Roger's Looms Offgridlife.com

Rectangle Looms

   


For information about making a rectangle loom for yourself or for others (to sell), look at the bottom of this page.  Everything is open source but my brands and logo.   I have moved 2 pages there as pdf files that you can view or download.  If you are really interested in the discoveries I made, you should make copies or write it down as this website may not be here later.  UPDATE:  My new site will be www.rectangleloom.info but is not complete yet.

8mm_recloom_inst.pdf
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  This rectangle loom assembly instruction comes with my new rectangle looms.

  2013rectangleweaving.pdf
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Continuous Strand Weaving for rectangle looms, my right-return method.  Some photos could be updated, weaving method is solid.


I have all my finished rectangle looms now on Etsy.  www.etsy.com/shop/RogersLooms  as of Aug 21 2014.    I want to make money while I have the opportunity.
As of Nov 10, 2014  I have the 57" size shown below, and the 84" size, all finished and ready to sell.  The 72" size is sold out for now but I will start on another Nov. 11, 2014. 

 I can sell directly to you for 5% less than the Etsy price if you contact me and I take down the listing and send you a PayPal invoice.  I can sell the item for 10% less if you contact me and I take down the listing and then arrange for you send the payment via postal snail mail. With either direct sale method, I would look up the exact shipping cost to your location. No charge for handling or the package I make from recycled cardboard.

84" Hideaway Modular Rectangle Loom


                  modular rectangle loom - 84 inches long - 5/16" (8mm) pin spacing
     Photo shows 84" loom with take-down long rails, set at 12" width, full 84" long. This loom is SOLD but I have an 84" loom with one-piece long rails for sale. There are settings for 6 rectangles at this width, plus one square. You could choose a shorter rectangle than this.   You move the right end rail to the chosen marked position and screw in place with the 2 screws on top and 2 screws on the bottom rail.   The loom in the photo that is SOLD has 4 width choices, a custom build as the loom sets normally have 3 widths.  The left end rail is used for several width choices.  A rectangle loom with the take-down long rails costs more to make but is easier and less costly to ship.  Easier to store.

I think the 84" long rectangle loom is longer than most people need for scarves - A full length weaving would be a big project.  I do understand wanting to make something impressive.  The 72" rectangle  loom might be more practical.


Same 84" loom, without the extensions.  This setting a rectangle 12" wide, with a length 4 times that.  When using the shortened rectangle, it is not necessary to use the brace shown in the top photo to keep the rails from flexing inward.  All rectangle settings have a color-coded marks and holes to get the perfect rectangle for continuous strand weaving.  The 'turning points' for the initial strand of yarn are also marked with the color for that width.

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72" Hideaway Rectangle Loom

Is a larger version of the 'Scarf Loom' below.  It has the maximum width of 18 inches which makes a weaving 4 'squares' long, or about 72". I will start on another one Nov. 11, 2014.  When I have one finished it will be listed on Etsy, www.etsy.com/shop/RogersLooms  You can email me at rogerslooms@msn.com


8 mm scarf loom
This 57" 'Scarf Loom'  is listed now for $179.00 plus shipping on Etsy. 8mm (5/16") is the spacing between the pins.  It has 9,11, & 14" width options.  It is a 6 piece set.  Use the top and bottom long rails and the left end rail each time to create 3 square loom sizes and all 12 possible rectangles.  The other 3 pieces are the right end rails.  Change the setting at the lower left corner and choose the matching  movable right end rail to change widths.  Move the right end rail to pre-set positions to change lengths and still get a perfect pin arrangement for continuous strand weaving.  Color coded marks show which pins will be the rectangle corners.  Pins to be used for the initial strand turns are also marked with the same color.  I call these the 'turning points'.



    Above - The scarf loom set at the 9" width, next to longest length.  I discovered the proper pin arrangement system to achieve a perfect weaving rectangle.  This can be applied to any approximate rectangle length,  based on the number of pins (nails) of the width.  I also discovered (maybe you could say invented?) a good weaving method that is easy to use.  I include those weaving instructions you can get at the top of this page.

           

This is the upper left corner of the new Scarf loom.  The blue "A" marks were put on this photo to show how the assembly is done.  The actual marks on the oak wood do not show when assembled.   With this new design, it is the corner that stays connected whatever width or length you are usiing.  That simplifies the positioning of the 'start' logo.    All my instructions for weaving use this corner as the starting corner, and markings for rectangle corners and turning points for the initial strand don't come out right if you don't start in the upper left corner.  It is about syncronizing the loom orientation with the weaving instructions.  

The 57" scarf loom is long enough to make scarves and ships at regular UPS rates. The longest piece is 58.1" long, and ships in a box that is less than 60" long.   
    


Same loom changed to the 11" width, also at the next to longest possible rectangle.  Makes a finished scarf about 10 inches wide when taken off the loom. This finished width depends on the thickness of yarn used, the thicker the yarn and the looser you weave, the wider the result.



