Picture of Scrapwood Loom
"You made a loom???"
"What are you going to make?"
"What can you make?"
These were responses I was getting from everyone.
To be honest, I didn't even know. This was a project full of epic trial and error.

How it all started:
After an intriguing conversation with a friend that was into all sorts of textiles, threads, dyes, felts etc
I really wanted to try weaving something with a loom.
It seemed a bit more efficient and less tedious than knitting. (Granted I learnt how to knit from youtube videos)
A loom didn't look impossible to make/figure out... So why not.
Here's my first shot at a basic Slot & Eye Heddle Loom.

Skill level:
Basic - Intermediate wood working skills

Tools Required:
Table/Band Saw (can use hand saw as well)
Drill & Bits
Wood glue
hand saw

Materials Required
2x4 scraps
1/4-3/8" thick mdf/ply/flooring (3.5" x 12")
3/4" dowell
2 old hangers
Screws & Nails (various)
Yarn, string or thread.

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Step 1: Loom parts & terminology

Picture of Loom parts & terminology
Here's the breakdown of the loom and its parts.
Again, I have no prior knowledge of looms & weaving, so feel free to add/correct/etc.
Also, my material choice is limited to the scrap bin.
There may be better ways of making certain parts... so modify to suit your needs/materials.

All the components are assemble onto the frame.

Cloth beam:
As you weave (the shuttle through the warp yarns) the warp yarns become cloth.
The newly made material is then wrapped around this beam/roller.

Warp Beam:
Holds the Warp yarn.
As the weaving progresses, the warp yarns roll out towards the cloth beam and become fabric.

Slot & Eye Reed:
The warp yarn run through the Reed.  
The reed is what criss crosses the yarn.
The warp yarn going through the eye is fixed, and the warp thread going through the slot moves up and down.
With each pass of the shuttle the reed is moved. 
The alternating warp yarn traps the weft yarn creating fabric.

Warp Set up bar:
Determines the length of your warp yarn.

Allow you to advance the warp yarn and keep the tension between the warp & cloth beams

Reed hook:
Allows you to set the reed up by pulling the warp yarn strands through the slots & eyes.

The shuttles hold the weft yarn.  
The weft passes through the warp yarns with each change of the reed and gets trapped.
This creates the fabric.
cesarsergio1 month ago

Ingenious! I really like that you use scraps and make due with what you have on hand, the craftsmanship and attention to detail shows, ... Nice Job! Thank you for your efforts, I enjoyed the detailed pics and instructions. I recently discovered a interesting type of weaving/braiding called sprang, some of the oldest textiles ever known are created with this type of weave/braid, I found it very interesting, maybe you will as well? Here is 1 link on youtube and there are many others, I hope you enjoy, Cheers

MarkFerraro6 months ago

An art student friend has asked that I build this loom. I'm just wondering about the cloth and warp beams. Hanger wire appears to be just two lengths on each beam. Any advantage to two versus four wires? How much tension is placed on these wires?


Kweek7 months ago

Awesome! V 2.0 should be hand crank automation goodness. :)

InTheory1 year ago
I wasn't getting exactly what all was going on with the design and how the loom worked (for as interested as I am with the process I have never seen this loom in action). This link was really helpful! Great design and if I make one I will most likely use this to make one. Though I really liked the Youtubes Video of the Warp set up bar, and their use of Cardboard to keep tension up.

Title: Simple warping for a Rigid Heddle loom
(hope that works for you I had to copy the URL from my phone.
The Valiant2 years ago
THis looks great! My wife has been asking me to try and build one of these for a few months (since we attended a textile/craft fair at a local country museum) - maybe I'll give it a try :)
r3cgm2 years ago
I had so much fun building a loom based on these plans. Thank you for posting! I put some pictures up of my efforts:
You are AMAZING!! Especially if you've never made a loom before!

You could be selling these for at least $65 per loom plus shipping.


I've been busting my husband's backside to just build me a loom from one of the over 15 sets of plans that I've bought, downloaded etc...and nothing.

