom options, and the simply named Ashford rigid heddle loom falls right in the middle cost-wise. Their other options are the SampleIt loom (a simple and less expensive rigid heddle loom) and the Knitter’s loom (a foldable rigid heddle loom.)

You can think of this loom as the goldilocks option.

Just right.

Let’s look at some of the loom stats:

The Ashford rigid heddle loom comes in 16″, 24″, 32″, and 48″ inch weaving width options, and they all ship with a 7.5 dent reed.

The smallest loom available to purchase (the 16″ weaving width option) is a total of 20″ wide and 24″ deep.

Assembling the rigid heddle loom

Ashford rigid heddle loom in box

Not all rigid heddle looms need to be assembled when you receive them, but it is not an uncommon occurrence. This makes them less expensive and easier to ship. The Ashford rigid heddle loom is no different. 

When you order your loom it will come in a long skinny box with the Ashford logo all over it. It sort of feels like a simply wrapped present and who does not like to open presents?!?

Purchasing a loom that is not already constructed has its own pros and cons depending on who you are talking to.

For one, smaller boxes are easier to ship because they will take up less space in the truck they are traveling on. While the weight will not really change, the size can make a difference. 

Beyond the loom, in the box, you will also find 2 flat shuttles, a warping peg, and a booklet with information on how to warp your new loom.

If you are in need of more shuttles or other rigid heddle loom accessories you can get those HERE.

Ashford rigid heddle loom

Another plus for purchasing an unfinished loom is that you get to finish it yourself. Right out of the box the wood pieces are unstained and unpolished. This gives you the opportunity to make it any color that you want. This may or may not be important to you, but if you want a darker loom (as most rigid heddle looms are made with lighter wood) then this can be a great option.

The unfinished wood can also be a big drawback if you are not into that sort of thing.

If you are looking for a loom that does not need a lot of extra work then I recommend checking out my review on the Schacht Flip Folding rigid heddle loom.

While your loom does not need to be finished to work, it is a good idea to finish your loom if you want it to last as long as it can. Staining and waxing your wood will protect it better from humidity and other moisture.

As far as constructing your loom, the process is relatively simple! The Ashford loom comes with a great instruction booklet with images and directions. There were only a few times that the booklet seemed to fail me and it took me a little bit of time to figure out how to do the next task.

Let’s go over those instances:

The pin

Ashford rigid heddle loom pin and pawl

When you are assembling your loom and you get to the part where you are supposed to attach the pawls to the sides of the loom – do not follow the manufacturer’s instructions. 


The picture in the instructions shows the pin sitting in the middle of the pawl on the edge side. Instead, the pin should be in the middle of the pawl towards the middle of the loom. If you put the pawl on this first way, it will not contact the cog correctly. 

Trust me. I tried it.

Using wax

using wax to lubricate weaving roller

The instructions for putting together your loom mention that you will need some candle wax. 

It mentions this in multiple places, but I mostly only used it to lubricate the front and back rollers so that they will turn smoother. 

When you get your loom it includes a square of sandpaper in case you need to smooth out any rough parts. I really wish it had also included a small bit of wax as well. I ended up breaking a small tea light candle in order to get some wax to use. If you do not have a candle you want to destroy then this could be quite an annoying part of the process.

You can use this wax for the other parts of the assembly process as directed. It might make it easier to screw your pieces together, but it also is not necessary.

What I like about the Ashford rigid heddle loom

Ashford rigid heddle loom down position

One of my favorite things about this loom is the satisfying way that the heddle slips into place.

Every time I put the heddle back into one of its stationary spots it always slid in smoothly. Especially the down position. The way that the block that holds the heddle is made allows an audible and pleasing pop as it goes into position.

This may sound like a small thing, but it really did make it a pleasure to weave on. Sometimes it is small things like this that can really make or break a loom. 

If your loom is not a pleasure to weave on, then why would you weave on it?

The smoothness of this movement is especially surprising to me considering the wood was still unfinished. This tells me that despite being unfinished – the wood was prepared well from the factory.

Despite its slightly lower price tag, the Ashford loom is not a loom that can only be used by beginners. It can definitely be used for beginners, but it also has the ability to grow with the weaver and their abilities and desires to weave more intricate things. 

Ashford rigid heddle loom double heddle block

This is all because this loom comes with a built-in spot for a second heddle! Unlike a true beginner rigid heddle loom, the only thing this loom needs to make more complicated weavings is a second heddle. 

You can get extra Ashford rigid heddles HERE.

Another really great thing that the Ashford loom has is the ability to add an extended “freedom roller”. This roller allows you to weave with thicker yarns and weave longer weavings. Disclaimer: I have not tried out this roller so I cannot speak to the ease of adding it on or using it, but I love that it has the option.

You can get the Ashford freedom roller HERE.

Cons of the Ashford rigid heddle loom

Personally, I like a loom with a bit less work on the front end. While it was not hard to assemble, I would have rather had it ready to go (or almost ready) right out of the box. 

