The 8 Best Looms

Updated October 24, 2017 by Melissa Harr

8 Best Looms
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 34 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. In today's hyper-technological world, it's easy to forget the simple pleasure of using one's hands to create useful and lasting items. These looms are not only capable of making all sorts of things, including hats, scarves, pot holders, and tapestries, but they also supply you with a marvelous way to unwind from the stresses and strains of modern life. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best loom on Amazon.

8. Rainbow Loom Bands

You can get kids interested in textile and woven handicrafts with the Rainbow Loom Bands with metal hook, which has a rubber band loom and over 600 bands of various colors for creating all the pretty bracelets and accessories you could wish for.
  • fun birthday present
  • appropriate for all budgets
  • choking hazard for younger kids
Brand Rainbow Loom
Model R0001
Weight 14.1 ounces
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

7. Melissa & Doug Multi-Craft

The Melissa & Doug Multi-Craft offers an effortless set up and an oversized wooden frame and needle, making it perfect for your young weavers. The provided instructions give directions for four projects, including a scarf, a drawstring pouch, a coaster, and a carry-all.
  • comfortable-to-grip knobs
  • appropriate for various skill levels
  • some issues with tangling
Brand Melissa & Doug
Model 9381
Weight 3.8 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

6. Harrisville Designs Lap Loom

You’ll be able to create stunning tapestries measuring 9 inches by 15 inches with the Harrisville Designs Lap Loom, a hardwood model that is wonderful for smaller projects and beginning crafters. It’s appropriate for use in schools with children aged 7 and up.
  • can be used on the floor or a table
  • wool weft yarn and cotton string
  • shed sticks are a bit flimsy
Brand Harrisville Designs
Model F376-AZ
Weight 2.1 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

5. Darice Set of 4 Round Knitting

Technically, the Darice Set of 4 Round Knitting looms won’t make traditional woven items, but if you'd like some handcrafting fun, it might be just the ticket. You’ll be able to make hats, scarves, and other garments, all without picking up any needles.
  • plastic carrying case
  • bright neon is hard to misplace
  • pegs aren't terribly durable
Brand Darice
Model 1171-58
Weight 13.6 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

4. Schacht Cricket Loom

You might best describe the Schacht Cricket Loom as compact, since it comes in both 10- and 15-inch widths that travel with you easily, especially since they weigh around 4 and 6 pounds, respectively. You’ll even get two balls of yarn with either one you choose.
  • hard maple and apple plywoods
  • eight-dent reed
  • instructions could be better
Brand Schacht
Model SCH-10
Weight 6.1 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

3. Harrisville Designs Potholder Deluxe Kit

The Harrisville Designs Potholder Deluxe Kit is designed to create — wait for it — potholders, and in fact, it comes with all the materials necessary for creating six of these handy kitchen items. Each one, when finished, measures 6 inches square.
  • 100 percent cotton loops
  • bright and varied colors
  • weaving and finishing hooks included
Brand Harrisville Designs
Model F552-AZ
Weight 1.2 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

2. Beka Weaving Frame With Stand

Beginning weavers might check out the Beka Weaving Frame With Stand. This 20-inch by 23-inch model arrives with all the tools you need to get started, except yarn, and is made to be comfortable when used both flat and upright, at any angle you wish.
  • flexible and lightweight
  • robust plastic teeth
  • hassle-free assembly
Brand Beka
Model 07006
Weight pending
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

1. Ashford Weaving Rigid Heddle

While it’s true that the Ashford Weaving Rigid Heddle has a lofty price tag, the old saying is appropriate here -- You get what you pay for. This offering, from a company known for excellent quality looms and accessories, is sturdy, beautiful, and a breeze to operate.
  • crafted from unfinished hardwood
  • comes with clear instructions
  • great for newbies or the experienced
Brand Ashford
Model pending
Weight 10.7 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

Why Should I Try Weaving?

For thousands of years, dating back to the Neolithic era, most households had a loom to produce their own cloth for their individual family needs. While it is no longer necessary or practical to weave your own textiles, there are still a lot of good reasons to have a loom. These days a few exceptionally skilled weavers can actually make money creating goods on a loom, but for most people the benefits of weaving will be of a more personal nature.