I'm gonna come live near you. :)

I actually have been so desparate to have my own rigid heddle loom that I finally broke down and bid on one in ebay. I'm glad to say that I got a small one cheap. Maybe now that my "grumpy-honey" has a model to work from, he'll build me a bigger one, but I'm not holding my breath...i don't wanna die that

Again, Fantastic job!!!
i would buy one with video instructions on how to work it. it looks like fun! Great Job!
When I have a bit more time, I'm going to build a wider one!
I just did a cross country road trip so I'll be wrenching away under my car for the next couple of days.
But stay tuned!
panic mode2 years ago
nice instructable, but also:

"If it breaks, fix it. If it works, take it apart. If it can be bought, make it. If it doesn't exist, create it."
hells-oui (author)  panic mode2 years ago
agis682 years ago
very good instructable and effort. excellent idea for kit.....
hells-oui (author)  agis682 years ago
fuddle2 years ago
Great job making a rigid heddle loom.
Some nomenclature:
Your "reed" is the "rigid heddle"- the reeds refer to each vertical.
Your "Cloth beam" is correct
Your "warp setup bar" is the "Warp peg"
You seem to be missing the ratchet and pawl for tensioning the cloth bar and warp bar- can you clarify how you fix these so they don't slip?
hells-oui (author)  fuddle2 years ago
I drilled a hole through the "ratchet" and frame.
then slid a bolt through to stop the ratchet from turning.
Not the best solution... but you work with what you've got right!
dantistus2 years ago
Oh, man, this is great! Thank you so much. Would you be willing to make a video of you working the loom? I will definitely use your tips to build a big loom once I get my own place with a garage :)
hells-oui (author)  dantistus2 years ago
I forgot the frame at my friends place!!
When he brings it by, I'll definitely post a video.
hohum2 years ago
Very cool,

I might have missed something, if you don't mind, are the shuttles that make or weave the whorp? The up and down of the longerons?? I probably said or asked this wrong.

Your loom could be totally customizable for various size threads, rope, build a bigger one, smaller one,,

Thanks for posting your great idea. Great instructable presentation..
Warp and Weft

The Weft is on the shuttle and the warp threads are the long ones going forward and back towards you and away.

What to make with a narrow loom like this - belts are a good start, braid for decoration.

You can save a lot of effort by making the heddle with twisted wire in a frame.
I have a silly mnemonic for remembering warp and weft.

"Weft goes weft(left) and wight (right)
Warp strings are long and tight."

Silly- but it helps- like Columbus and Ocean Blue
acornman2 years ago
Very good effort at a basic heddle loom ,the device that you call a ratchet is a little hazy in the explanation of its operation. A true ratchet usually involves use of a pawl and toothed ratchet which enables gradual tension. As far as I can see your
ratchet is a crank handle which is restrained by use of a bolt , still, I imagine it's effective enough, judged from the pictures of your braces (uk term) . Having built a number of looms myself , I always find the ratchet mechanisms the most challenging .
I will post your instructable on the Victoria flax to linen group. They are making all sorts of tools for the whole fibre to cloth process and looms are insanely expensive. Thank you very much.
r4given2 years ago
r4given2 years ago
excellent instructable! I have one question- maybe i missed it in skimming the pdf- how do you maintain tension on the ratchets?
Great job and GREAT instructable! Some comments/suggestions:
*Test your reed hook on some wool yarn as you are making it to ensure it has no rough catchy edges.
*The heddle is much sturdier as you made it than with wire, and is how my store-bought loom's heddle is made. Do you know of functional advantages to a wire one, @rickharris?
*If you go through the effort of warping a loom more than once you will probably want to extend the warp length considerably (more bang for your buck, as it were). My loom has a separate warp set-up post tool that you clamp to a surface across the room so you can set up a much longer warp.
hohum2 years ago

Make and sell DIY loom kits,

tooooooooooooooo coooooool

fantastic piece of work
useraaaaa hohum2 years ago

at least $50 on ebay (+ shipping)
even without "Warp thread setup bar"
useraaaaa2 years ago
"how to make reed" idea
hohum2 years ago
OK, I am big dummy,, its the reed that goes up and down,, duhhhhhhh, smart of you to keep the yarn fixed in the holes, and let the reed go up and down.

pretty slick idea you have...
ChrysN2 years ago
That is an awesome looking loom. Good job!