I am impatient.

The biggest con for me is the fact that the wood is unfinished. I know that I mentioned earlier that this could be a big pro for some people, but I am not one of them.

If you really want to put your loom together right then you really should be finishing it first. Taking the time to stain your loom also involves waiting for it to dry and possibly giving it another coat. Beyond that, you will probably also want to finish it off with some polish or wax. 

This is something I just do not have time for.

That being said, that is completely subjective and you should make your own decision about how much work you want to have to put into your loom before you can use it.

The second con that I have with this loom is the pawl just does not work as well as I would like. When I go to pull back the pawl to let off the tension and advance my warp you have to be very careful not to pull too hard. If you do then it will pop the pawl out of place and make it no longer effective. The only way to fix this is to push it back into place, but every time I have had to do this (it has been many times) it feels like you are going to break it.

That being said, if you are gentler than I am then it is possible this would not be an issue!

Lastly, this loom has a lot of plastic. Notably, instead of using chords to attach the warp rods to the front and back beams, the Ashford rigid heddle loom uses plastic connectors. While these work the exact same way, there is no reason that I can think of that warrants them being made of plastic.

Who this loom is for

If you are looking for a reasonably priced loom that you want to make your own then this is a great loom for you. While it is not the least expensive rigid heddle loom option, it is one of the least expensive with room to grow. You can use this loom both as a beginner and a more advanced weaver with no issues moving through your weaving journey.

Basically, the Ashford rigid heddle loom is a great loom that was relatively simple to put together, offers room for growth, and is worth the price.

Floor Loom Maintenance Guide

Floor Loom Maintenance Guide

A loom – if taken care of properly – will outlive you. 

I remember the first time that I heard that and realized that it was true. 

Think about it.

There are historic looms that still work and are used every day. I took a tour of Tessitura Bevilaqua in Venice, Italy in May 2018 and I got to walk through the rows of historic jacquard looms from the 18th century that is still being used today to create yards of exquisite velvets. (Learn more about velvets and other pile weaves)

I digress a little, but it really is quite astonishing seeing these looms still working and being used.

That being said, these looms did not just survive all on their own. Instead, they are lovingly tended to and taken care of.

For the most part, I am talking about maintenance of your floor loom, but some of the principles can also apply to table looms, rigid heddle looms, and possibly even frame looms.

Just think about your loom being passed down in your family for centuries, let’s make that happen!

This page may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through these links then I will receive a small commission – at no extra cost to you! Please read our DISCLAIMER for more info. Thanks for the support!

Humidity and your loom

Humidity is the enemy of your loom.

Since your loom is mostly made from wood, a lot of humidity can and will warp your loom.

I have seen it happen and dealing with a warped harness on your loom is frustrating, to say the least.

Depending on the style loom you have this can make it so your harnesses stick and do not open and close your shed smoothly. This makes it so your weaving flow is disrupted and you have to manually fix your harnesses before moving on.

Then you have to do it again.

… and again.

A loom with fully wooden harnesses and tracks will be the most prone to issues like this, but any loom will suffer from humidity.

If at all possible you want to make sure that your studio is in a place with adequate air conditioning to keep this from happening. A dehumidifier might also be a good investment if you do not have access to an area like this or you live in a place where you want to keep your windows open often and humidity can sneak in.

Loom rust

Rust happens.

Unfortunately, rust will rub off of your loom and onto your yarn.

I do not think I need to tell you that you do not want that.

If your loom parts start to get rusty or you have bought a previously used loom that has rust on it then you should clean this off before starting to weave on it.

While you can use a dedicated rust remover (like Barkeepers Friend – my personal preference) to do this, you can also use straight white vinegar and either sandpaper or steel wool. If you go the vinegar and sandpaper route then just know it requires extra scrubbing.

Either way, make sure to do it outside and I recommend doing it in an area where you do not have grass you are trying to grow! The image above shows moss, but I assure you no moss was harmed.

I also recommend wearing gloves while doing this. I worked on my loom parts over multiple days and on the first day I did not wear gloves. My nails were not happy.

How to get rid of rust on your loom with vinegar

First, separate the rusted metal from your loom if you can – detach rods, set aside your reed, or remove ratchets if possible. One option would be to soak these pieces in vinegar by submerging them completely and letting them sit. You would then need to either rub off the rust or use something abrasive to scrub it off. You then need to dry it off as soon as possible so it does not rust again.

This can work depending on what parts of your loom you are working on.

It may not be necessary to soak your metal pieces though and you may be able to just get away with scrubbing them with vinegar. This works really well for pieces like your loom rods that are smooth. Dip your steel wool in white vinegar and scrub! Just like above, make sure to wipe down and dry all the metal so it does not re-rust.

The best thing to do is to dry as you go.

For your loom reed, it can be more difficult and time-consuming. Since the reed has many dents in it that will probably have rust on every side, you will need to spend more time working on each dent individually.

