Rigid heddle loom reviews

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A few weeks ago I got a Kromski Fiddle rigid heddle loom and stand.  At the time, the review I wrote was this:

I have been weaving for a number of years on a variety of looms from inkle and backstrap to table and floor looms.  My reason for purchasing this was to use it for warp faced pickup pieces.  My thinking was, that with the stand tilted, it’s got the angle of a backstrap with the freedom to get up when you need to.  I am SO disappointed!  It is almost impossible to beat firmly, since the stand rocks forward and the ratchets/pawls are so tiny and delicate they disengage when you bump the beam with your knee or rock the loom by beating your weft in.  I originally liked the look of the turnings, but it seems my weft keeps catching on the handle of the front beam.  The holes and slots are small, and a yarn that I have successfully used before at that sett shredded and pilled from the abrasion.  In addition, the heddle falls off the block while trying to count the threads for pickup.

Ok, so today I got the chance to try a variety of the Schacht and Ashford rigid heddle looms, as well as the Glimakra Emilia.  I’ve got to say, I loved the Emilia.  But for the price, the Kromski blows Schacht and Ashford away.  They just feel…cheaper and more delicate, but cost more then the fiddle!

I got some small lightweight plastic clamps at  the hardware store ($2 each) and put them on the heddle blocks: 

Problem solved!  The problem about it rocking forward was solved by holding the stand down with my feet while I beat.  The other problem will likely be solved with an Ashford reed/heddle, which has bigger holes/slots and reportedly also fits the Kromski.  LOOOONG story short:  I like my Kromski. 🙂

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3 responses »

  1. I am waiting to get my new Kromski Harp in the mail on Monday… It is a gift from another (rather ANGELIC I might add ) Weaver who offered it to me. I took the offer and expect lots of happy years WARPING and Weaving this beauty. I too looked into the FIDDLE or Harp and was going to save up to get one or the other. I know its gonna be grand since like the Fiddle the harp is a wonderfully strong and well put together piece of Working woodwork!! I to am a bit concerned about the close spacing of the heddle but as you mentioned I’m looking into buying some ashford 7.5 dent for thicker warp threads.

  2. I have experienced problems with the close spacing of the 12 dent reed on my Emilia. When purchasing a 10 and 7.5, I bought Ashford heddles (much cheaper anyway) and attached them to hand made bars that fit on the Emilia. I also found problems with the loom rocking, and the weft getting caught on the ratchet handle! I’m still trying to decide whether it was a good purchase although I like the sturdiness of it. I have more success clamping it to my dining room table though, but then I can’t get at the back of the warp so easily. Thanks for your review. I hunted for reviews on the Emilia before buying, but there was little on line at the time.

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