Many people who want to know more about loom machines take a weaving class. If large looms are not your thing, you can still learn about handlooms. These are still complex machines, but they are much easier to understand than larger looms. Here are some things you need to know about handlooms before using one.
Weaving is a process that makes textiles and apparel by interlacing threads. A loom is what holds the threads while you weave. The warp is the piece that runs parallel to the loom. The weft is the thread that gets woven through the warp threads.
The simplest handlooms are just a board with pegs on each end. Using a needle, hook, or your fingers, the weft is woven through the warp. This is a long and tedious process, making most people opt for a larger loom.
If you are working on a handloom, you will likely notice that you have a lot of slack every time you weave the weft through the warp. If you leave the slack in place, you create a problem. Pulling it through by hand works for smaller projects. However, the larger the project, the more annoying this process gets.
Therefore, most handlooms will come with a shuttle. It is a small spool that holds the weft and gets passed through the warp. Each time you pass through, you unspool just enough thread. You can add more than one shuttle if you are doing a colorful project.
The shed is the space between the warp threads created every time you want to pass the shuttle through. The heddle is the piece that creates this space. It runs vertically above larger handlooms. Small loops hook on to each warp thread. These are attached to the heddle sticks, which move to create the appropriate shed.
Handlooms are a great option for making woven projects. However, they come with many different parts, so it is important to know a bit about them before trying your first project.