This time loom is set for a 14" rectangle using the entire length which is 4 times the width.  You could also weave on a rectangle that is 2 or 3 times this width.  The finished weaving should be over 12.5" wide, but that depends on how bulky the yarn.  The skinnier the yarn, the more the bias fabric will stretch out in length and narrow in width.

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I am attempting to get the most out of a loom with the basic long rails that are short enough to ship at the regular UPS shipping rates. (Package less than 60")   A continuous weaving on a rectangle does tend to stretch out in length, and if you add a fringe, that makes it longer too.  I am open to making custom lengths and widths.

I welcome feedback from those who have used a rectangle loom with a continuous strand weaving method. Any brand, mine or the others.   I am looking for a standard size to offer for sale.  I have decided on the 8mm (5/16") spacing for the looms I want to make.  I have a good system for fastening the modular pieces together, and a good bracket joining system for making the long rails in a take-down fashion.                
  

     Modular rectangle loom with one-piece long rails.  May be more attractive without the aluminum brackets.  Costs more to ship but costs less to make.  Photo shows a setting 7 times the width (approx), it can do a longer rectangle.  The brace is positioned near the center of the loom to prevent flexing in the rails too much.  This loom was made to order with only one width.


   Same loom, showing A rectangle 4 times the width of 9 inches.  The weaving will shrink in some when taken off the loom, probably making a scarf about 8 inches wide.  This all depends on how thick your yarn is, and how tight you weave.  The looser you weave, the less the new fabric draws in when taken off the loom.  You have to weave loosely just to make the weaving easier towards the finish.  Notice the brace used at the far right of the loom to stabilize the structure when making a short rectangle with these long top and bottom rails. 

    The drawback of having very long one-piece rails is:  Higher shipping costs, harder to store away.  A positive note about a very long rectangle loom with one-piece rails:  I don't have to make the metal brackets and thus don't charge accordingly.  I now have a way to make long shipping tubes when I can find used cardboard, so I prefer to make long rectangle looms with  one-piece rails.  More attractive without metal joining brackets too.
      A modular, take-down-rail rectangle loom  has these advantages:  Can also be used as a shorter rectangle loom (without the long rail extensions), ease of storage and shipping.

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 Continuous Strand Weaving on the Rectangle 

Also called Continuous Yarn Weaving, Continuous Loop Weaving.  Weaving is done on a pin-frame rectangle loom with a length that is an approximate  multiple of the width.  The yarn is pulled from a ball or skein, warping is done as the weaving progresses.  CSW is done on triangle, square, and rectangle looms.  It is just slightly more complex on the rectangle.  If you learn CSW on the triangle, you can master the rectangle also.  The concept is the same with a rectangle, each new loop interlocks the previous loop, so the edges of the new fabric are secure when taken off the loom.  You can weave long scarves or shawls without the expensive and bulky floor looms.  The sides of the weaving come out perfectly straight; and yes, it is 'real' weaving IMHO.

Explanation of my pin arrangement discovery 
Photo 1 below shows how my looms, or a loom made with my plan,  will result in the last single strand woven having an open path just right for this last yarn.  With just enough pins to make the turns and a path for the yarn from one corner to the other. Just as in triangle CSW, the final strand is what locks in the whole weaving.   The last strand here was done in a pink yarn to show this.   I'm not sure I was always able to explain this adequately.  Sometimes a picture is all it takes.  This outcome is a function of the pin arrangement, not the weaving method.  Do it yourselfers can find the plan further down on this page.  It is not advanced mathematics - you can do it by counting pins and using basic addition.


Photo 1

Recently I've seen questions on the Yahoo triloom group; people wondering why their Spriggs adjustable rectangle loom didn't have this same result. I answered one question in private, didn't want to criticize another loom maker on the group.  Not nice.  Then there was  a reply from a company representative explaining why there couldn't be such a result  and still have all the multiple adjustments. So if she can talk about it, why not me?   Photo below shows a typical finish to a rectangle weaving you would get using one of their looms. As you can see, there are places where there is not space for a single yarn, other places where you have to fill in one or more yarns.  By the way, my looms can be said to be 'adjustable' too, just not in the same pinwheel style as Spriggs' looms.  'Modular' to me means the same thing.


Photo 2

Weaving methods for continuous strand weaving on the rectangle


Spriggs (Hillcreek Fiber Studio) promotes a left-return weaving method.  I think it is cumbersome to have to always be watching how you twist a loop to avoid a glitch.  However, if you follow my instructions for pin arrangement, you can make a loom that will get you a perfect result with this weaving method. I have a file down I could send you on how to start the left-return method.    I could make a rectangle loom to adjust for this weaving method, getting you that same end result shown in Photo 1 above.
     Or you could use the right-return method that I like.  It is more relaxing to just weave with the hook the same way through each and every 'square' of the rectangle.  I now make my looms with only the settings for a perfect right-return continuous weave.  This matches the weaving instructions I include with each loom.    A pdf file can be downloaded from this page to show you how to do the right-return method of continuous strand weaving on a rectangle. Using this method on another manufacturer's looms (Spriggs for example), will not necessarily improve your results, as it is the pin arrangement that counts.
     Any discoveries I made were by trial and error.  I am good at very basic math and using my calculator for some things, but no advanced math is even relevant here. 