It can be tempting to try to just scrub it all together but trust me, it does not work that well. The steel wool does not get into the dents well enough to scrub the rust off of the middle of each metal bar. You may get a good amount off of each side, but you will still have to go back and individually work on each dent.

I have found that using 600 grit sandpaper and dipping it in white vinegar works well to work on each dent. The most important thing to remember, though, is to dry each dent off after you have finished scrubbing it.

I know that this is the third time I have said that, but it is important. Ask me how I know…

Since rust is caused by the mixture of oxygen and water on metal, the longer the metal stays wet, the more likely it is to redevelop rust. Keeping a rag or paper towel nearby to wipe down as you go will make things a lot easier.

Once you are completely finished you should seal your metal to keep it free from rust in the future. You can do this by using any machine/ metal oil that you can find. I used sewing machine oil because I knew it would be safe for my yarn even after it dried.

If you do not mind using an aerosol then you can also use wd-40 silicone spray, just remember that it is flammable and to dispose of any rags properly. The spray will be simpler than oiling your reed manually, so just choose the option that is right for you.

If your reed had tape on it at the top and bottom that comes off, then you can re-wrap it with either duct tape or cloth tape. Feel free to have fun with this! Use a fun tape to liven up your reed and make it unique to you. Or go with something neutral if you want it to blend into the rest of your loom. There are no rules here.

If you use duct tape, then it will probably be just wider than you need. In this case, use an X-acto knife or utility knife to trim any excess after placing it on your reed.

floor loom reed cleaned of rust with duct tape on edges

How to clean rust off your loom with Barkeepers Friend

The idea behind this is very similar to using vinegar and sandpaper, but it works a little bit faster!

Don’t get me wrong, this still requires scrubbing… just less scrubbing.

For this option, you will want to use a soft rag or a durable paper towel, the Barkeepers Friend, and water.

Create a paste and rub it over any rusted spots. For your reed, you may have to use smaller pieces of rag or paper towel to get between all of your dents. Just like with vinegar, you will want to rinse and dry as you go – plus apply either wd-40 or sewing machine oil to discourage future rust.

Yarn fuzz and dust

Probably the most regular loom maintenance that you will need to do is dusting. Like most furniture, your loom is prone to collecting dust over time. This is made even worse by the yarn fuzz that will accumulate on your loom as well. Every time your yarn rubs against your heddles or your reed, it could be leaving some fibers behind.

You will want to dust your loom on a regular basis. Make sure to focus on the area around your harnesses and reed, but really make sure to dust it all over. This will keep it good for general use.

When it is time for a deep clean of your loom then you will actually want to use a vacuum to get to those hard-to-reach areas. Mostly, your lamms or anything underneath the loom that does not actually get touched often.

Those areas will be the worst.

I like to use a microfiber duster for this!

I like to dust off my loom between projects. This is just a good way to remember to do it. If you make it a part of your warping process, it will always get done.

Oil/ Grease moving parts

With so many moving parts on your loom, it is easy to see how eventually you might have to give it more than a little elbow grease. Instead, if parts start to stick or creak you may need to apply some actual grease made specifically for your loom to keep things moving.

This should not be something you have to do often, but it is good to keep in mind for the future if something starts acting up. A little goes a long way when it comes to the grease so do not be too heavy-handed.

Likewise, If you have an unfinished loom (some rigid heddle looms come unfinished) then applying a wax polish can help to keep the wood in good shape. This is not something you will need to do right away, but sooner is better than later.

You can check out The Woolery for loom grease, oils, and waxes.

Check apron strings/ harness system

While the loom itself can probably stand the test of time, there are some parts to your loom that you will probably have to replace at some point.

Pretty much anything that is not wood, metal, or plastic could deteriorate and this is pretty normal with wear and tear. Both the manufacturers and sites like The Woolery sell replacement parts for looms that you can usually replace pretty easily.

Your apron strings, some treadle ties, string heddles, and pulley systems may need replacing even if you take good care of your loom. This is just due to the normal wear and tear of them moving and working.

When you do your routine dusting and/or whenever you warp your loom make sure to do a check on these parts. The last thing you want is to be ready to weave and you are held up because of broken parts!

Check Out The Woolery For Loom Parts & More!

Tidy up your floor loom

The simplest bit of loom maintenance that you can do is to just keep it tidy.

If you are like me then after finishing a weaving, your loom looks a bit… messy.

Not only does tidying up your loom just make things look better, but it also allows you to get in there and dust more, add scraps to your scrap jar and find things you probably lost.


Get your loom ready for your next weaving and start fresh!

I hate cleaning, but I always feel better after it is done. Starting with a fresh and clean loom is a great way to clear your head and put everything into the next weaving project.

Find out what you can do with your yarn scraps!

Loom maintenance is important for the health of your loom. If you want to keep your loom around to pass on to future generations or just want to make sure it is always in top shape for your own weaving, then it is good to show it a little love now and then.

