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.
First, this 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.
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How to put it together
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’re 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 string, 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
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
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
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 doesn’t 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
One other great feature of this 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 doesn’t 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.
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
While not everything is perfect, I still wouldn’t 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 isn’t 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!
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