Types of Looms

The earliest form of hand weaving is still practised today, along with hand spinning. There are many different varieties of looms. They are available in a wide range of sizes, from little hand-held frames to enormous motorised mechanical tools. A wiring loom or other arrangement of electrical lines can also be referred to as a “loom.” The primary function of looms is to tightly grasp the twist threads in order to advance the interweaving of the warp strands. The system and precise form of the loom can vary somewhat, but it still serves the same essential purpose. Depending on what you plan to weave, you can choose from a wide variety of weaving looms.

When thinking about purchasing a weaving loom, keep a few things in mind. These factors include the size of the piece you plan to weave, your level of loom proficiency, the available space for your looms, and the amount of time you are willing to devote to it. Some looms are fairly compact and easy for their users to operate. Young children can even utilise them. Larger looms typically have more intricate designs, but they also have more precise alternatives for better use. The width of the weave material you choose will be determined by the size of the loom. In the table looms, the length is more precisely regulated.

Types Looms

Following are the major types of looms

Hand Looms

Vertically twist-weighted types, in which the threads are hung from a wooden object or branch or fastened to the floor or ground, were the first and original sorts of looms. The weft threads are manually put into place or forced through a rod that serves as both the shuttle and the positioner.

It is necessary to raise and lower each warp thread individually at first. In order for the woof to quickly travel the entire warp, a shack is made by placing a piece of rod in the space between the warp threads.

Table Looms

Table looms are more sophisticated than the other tiny looms on this list but smaller and more portable than floor looms. They are designed to be placed on a stand or on top of a table. Although there are table looms with more than 8 shafts, the most popular models have 4 or 8.

Rigid-Heddle Looms

An excellent beginner’s loom is one with rigid heddles. Through the manipulation of the warp and weft, it also offers a great deal in terms of patterning to an expert weaver.

They can be used for two-shaft weaving with one rigid heddle and threads that are typically thicker than those used by multi-shaft looms. The weaver can employ thinner yarns and more complex patterns by adding an additional heddle while still using pick-up sticks and hand manipulation techniques. Portable rigid-heddle looms exist. Both a stand and one without one can be used.

Backstrap Loom

The backstrap loom is a straightforward loom that was created by ancient civilizations and is still in use today in many nations. On one end, the warp is tied around a stationary object, while on the other, it is fastened to the weaver. The warp is kept taut by the weavers’ weight. A backstrap loom can be used by a talented weaver to create stunning and intricate designs.

Floor Looms

These are the biggest looms available to home weavers. They are designed for weaving bigger items and are freestanding. A floor loom can be used to create larger, wider pieces of fabric, as well as rugs, home linens, accessories, and little items like scarves and coasters. Although they can have many more, floor looms typically have 4 or 8 harnesses. The harnesses can be hoisted and lowered by treadles that are operated by the feet, but they can also be mechanically or electronically lowered or raised by a dobby to form sheds.

The Looms of Haute Lisse and Basse Lisse

These are typically used to crochet traditional tapestries. In haute lisse, the yarn or thread is hung straight up between two spools. The warp thread on a basse lisse loom is horizontally stretched out between spools.

Shuttle Looms

Along with the warp beam, shuttle, harnesses, heddles, reed, and pickup roll, it is the most important part of the loom. Detaching, battening, alternate, and taking-up processes are all parts of the weaving process for yarn.

Ground Looms

The warp threads can be strung between a few rows of dowels on horizontal ground looms. To make the process easier, the weaver must stoop forward. In order to allow the weaver to situate his or her legs below and level with the loom, pit looms with the warp chained across a ditch were developed.

Frame Looms

Ground looms and frame looms have nearly identical mechanics. In order to make the loom more practical and manageable, it was constructed using rods and panels that were joined at right angles. Despite its age, this kind of loom is still in use because of its portability and affordability.

Inkle Looms

Narrow strips of fabric, such as straps and belts, are woven on inkle looms. They are transportable, and although they make an excellent loom for beginners, seasoned weavers also utilise them to make intricate patterns. The bands can be used for many different things, including dog collars, leashes, and purse straps.

Tapestry Looms

The frame loom, the most basic loom type, is used for weaving tapestries. Frame looms are unable to produce sheaves, and the tapestry you can weave on one is limited by the size of the frame. Other varieties of tapestry looms may create sheds and hold longer warps.


Overall, the fundamental function of any loom is to maintain tension on the warp threads in order to make it easier for the weft threads to interlace. Although the loom’s exact design and mechanism can differ, its fundamental purpose always remains the same. Looms are machines that weave crosswise through other threads while holding lengthwise threads taut. There are various kinds of weaving looms with various features, but they all basically do the same thing. Once you are familiar with the weaving process, it will be simpler for you to identify the various weaving loom types, and you will know which looms work best

Updated on: 10-Apr-2023


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