First Loom: One of the simplest loom to make is a no-heddle, frame loom. I use canvas stretchers but you can make your own frame too. I put in two rows of finish nails at each end. I spaced them 1/2 inch apart and offset the two rows by 1/4 inch. (I tried once to put them all in one row and neatly split the frame.) String it up and weave with your fingers. This loom is primarily a tapestry loom. (Lest you think this is too basic, I've seen a picture of a woman who weaves gigantic wall hangings for commercial spaces and guess what - no heddles!)
Side note: The simplest loom to make is this loom where the warp is just wound around the frame. But you have to know how to do something like twining to space the warp out. It's simpler to start weaving on the loom with the nails.
These looms are great for things like soumauk and fancy finger weaves. And by the way, I just discovered how to make some great simple cardboard bobbins.
This loom is almost like the first one with the addition of a stick and string heddles for the sheds. The stick goes in an up/down fashion through the warp. The string goes around every other warp and is tied in groups of 4 or 5. I like the stick a bit longer so it lies over the edges of the frame but it'll do. I also put cardboard strips to start (at the bottom) mostly to check and see if I got the heddles right.
Turn the stick on edge to make a shed. Then turn flat and push up and pull the groups of string heddles one at a time to make your second shed. This loom is primarily a tapestry loom to since it would be tiresome to try to go edge to edge with the weft.
This one is similar to the ones above but with a stick to hold the string heddles and a holder it. This one can do plain weave and tapestry. Actually, you can do tapestry on almost any loom. Here I'm doing a plain weave cloth.
This is the finished muff I wove on this loom
Here's a picture of one type of support for the string heddles. I faced it the wrong way. It works better with the string heddles lying on the other side (toward the weaver) but it still works.
I have a couple of ways to make string heddles for these looms. One is to just make a loop of string and double it over the warp thread and put the stick through the two ends.
This makes a nice reusable heddle but can get tiresome to make if you have a really wide warp. I'll show how to do another type in a later installment.
Wrap Around Warp
The warp is tied to the dowel, then wrapped around the loom and back around the dowel. If you pull the dowel on the back toward the top of the loom, it will advance the warp so you have considerably more warp than just one side. I'll have to do a drawing of how that works.
One more loom
This was my attempt at an adjustable Norwegian style loom with springs for spaces. I had some problems with this one. The book said to make a spring (coil wire around a dowel). That came out very uneven so I went for a store-bought spring on the lower part. Then the instructions said to use push pins to hold it in place. Those kept popping off, especially at the bottom. The bottom spring does have to be removed in order to slide the warp around.
The store-bought springs were so tight, I couldn't pry yarn through it. So I (very carefully) inserted metal rods through both ends. I held one down with my feet and pulled up on the other to stretch the spring. That worked, but now it was too long. So I cut it and bent a couple of spring ends horizontally. I used a couple of screws to hook the bent ends in place so they could be unhooked. I left the top as it was since it seemed to be less critical.
I put in two wrap around dowels with threaded rods with wing nuts to adjust the tension. I really liked that feature.
More Pics of all of this to come.
More to come.