Choosing The Right Mix Of Looms For Your Goals

Choosing The Right Mix Of Looms For Your Goals

Having more than one loom is not a necessity to be a weaver.

The only thing you need to be a weaver is a desire to weave and access to a loom and other materials.

If you are lucky enough to have your own studio, then you might be wondering which type of loom you should get and whether or not you should get more than one. Choosing a loom (or looms!) doesn’t have to be complicated and really just depends on what you want to weave and where you want to weave it.

So first: Why would you want more than one loom?

You might not.

But having more looms gives you some options to weave more and keep your weaving momentum. You can create a weaving loom collection that compliments your weaving goals.

So before we get into having more than one loom, let’s first go over looms in general.

Quick loom type comparison

choosing the right mix of weaving looms

I will not be going over every type of each loom. There are just too many! Instead, I will be talking generally about floor looms, frame looms, and rigid heddle looms.

*And a quick note that when I talk about floor looms, the same things usually go for table looms. They work very similarly – I just use floor looms and not table looms.

For a more in-depth comparison between floor looms and rigid heddle looms go HERE.

For information on the different types of frame looms go HERE.

This post is not meant to be a versus post. Instead, it is about making your looms work together and getting the most out of your tools.

Floor looms

choosing a loom floor loom

There are many different types of floor looms, but they all basically do the same thing. They utilize their mechanics to make longer and more complicated weavings. 

One of the biggest features of floor looms is their ability to have advancing warps. This means that you can create longer projects. If you are looking to create yardage* then this is an option that you will want in your studio because their warp capacity, as well as the finished weaving capacity, is much larger than your other options.

*Yardage is woven fabric that is meant to be sewn and used to create textiles like clothing or curtains.

Due to the loom’s ability to raise your warp in different patterns – more complex weavings become simpler to do. You are not required to pick each individual warp to create your own shed. All you are required to do is remember which treadle to step on and in what order.

If you are looking to create a complex pattern weaving then a floor loom is your best option.

When you are looking to weave tapestry you can usually use a floor loom with no issues. Keep in mind that some floor looms are not ideal for tapestry, but most should be able to hold a tight enough tension. High warp looms (those with warp that is perpendicular to the floor) are great for tapestry, but low warp looms (warp parallel to the floor) are a bit controversial for tapestry. As long as it can hold a tight enough tension, though, you should not have any issues.

You can learn more about warp tension HERE.

Another distinguishing feature of floor looms is that their beater is rigid. This means that unlike rigid heddle looms, the beater only moves backward and forward. This makes the weaving process a little more streamlined. This may not be an issue for you at all, but if you want a beater that beats evenly every time with little effort – floor looms are a great choice.

Rigid heddle looms

choosing a loom rigid heddle loom

Like floor looms, rigid heddle looms can weave longer weavings. Generally, they are not as wide, though, so they are not usually used for yardage. This is also because they hold less warp than a floor loom. Don’t worry, their advancing warp still makes them great for longer weavings like scarves or multiple sets of towels. 

One of their (arguably) best features is that they are very simple and efficient to warp. If you are wanting to weave something long, but you don’t want the set-up to take a long time – then these are a great option.

Since they are so easily warped, rigid heddle looms also make great sample looms. If you want to create a long sample (like the one for plain weave patterns) then it is simpler on a rigid heddle loom as opposed to a floor loom.

Just like floor looms, rigid heddle looms also have the ability to create a shed. The shed makes weaving faster because you do not have to weave over and under manually.

Smaller than floor looms, rigid heddle looms also have the ability to be portable. Some are more portable than others (see my review on the Schacht Flip Folding Rigid Heddle Loom), but for the most part, most could be taken with you while traveling or to a workshop.

Frame looms

choosing a loom frame looms

With the many different types of frame looms they can all be better at different things. Generally speaking, frame looms are the best for weaving on the go. They are the most compact loom option and most of the time can fit in a bag or luggage. 

Since they are the smallest option, they are also perfect for weaving smaller projects. (Makes sense.)

A big feature of frame looms is they have much less warp waste. If you were to weave something small on a floor loom then you will be using more yarn than you need to. This makes them a really good choice for samples or just trying out new techniques. It also takes less work to get them set up so you do not waste time warping a loom for something that may not even work!

With frame looms usually having fewer moving parts, they are generally better suited for simpler weavings. Any complex patterns that you want to weave will need to be picked by hand. This does not make these patterns impossible – just more work.

Tapestry is a great option for frame looms since you are able to get really good tension on them. Also, since tapestry is only plain weave, the frame looms tendency towards simpler weaving structures is not an issue here.

Figure out what you want to weave

The most important thing to do when determining what loom or looms you need in your studio is knowing what you want to weave. As discussed above, each loom has its own areas where they excel.

So what should you do?

Sit down and write out what you want to make.

