Home » Ashford Table Loom » New Loom!

New Loom!

For as long as I have been out of graduate school (long!) where I earned a Master’s Degree in Craft Design, I had been aiming toward having my own compu-dobby loom. Financing such a loom was obviously an issue, so I just kept putting it off. Eventually my thinking was that I would sell my 8 harness Schacht standard floor loom and buy a compu-dobby when I retired. Mostly because I was getting more and more challenged by crawling around making new tie-ups. But, somehow that didn’t happen.

But. Recently, I awakened to the possibility of a 16 harness table loom. A loom that had tons of weaving potential. A loom that never had to be tied up, that could weave any pattern without complicated setups. A manual dobby, if you will.

Ashford makes table looms that folks seem to really like, and the price, as opposed to the very pricey compu-dobby looms, was right. So, on Black Friday, when there was a 10% off sale at the Woolery, I took the plunge with an Ashford 16 harness table loom and stand.

And here she is:

It took my husband and I about a week and half to put them together. Ashford’s instructions are extremely detailed and understandable, but we were determined to take it slow, and do only a few steps at a time. The worst part, which fell to me alone, was stringing the harnesses, so that they hung in an orderly fashion with the front harnesses higher than the back ones. Hah! (I’m here to tell you that imperfect is just fine. Weaving happens, regardless.)

My first warp, a get-acquainted test warp, consists of 5/2 rayon that I dyed many years ago, and that was hanging out in a ziploc bag, waiting for an opportunity to be useful.

My MO is warping front to back, so I bravely plunged in, hanging the lease sticks in front of the reed, and going through the reed first.

Then going through the heddles. First time using Texsolv. I like them so far.

View from the back after threading the heddles.

View after winding on. ( Missing the sectional beam!) A nice surprise was that during the winding on the heddles, messy at first, adjusted to the position they were supposed to have relative to the others. (Self-tidying, so to speak!)

Header woven. I rejected the flimsy string that Ashford provided for attaching the warp sticks to the front and back roller beams, opting instead for Texsolv cord. Much sturdier.

First pattern: 16 harness point twill threading from A Handbook of Weaves by G. H. Oelsner, courtesy of Handweaving.net. Next up: weaving on the table loom. Stay tuned!

7 thoughts on “New Loom!

  1. I began weaving on Ashford Rigid Heddle Looms and think they make great quality looms. Do you know you can adapt this to a draw loom? I read an article about it in a past Complex Weaver Journal. I have been thinking some days in the future I may get one and try it.
    Love the weaving you do! Have a happy new year with your new loom!


  2. A brand new loom-WOO HOO!! Never had one of those, myself. 4H handmade counterbalance, 8H Big Mac, LeClerc RH, Schacht inkle, Weave-It pin loom; all made their ways to me very well used and loved. Eager to watch your 16H adventures!


  3. Hi, what a beautiful loom and warp! It’s been a year since you purchased your 16 h, Ashford table loom. What do you think of it now? I can’t decide between a Leclerc and the Ashford. Any thoughts?


    • Hi, I really love this loom. I had to go through a learning curve regarding the warping. Weaving is different from my Schacht floor loom, as is the tensioning. But I feel very comfortable with it. I took a look at the Leclerc table loom and the levers on that one are on top of the castle. If you have long arms and can comfortably reach for them that is fine. The Ashford levers are in front and I love that it isn’t such a long reach for me.


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