   

    The good news is that there are only 2 basic ways you can do this type of weaving on a rectangle - The  left-return method promoted in a video by some fiber studios for their looms, and the right-return method that I use on my modular rectangle looms.  What are the differences you ask?

     My method uses a rectangle one pin longer than the left-return method.  You can see why; in the left return style, the yarn would turn 180 degrees to the left around the upper right corner pin, or counter clockwise on an even-squared rectangle.  This uses one less pin to get a 'perfect final weaving path' than my right return method, which has the yarn turning 180 degrees around the upper right corner pin to the right, or clockwise on an even-squared rectangle. This uses one more pin just to return to the starting corner.  Using either method works out on my looms, having an extra pin or two at the end with the left-return method is not a problem.  If you buy any other loom I am aware of, you are going to have these extra pins anyway.  The weaving evens out when taken off the loom.
 

    The other difference between the two weaving methods is in the left return CSW method you have to twist the loop a certain way after weaving out of a square to avoid a glitch.    My right-return method doesn't require you to watch for this.  When changing yarn or colors, this is done the same way with both methods, at the left or starting end of the loom where the yarn ends are tied outside a pin and can become part of a fringe.  Either method makes the same product and has the same design possibilities.   My 'formula', which is more like a chart, works for rectangles any length or width you want to make them, and can be slightly modified to be 'perfect' for either weaving method.  The photo above shows a weaving done with the left-return method as a test, with the loom set just for that method.  You still get that open weaving path for the last single strand.  I prefer my method but the result is just as nice with either method.  My looms can be made to allow set-up for either method, but as of fall 2013, I am making the looms to be perfect for just my right-return method. This leaves out the extra mounting holes and helps to keep things simple.  I have had good reports of people using my weaving instructions and there is no reason to confuse the issue by adding these other settings to my looms, or offering alternative ways to weave.  That is, unless someone requests them.

    Stand or not to stand.  I like using a rectangle loom laying flat on a table or bed.  Since the loom is relatively narrow, you can reach across it while it is laying flat.  On a large triangle loom, this is not possible without the loom being held vertically.  I found that sitting in a roller office chair made it easy to roll back and forth alongside the loom laying on a bed 32 inches high.
   



    The final weaving strand that finishes the weaving has a path (hook is pointing there) zig-zagging all the way down the loom, with an empty pin at each turning point.  This feature is not available on other loom brands that I know of. This is a function of the loom pin arrangement, not the weaving method.  It is possible with any CSW method for rectangles.

DIY

  Below are charts to help you figure pin arrangement for continuous strand weaving on the rectangle. You could shorten the total rectangle length by one pin, if you want the ideal pin arrangement for the left return method only.   Initial yarn turning points are the same for either weaving method.  If you made a rectangle for the longer, right return method following the formula, you could still do the left return weaving with it but with a few pins left over.  By the way, this is the same result you get anyway from the most widely sold factory adjustable rectangle loom. 
The worksheet below is all you need to figure the ideal rectangle corner pin settings for CSW on a rectangle.  I am including it here as it might  help to a DIY person.  I make my calculations in my shop by doing the same thing as below but add the numbers in a column  on a piece of scrap paper. Pin #1 is at the left end of the rectangle. The left chart is a calculation for a 6 square rectangle, 40 pins in width.  The rectangle would be 40 x 238 pins.  A shorter 'perfect' rectangle would be 40 pins by 199 and so on.  The 40 x 40 would be a square, not a rectangle.   NOTE: always count the corner pin of a rectangle when counting the pins in the width, and again when counting the pins in the length.  In other words, count the pins on a rectangle when it is assembled, and count the corner pin again for the width, even though you counted it for the length.



Below is a sample of the turning points calculation for the same rectangle.  There are 5 turning points in a 6-square rectangle.  Start in the upper left corner of your loom, go down and to the right to the first turning point, pin #40.  Then up and to the right to the second turning point and so on. Zig-zag between the remaining turning points and the far corner pin of the loom, where you make your 180 degree turn.



  I am putting this out to get my rectangle pin arrangement and the right-return CSW method in wider use.  It would be simpler if there was only one way to continuous strand weave on a rectangle but that is not the case. Unless you want it to be for you.

Rectangle Ratios.pdf
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    This info might interest someone learning about rectangle weaving.

Rectangle Experiment.pdf
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  I made this page while experimenting with pin spacing and scarves.

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