If you are only looking to create small tapestries, there is no need to purchase a rigid heddle loom, but a frame loom would be perfect. You could then consider a floor loom as well in the future to create larger tapestries.

Wanting to only weave scarves? Then a frame loom does not necessarily make sense. (Unless you want to make samples.) A rigid heddle loom would be perfect and a floor loom would help you make multiple scarves with the same warp.

Read more about getting more weavings out of your warp HERE.

You can also consider a checklist like the one I made below.

choosing a loom checklist

Keep your budget in mind

Budget might be one of the most important things to think about when purchasing one loom or more. Frame looms are mostly inexpensive and can probably be added to your studio for not much of an investment. So if you are thinking of adding a second loom, they might be your best option. Especially if you go for something as budget-friendly as a simple frame loom. 

Learn more about simple frame looms HERE.

If you have a specific budget, but you really want to weave yardage or complicated pieces then you might be best off saving up for your floor loom. If those things are not what you are hoping to make, you may consider a rigid heddle loom for longer weavings and a frame loom for small weavings, samples, and weaving on the go.

Utilizing more than one loom at a time

If you have the ability, having more than one loom is a great option for your studio. This way you can be weaving different things at the same time!

This is a great option if you tend to get bored of projects easily (especially those that take awhile.) If you have more looms then you can take a break from one project to work on another.

You could also try some things out on your second loom to see if it works instead of on your main project. This is a great choice if you are unsure if something is going to work out. Try it out on a sample and if it does not work? It’s ok because you do not have to un-weave it – just try something else.

Honestly, with how inexpensive simple frame looms are (you can just upcycle a picture frame) they make the perfect first, second, or third loom for your studio.

Just use your checklist for choosing a loom from there!

What is your preferred mix of looms? Let me know!


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Schacht Flip Folding Rigid Heddle Loom Review

Schacht Flip Folding Rigid Heddle Loom Review

Weaving and traveling are two things that actually go hand in hand quite often. While floor looms are big and heavy, your other options of frame looms or rigid heddle looms can allow you to get outside your studio and weave in the world. The Schacht flip folding rigid heddle loom is a great option for those who want the ability to weave larger pieces but the ability to do that wherever their life takes them.

The Schacht flip loom has a very special feature that I talk more about later, but essentially it folds in half for travel or storage. It actually comes folded in half during shipping so it gives you a good idea right out of the box just how compact and travel-friendly it can be.

While there are other folding rigid heddle looms, this one also has some other things going for it.

This page may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through these links then I will receive a small commission – at no extra cost to you! Please read our DISCLAIMER for more info. Thanks for the support!

Schacht Flip Loom Stats

First, the Schacht Flip Folding Rigid Heddle Loom is a great-looking loom with its wood gears and finished wood. The flip loom has a low profile which aids in its portability and ability to be folded.

It comes in 15, 20, 25, and 30-inch options. These are the weaving width and not the total width of the loom itself. The loom that I have is the 15-inch version and is great for scarves, towels, and other similar woven projects.

The smallest version available to purchase is the 15-inch weaving width loom. This loom is a total of 20 inches wide. When fully flat, the loom is 28.5inches long, but when folded it is only 18 inches. With the heddle in the highest position, it reaches 7 inches tall (6 inches when folded) and weighs 6.5 lbs.

How to put it together

schacht flip folding rigid heddle loom out of the box

This loom is almost ready to go right away!

Unlike some rigid heddle looms that you can buy, there is very little assembly required.

An unfinished and un-assembled loom means they are less expensive, but also means they require work to get started. With the Schacht flip loom there is no finishing required because the wood is already finished and smooth. No worrying about any yarn catching on rough spots!

The only part of the loom the requires your input to get started is attaching the apron strings and rods. The apron strings that come with the loom are not solid strings, but instead, have holes up and down the length of the string. This is how you attach the different rods to the loom.

Initially, the loop that you have to create to attach the apron rod is a little confusing from the diagram in the manual, but it is really pretty simple.

First, you want to attach the strings to the smaller rod all at once. Place the rod in a hole towards the end of each of the three apron strings. Then place the string through the 3 holes in the front or back beam. (pictured above in the last panel)

For each of the three apron strings – fold the other end and locate the second to last hole. Try to open this up as much as you can and then bring your folded end through the hole. The loop that is created will go around the larger dowel rod. (see images below)

What it comes with

schacht flip folding rigid heddle loom instructions

The Schacht flip folding rigid heddle loom (such a long name!) comes with almost everything that you need to start weaving right away. The only other thing that you will need is yarn and a pair of scissors.

When you buy this loom you get:

  •     Your loom! ( I would hope so!)
  •     2 flat shuttles
  •     Warping peg and clamp
  •     2 table clamps
  •     Heddle hook
  •     10 dent reed
  •     Instruction manual

schacht flip folding rigid heddle loom clamps

Optional accessories

While you get everything that you need (minus yarn) to start weaving, there may be other things that you will want.    

