Roger's Looms Offgridlife.com

Rectangle Looms

           


                 My latest modular rectangle loom - 84 inches long - 5/16" (8mm) pin spacing
     This loom was made for a customer, I can make you one like it. This shows loom set at 12" width, full 84" long.  There are settings for 6 rectangles at this width, plus one square. 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 left end rail is used for the 16.5" width also.  This loom set has 2 wider widths that use a separate left end rail.  In total there are 15 rectangles and 4 squares available. 


Same 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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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.

 I have made some of these rectangle loom in a shorter version that I call a 'Scarf Loom' as the loom is long enough for regular scarves. It is simpler as it has one-piece long rails and ships in at regular UPS rates due to being less than 60" long.   I have also made some longer looms, the 84" loom shown above, and recently some 90" looms.  Some people want to weave a large shawl or pieces for a blanket and I understand that.  I also know how much work it is to weave a long, wide weaving.  I am open to making a custom loom for you that fits your requirements.  I welcome any questions about weaving methods, pin arrangements or DIY projects you want to do.

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     November 21, 2013.    The loom below has 8 rectangle settings at this single 9 inch width. This was the customer's choice.   It sells for $192.00 plus shipping.  Easel sold separately.  This includes just the one width which could be your choice of 8, 9, or 10 inches.  Additional width settings would be extra.  Each rectangle setting has a color-coded mark to get the movable right end rail in just the right place, and holes drilled for this setting in the long rails for the fasteners.  I can make rectangle looms other lengths, such as 6', or the 57" scarf loom described below.  Any rectangle loom can make scarves, I just use the term "Scarf Loom" to describe my basic rectangle loom that is just long enough to make scarves.  This loom has one-piece long rails, an 84" long rectangle loom with take-down long rails is $30 more.





    Same loom set for a rectangle 7 times the width, approx. 63" long.   Other widths that can make rectangles for the continuous weaving method that utilize most all of the 84 inch length are:  12", 14", 16.5", 21" & 28".   Other widths may be made to fully utilize other lengths; such as 12", 18", & 24" widths for a 6' loom. 


    Now I have moved the right rail to a shorter setting, 5 times the width.  Marks on the long rails show where to place the first yarn strand when starting out the weaving.  This 7' rectangle loom is good for very long scarves but can also make short weaving rectangles down to twice the width.


    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.  This brace was also used in photos 1 and 2 to strengthen the center of the loom and prevent pulling in the flexible oak rails under high yarn tension. Brace wasn't necessary in photo 3 as the rectangle was over half the loom length, but not long enough to require support in the middle.  I have figured out how to package these long looms, and prefer to make these rather than the looms with the take-down long rails, such as the 'compact' loom shown further down on page.  However, I can make these 'compact' looms with the metal brackets for joining the long rails.  I need to charge more as I make these brackets from scratch.

    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 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 (Compact Model, see below) 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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8 mm scarf loom
The loom described below is sold. As of April 11, 2014 I now have one finished just like it for $175.00 plus shipping.  It will have the 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 all 10 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 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'.

      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 further down on 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.   
    
  
8mm scarf loom set at the 9" width and at the next to longest rectangle possible. Makes a scarf about 8 inches wide.


Same loom changed to the 11" width, also at the next to longest possible rectangle.  Makes a finished scarf about 10 inches wide. 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.

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.

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 Earlier Modular (compact) Loom Sets

 A loom that is made to weave long rectangles, such as 6, 7, or 8 feet long, could be made from scratch with the long rails  made up of two pieces and joined by a metal bracket.   Each rail piece would be less than 4' long, The entire set would fit in a shorter box for shipping and storage.

The following loom is SOLD.  However, it was the only illustration I had here on the page of a rectangle loom with 2-piece long rails. Until I put the photos of the newer 84" loom at the top of the page. This loom has different wood thickness, coarser pin spaciing, and a different brace system, but otherwise works the same.  For shorter rectangles, just leave off the extensions.  I can make a loom with these settings, either with 2-piece long rails, or one-piece long rails.  I prefer to make modular loom set with only 3 width choices, but can make a loom with 4 width choices.  This loom had 5 width choices which was kind of an experiment.   Thumbnails on right don't link to anything, this is a screen shot I saved of an past Etsy listing.

Modular Rectangle Loom, 80" length - Compact Model


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Policies

Starting in July, 2013, I will sell any of my looms only through direct contact between myself and the customer.  No Ebay, No Etsy, No PayPal. Payments will made through the postal mail.  Telephone conversations or emails will confirm any sales before any payment is sent.  This will ensure that the item is set aside to be saved for you.  Also by talking with me,  you know I am a real individual, not just an email address.   Inquiries about sales or custom orders look up area code for all of northern Arizona, exchange seven one six, then 1715.  Prefer phone calls between 6a and 6p MST.  Roger T.

    Shipping is additional, and will be figured to your location after you indicate your zip code.  I can look this up for you before you make a commitment to buy.

As of Nov. 2013 I have an email address you can use to contact me.  It is: roger (symbol for 'at') weavingboard.com

 Continuous Strand Weaving on the Rectangle 

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've had these samples for a few years.  Business is slow so maybe I need to promote myself.  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.  She sells a video on how to start this.  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 on this page on how to start the left-return method.    My looms can be made 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 setting 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 latest Hideaway rectangle loom developments are shown in the now updated PDF files below, Rectangle loom set-up and Continuous Strand Weaving Instructions. 

    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.

    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 the 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.
   
    At the bottom of this page I will include links to my weaving instructions and loom assembly pdf files.

Hideaway Modular Rectangle Looms.  I use the term 'Modular' when describing a loom that can have extensions added to the long rails if you want longer rectangles.  Any loom that is made up of pieces could be said to be modular, such as my 'scarf' looms.  The distinction here is that my 'Scarf' looms have only 4 basic pieces when assembled, and are limited in rectangle length by the length of the basic side rails.

    Hideaway Modular Rectangle Looms can be used to weave several sizes of short to medium-length rectangles or even longer rectangles when the extensions are attached.
   The exact length is adjusted by moving the right end rail.  The width is determined by the modular end rail set that you choose.  I can make sets with 3 or more width choices, or a made to order set with only one width. 

  



    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.

     I am putting links here to pdf files that explain more about the Hideaway modular looms. Some of these files would come with a purchase, you could view them online here, or see what you would be getting if you make a purchase.  Other info might be of use to a DIY person. 
 
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.

Left return CSW method for rectangle looms. Shows how to start it.

  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.

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