Adopting a new crafting hobby has been found to have numerous health and social benefits. The repetitive movements and focus required for textile crafting produces a soothing effect akin to practicing yoga or meditation. The creativity and problem solving involved in making your own fabrics is also a proven way to protect neural pathways, and head off mild cognitive impairment. Children can also benefit greatly as they develop greater hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills, while empowering their imaginations. Crafting groups have become a popular excuse for a social gathering, as well, as seen by the rise of knit-ins and "stitch 'n bitch" parties. In addition, these gatherings are a great opportunity for teaching and learning new skills, as well as developing deeper friendships.

If you're tired of impersonal gift-cards, and you're constantly searching for a way to make gift-giving more special, a loom opens up a wide array of possibilities. When you are familiar with a friend or family-member's home decor, you can create fun accents like pillow covers, small rugs, placemats, or napkins. Or you can treat someone to a hand-made scarf or a unique bag. For someone accessorizing or decorating their own home on a budget, having a loom allows you to change up your look without having to spend a lot of money.

How To Choose The Right Loom

If you're like most people in the market for a loom, you are probably interested in either trying a new hobby or looking for a different kind of gift for a creative child. While you might be inclined to simply choose the largest or the cheapest loom to get you started, consider how it will be used before making your choice. Do you envision yourself working on projects while watching television with the family? Some smaller looms are designed to be used right in your lap. Children will appreciate complete kits that come with pattern ideas and yarn included.

The type of person who likes to leave projects out while working on them might want to consider investing in a higher quality wooden loom, even if it's for a beginner. These models have an old fashioned styling that, when not in use, can add a vintage touch to your decor. If you choose a larger loom, you can buy a stand for it so as not to take up valuable table space. In fact, some crafters prefer to work with a loom on a stand instead of at a table. Wooden looms can be personalized by staining the wood to match other furniture, or even decorated with a wood burning kit.

The more portable looms are ideal if you want to start or join a neighborhood crafting group. You can find smaller, traditional wooden looms that weigh less than 10 pounds, or you might want to consider knitting looms for maximum portability. Knitting looms are often plastic and can easily slip into a large purse or carry-all. These specialty looms allow you to easily knit projects without knitting needles.

A Brief History Of The Loom

The origins of the first weaving loom are unknown; woven textiles have been a part of human culture for many thousands of years. This ancient art was most certainly present during the Neolithic era, when humans began farming. Researchers have even found a scrap of textile that dates back over 5,000 years. In addition, multiple references to looms and weaving can be found in the Old Testament of the Bible. By biblical times, most major civilizations used looms to create cloth. The Egyptians preferred flax, while others favored wool, and it was around this time that the Chinese began weaving silk from silkworms.

The earliest looms were large, unwieldy machines that required two or three people to operate them. Most weaving was done in the home, often by children or slaves. The first major improvement to the loom came during the Islamic golden age, around the 8th century C.E. Demand for fabric was high because the faithful were required to cover themselves from neck to ankle. As necessity is often the mother of invention, a foot pedal was added to operate the heddle, freeing up the weaver's hands to pass the shuttle. This technology spread throughout Medieval Europe, during which time the craft of weaving expanded. Skilled artisans formed guilds, and looms began to move out of the home and into specialized shops.

In 1733, an Englishman named John Kay created the flying shuttle. This innovation not only made weaving significantly faster, but also allowed for the creation of wider pieces. A few decades later, with the advent of the industrial age, the first textile factory was built. Steam powered engines allowed for even faster production. Even intricate woven designs became fully mechanized with the invention of the Jacquard loom in France, in 1803. Named after Joseph-Marie Jacquard, this machine used a series of punch cards to create more complicated patterns that, until then, still required the expertise of skilled weavers.

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Last updated on October 24, 2017 by Melissa Harr

Melissa is a writer, editor, and EFL educator from the U.S. She's worked in the field since earning her B.A. in 2012, during which time she's judged fiction contests, taught English in Asia, and authored e-courses about arts and crafts. In her free time, she likes to make stuff out of sticks and string.

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