  • Stand – can be used for both the flip loom and the Schacht tapestry loom. This stand has an adjustable angle so you can find whatever position is most comfortable. This is a great option if you don’t want or have the space to rest your loom against a table and your lap.
  • Extra heddles 5,8,10,12 – extra heddles are great to expand your possibilities with your loom. Get a different dent heddle for more EPI options or grab a second of the same dent if you want to weave with 2 heddles at a time.
  • Variable dent heddles – these allow you to have different EPI’s in the same weaving! They could be fun if you want to play with weaving with different densities.
  • Carrying bag – this bag fits any size flip loom and has pockets for all your accessories.

What it does differently

schacht flip folding rigid heddle loom folded

One of the biggest selling points of the flip loom is that it flips!

Well actually, it folds – and it folds quickly.

You can take your Schacht flip loom from ready to weave to ready to leave in less than a minute. This makes it a great choice for anyone that will be traveling with their weaving and wants to create longer pieces than would be possible on a frame loom. 

The flip loom would be great for keeping in an RV, taking on a road trip, or even just a trip to the park. If you are going to be traveling with it often then a carrying bag (official or not) could be a great addition to keep your warp clean and all of your tools and supplies in one place. 

One of my favorite things about this loom is that it does not have to be empty to go into travel mode. In fact, it can be folded with your warp still on the loom! This makes it an ideal travel companion.

How to fold your loom

To fold your loom for travel you have to first take a little bit of tension off of your warp. Do this by unclasping your ratchet briefly and turning the knob to loosen the warp a click or 2 (not all the way!) Make sure to re-clasp the ratchet before going on.

Lay your heddle flat so that the bottom of the heddle is wedged into your neutral position slot. Unscrew your side lock knob just enough to allow it to fold and loosen the T-knob. 

Fold your loom in half! If there is resistance then STOP and make sure your knobs are loosened enough and/or check to see if you need to let off more tension from your warp. Your loom should fold very easily with no resistance.

Once folded – if there is any slack in your warp then tighten it up just slightly so that it doesn’t move around during travel. Your heddle and everything should stay in place!

To put it back in weaving position, just do the opposite – making sure to loosen your warp before trying to flip it back. This will help to make sure your warp doesn’t get put under unneeded stress.

Tighten all your knobs and start weaving.

Flat weaving surface

schacht flip folding rigid heddle loom flat weaving surface

One other great feature of the Schacht Flip Loom is the ledge featured at the front of the loom. This simple addition makes it so that your warp plane is parallel to the loom and not at an angle. This makes a better weaving surface to work off of since it does not go directly onto the cloth beam. Without this ledge, your woven fabric would be at an angle so this makes it more like using a floor loom or table loom.

Need help planning your weaving project? Stuck trying to figure out how much yarn you need? What the h&^$ is WPI? Check out my e-book!

Built-in second heddle option

One of the other big attractions of the Schacht flip rigid heddle loom is the built-in slot for a second heddle. 

While some looms have kits that allow you to add on a second heddle, this loom is ready from the beginning. The only thing that you will need is a second heddle!

Having 2 heddles to work with makes your rigid heddle weaving options expand greatly. You will be able to easily weave patterns and do basically everything you could do on a 4 harness floor or table loom.

Quirks & Tips

schacht flip folding rigid heddle loom heddle positions

While not everything is perfect, I still would not say that this quirk is a negative but instead part of the learning curve.

Initially, it can be a little confusing to figure out how to create your down shed on your loom. There is not a specific slot or area that intuitively would house your heddle in that position. Luckily, it is actually very easy to get your down shed once you know where to look!

The area of your loom that has your heddle slots has a smooth and slightly rounded lower edge where the loom folds in half. This is where your heddle goes for your down shed. Even though this may not be immediately intuitive – the rounded edge makes it an easy transition. Since the loom is slightly raised due to the legs at the back, there is actually plenty of space to move the heddle to each position.

A really simple but helpful tip is to keep the brown paper that your heddle comes wrapped in.

That might sound weird, but this can be a great warp separator for use around your back beam!

Most of the time you may use craft paper or paper strips to separate your warp, so you might as well save this free (included) paper to use. If you need more or you are ready to replace your paper from a lot of use, you can always cut up a paper bag from the grocery store for another good option.

Who the Schacht flip rigid heddle loom is for

Everyone weaves differently and no one loom will be great for all weavers.

But, if you are the kind of weaver that likes to travel and really likes options then this is a great loom for you. 

While portable weaving is simple to do with a frame loom, if you want to weave something a little bigger then this will work well. You also have the option to either weave simply with your single heddle or add on a second heddle to expand your options.

I recommend bringing this loom with you wherever you go and so you always have a way to get out your creative thoughts.

You can purchase the Schacht Flip Folding Rigid Heddle Loom on the Woolery!

Floor Loom or Rigid Heddle Loom?

Floor Loom or Rigid Heddle Loom?

Buying a loom can be a really big deal when setting up and furnishing your studio. A loom is not a small purchase so it is understandable to not want to make your purchase half-heartedly. 

Once you decide on what general type of loom you want, you then have so many more options to choose from. Just in the floor loom category there are multiple types of floor looms that are all better or worse at certain things. So this is a general post to get you started going in the right direction. 

It can be tempting to wait it out for your perfect loom to go on sale or find one in good enough condition that is close to you to buy second-hand. There is nothing wrong with waiting, but if finding your perfect loom is keeping you from starting your weaving journey, then you might consider a different loom to just get you going.

One thing to note though, and this is a rule that I follow in more than just my studio, the loom that gets you started is the perfect loom for you at that time.

Floor Loom Pros

Floor loom harnesses and shed

First, let’s briefly talk about what defines a floor loom. 

A floor loom is a type of loom with its base on the floor. These looms have foot peddles (treadles) that move the harnesses up and down to create a shed. Floor looms have separate heddles, beaters, and reeds. There are three main kinds of floor looms, but most weavers start on jack-style looms (and that is the kind that I have.)

Usually wider

While some rigid heddle looms come in wide options and some floor looms are narrow, generally speaking, floor looms have a wider weaving area. If you are looking to weave blankets or other wide fabrics then a floor loom might be the best option.

While it is possible to weave your larger fabrics in panels and attach them together if you have a narrow loom, this will be simpler on a floor loom.

Better for tapestry

More heavy duty = better for tapestry.

Due to their heavier nature, floor looms are a better option for weaving tapestry than a rigid heddle loom. (Although, some people would argue that low warp looms* aren’t ideal for tapestry either!) 

Tapestries require a high tension warp to allow the weft to flow around the warp instead of deflecting it. Floor looms are a better option for anything requiring a high tension because they are made with heavier materials. Metal and wood with little to no plastic.

That doesn’t mean that you can’t weave tapestry on a rigid heddle loom, but be aware that it may not be as easy to get and keep the tension that your tapestry requires. If a rigid heddle loom is what you have and you want to weave tapestry there is absolutely nothing stopping you from trying!

*Low warp looms are looms that have their warp parallel to the floor. A high warp loom would have the warp upright.

If you are interested in tapestry then you can learn more about it HERE.

Ability to weave more complicated fabric easier

Due to their multiple harnesses, floor looms are made for weaving complicated patterns and fabrics. The more harnesses you have, the more intricate and detailed patterns you can create with less work during the weaving process. An 8-harness floor loom lends itself to incredibly intricate and interesting patterns.

Most of the work for weaving on a floor loom is done upfront during the warping process. Then it is just a matter of following a pattern. (This is a generalization, as pick-up patterns and double-weave can be a bit more complicated than that.)

Think about it just like my post on choosing your simple frame loom warping method:

Do you want to do harder work now or later?

Longer weavings

The size and height of the floor loom lends itself to be able to hold longer warps than you would on a rigid heddle loom. Purely because the warp beam is further from the ground, it allows you to be able to wrap more warp around it. Depending on the rigid heddle loom you choose, you may be able to get more or less warp on it. 

Some floor looms come with the option for a warp separator on the back warp beam. This allows for an even longer warp to be put on and makes floor looms ideal for making yardage.

If you are interested in learning how to get the most out of your warp by planning multiple projects then check out THIS post.

Need help planning your weaving project? Stuck trying to figure out how much yarn you need? What the h&^$ is WPI? Check out my e-book!


Takes longer to warp

Ask any weaver that has ever warped a floor loom and they will probably tell you just how long it can take to go from cone to loom. Having a floor loom requires you to either have a warping board or warping mill to first measure out the length and number of warp ends required for your weaving. (so you also have to buy one of these warping tools.)

After measuring out all of your warp yarns you then have to transfer it to your loom.

Your warp then has to go through your reed, then the correct heddle in the correct harness, get tied onto your back apron, pulled through, then tied onto your front apron, and tensioned. (If you are warping front to back)

Especially considering you will probably be weaving larger pieces on a floor loom due to the weaving width available, this whole process can take awhile. With floor looms, there are no direct warping options to make it go faster.

Takes up a lot of space

floor loom width

With the exception of some folding floor looms that are smaller (and even these will take up more room than a rigid heddle loom) floor looms are meant to be a permanent feature in your studio. Once you find your place for your loom you probably won’t be moving around much as they tend to be heavy. This means that you will need to have a dedicated space for your floor loom. This may even be the biggest factor in choosing the type of loom you decide on.

The smaller folding looms are still not really meant to be portable (although sometimes they are used for traveling workshops) as they wouldn’t be something you would bring on vacation or in your RV. Instead they would take up most of the room in the back of your vehicle and not leave room for much else.

More expensive

With more parts, usually heavier materials, and the fact that they are larger – floor looms are more expensive than rigid heddle looms.

Again, this will depend on the type, size, and features that it has. While completely worth the price that you have to pay for them, the price is definitely a consideration. A new floor loom will typically cost you somewhere in the thousands. There is no doubt that this is a big investment in your future as a weaver.

Unless you absolutely want a new loom or you are looking for something very specific it may be a good idea to look for a used loom to save some money. You may have to wait a while, but you might just find one that will work for you.

Rigid Heddle Loom Pros

rigid heddle loom shed

Unlike floor looms, rigid heddle looms are meant to be propped on a table or used with a dedicated stand that will sit on the floor. They have a multipurpose heddle/ beater/ reed that does it all. The weaver creates a shed manually by raising or lowering the heddle into a slot and requires no foot movement.


Weights will vary depending on the size and type of rigid heddle loom you choose, but they are much lighter than floor looms.

Rigid heddle looms are meant for weavings that require less tension than floor looms. This makes it possible for the materials used to be lighter weight (wood or plastic gears instead of metal.) There is also a lot less to them when it comes to overall materials with no extra harnesses for the heddles, mechanics to move the heddle up and down, and no attached stand.


folded portable rigid heddle loom

The size and weight of these looms make them great for traveling. Some looms like the Schacht flip folding rigid heddle loom even fold in half for easier travel. (Full review of the Schacht Flip Rigid Heddle Loom HERE) The best part about that is that they can keep their working warp on them while folded!

These looms are great for bringing in your RV, on a road trip, or to your in-law’s house. They are also good for moving around your house if you don’t have a dedicated studio or you are just looking for a different view. 

Unlike the “portable” floor looms that can be used for workshops these are actually pretty portable. Even the rigid heddle looms that don’t fold will take up a lot less space then any floor loom would.

Less expensive

Rigid heddle looms are a more beginner-friendly option if you are looking to not invest a lot from the beginning. They are usually around a few hundred dollars with the less expensive ones being around $150 or so. 

Just because they are less expensive and beginner friendly doesn’t mean they are less than, just that there is less to them!

Easier to warp (direct warping)

rigid heddle loom direct warping peg

One of the best things about rigid heddle looms is the ability to direct warp them through the use of a warping peg (your loom may come with one!)

This cuts out the need for a warping board or warping mill. Especially if you only have one heddle, they are also easier to warp because you are not dealing with multiple harnesses and shaft patterns. Warping a rigid heddle loom can be a lot simpler and faster than warping a floor loom because you are completely cutting out multiple steps!


Not ideal for tapestry or rugs

As I already stated above in the pros for floor looms, rigid heddle looms aren’t really made for tapestry due to them not being able to hold the same amount of tension. Rugs also need the ability to beat your weft really hard and tight, this can be difficult on a rigid heddle loom. 

Neither of these things are impossible! It’s just not what they are made for, so you may have to work around some of the rigid heddle downfalls if you want to use it this way.

Can’t weave complicated patterns (or harder to do so)

It is possible to weave things like overshot and double weave on a rigid heddle loom, but you will need tools like extra heddles, pick-up sticks, or corded heddles. These things are all doable, but not as simple as weaving these patterns on a floor loom where you just need to step on a treadle to raise the right shed.

Also, not all rigid heddles looms have a spot for more than one heddle. This means you may have to purchase an extra kit or add one on with your own smarts and elbow grease. 

Which is right for you?

Floor loom or rigid heddle loom


Do you have dedicated space for a loom? If so, how much? Smaller floor looms do exist, but so do stands for a rigid heddle loom if you want something that seems more permanent. 

The ability to take your loom with you might also be of great concern. If you don’t want to leave your loom behind and you want to weave long projects then buying a rigid heddle loom can be both your studio loom and your travel loom.


With floor looms costing more than rigid heddle looms it is usually easier to start out with a rigid heddle. It makes sense to not invest the money on a large piece of equipment when you are first starting. (Frame looms are also an option!)

That being said, rigid heddle looms are fantastic looms and not just for those who can’t afford a floor loom. Take all of the other factors into consideration and if you still think that a floor loom is right for you but you are worried about the price then try to find a used one or take a class at your local arts center that teaches weaving. Try it out, then decide.

Types of projects

While both types of looms will allow you to weave many different types of projects, some of these projects will be simpler on a floor loom. If you are looking to weave tapestry or wanting to weave heavy duty rugs then a floor loom would generally be the best choice.

If you are just wanting to weave simpler scarves, towels, or don’t mind a little more work while weaving patterns then a rigid heddle loom would be a great option.

rigid heddle loom book

I recommend Inventive Weaving on a Little Loom by Syne Mitchell if you are just starting out on your rigid heddle journey. It’s a fantastic book for beginners and those looking to expand on their rigid heddle knowledge. (full review coming soon!) If you are just starting out on your floor loom journey then I recommend Learning to Weave by Deborah Chandler (full review HERE.)

What do you weave on? Let me know in the comments what you chose and why!

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